Monday, January 17, 2011

Slams Come back to Back

I just finished the first of probably many weekends of bridge with Meg. It was quite satisfying and one my most successful sectionals ever - only a 200ish table sectional but we racked up over 23 master points with a first and a second in pair games, and first in the Swiss.

Playing in the last round against the team tied with us for the lead, they bid 6 making on board 6. On board 7, they managed to stop in 5 with 12 easy tricks in either major. There's an adage that slams come back to back but it's kind of amazing how often that is actually the case. On board 8, rho opened 1 and I bid 4♠ at unfavorable vulnerability. LHO had an interesting hand: ♠Qxxx, -, AJTx, ♣KQTxx. She opted to double but they were cold for 7 of either minor. It's hard to not double at this vulnerability but man this was a powerful hand. Thankfully our teammates (Enrico Beretta and Jimmy Fordham) bid 2 out of the 3 slams for enough to win the match and the event.

Here is a fairly simple gland slam to bid from the pair game we won.
♠AKxx, KJTxxx, x, ♣AK
♠QJx, AQxx, AKQx, ♣xx

1♣ showed a weak NT or any big hand. 1 showed 8+ w 4+hearts. 3 was a splinter. One thing many people don't understand is that the 5NT continuation over the blackwood response is a gland slam try. Then after showing the king of clubs, the blackwood asker then bids 6 to still show some grand slam interest. Clearly the opening bidder should bid 7 at this point but why jump to 7? 6♠ is the proper bid over 6 to show the spade king in case that helps partner decide which grand to bid. Knowing opener has the spade king makes 13 tricks in NT countable, while the jump to 7 I think might suggest that we may need to trump a spade or ruff out diamonds or something like that to make 7. But getting to a grand was enough for a good score in this field.

But one of the most amusing hands of the tournament was in the 5th round of the Swiss. We had had a bunch of flat-ish boards and I thought we needed a swing to get a big win so in third seat favorable vulnerability, I get ♠Tx, KQTxx, xxx, ♣Qxx. I opened 1♠, Meg bids 1NT, which gets passed out. RHO leads a low heart and LHO asks Meg if I opened 1♠ (yes), whether it showed 5 spades (no, i showed 4), the why didn't you alert that he has only 2 (i thought he had 4 but he psyched), and this sort of questioning continued awhile. She rolls home 8 tricks but sadly 4♠ their way doesn't make (off ♠A and ♣AKQ) but our teammates passed it out. Win 3 imps.


  1. a first and a second in pair games, and first in the Swiss

    Good job.

  2. Does it make sense to jump to 6NT over 5NT with two non-trump kings? Megan and I have this agreement. I suppose that if the asker has no side kings, there may be some ambiguity, but this seems safe enough.