Thursday, September 15, 2011

Is it a slam try is a search for the best game?

The game before slam principle is generally a good thing to follow – it is more important to reach the right strain at the game level than to search for slam mainly because there are many more deals where you need to figure out what suit to play in than figuring out if you can make slam.


Here are several uncontested auctions that Bob and I had last night in the instant matchpoint game (I would rather forget the scores, even though there were some valuable bidding lessons)


1S-1NT; 3H-4C… Is 4C natural or is it a cue with interest in a heart slam? The game before slam principle does not apply here. It’s too late to be introducing a new suit. Responder certainly can have enough values to make a heart slam and if responder now wanted to show interest in a spade slam, he should start by bidding 3S over 3H.


1NT-2C; 2S-3D; 3H-3NT; 4H-P. Is 3H a cue in support of diamonds or an offer to play a Moysian heart fit? Or could it actually be a 4 card suit? 5-4-2-2 distribution? I guess this is initially an offer to play in hearts (implying bad clubs) but could be an advance cue (if opener’s next bid is 4D or 5D) This was our actual auction – I did want to offer up the Moysian and also show interest in a diamond slam so in matchpoints I was happy landing in 4H.


1C-1D; 2C-2H; 3H-3S… Okay, this wasn’t our auction but it is an interesting one. 2H is surely a concentration of values, as is 3H. 3S should be last train – “I can’t bid 3NT but I don’t want to rule that contract out (probably based on having 2 or 3 spades with no stopper), can you bid 3NT?” On the actual deal, I gave up on 3NT after Bob raised my hearts so we wound up in 5C. for very few matchpoints.


1H-2C; 2H-2S; 4D-4H; 4S-5C; 5H-P. What’s going on here? Is it actually possible that we have a 4-4 spade fit? I apparently thought so and that 4D was a splinter. 6 of either major is about a 50-50 proposition and I think Bob might have gotten us there if he was on the same page as me with the splinter bid. I mean, what else could 4D be? The problem is that it’s kind of hard to believe we have a 4-4 spade fit, given that I did not rebid 2S. What’s your take? AT9x, ATxxxx, x, KT. 1H-2C. Do you rebid 2H or 2S?


1H-1S; 2NT-4H; P. This one was fairly early in the session and I wasn’t feeling adventurous yet. Is 3H forcing? It should be but this is why Wolff signoffs are good. You have a clearly defined way to get out in 3 of a suit and know that everything else is game-forcing. New minor forcing also gets most of the same things accomplished but that kind of reverses things so you can’t making a forcing heart raise immediately over 2NT. I wish this sequence were synonymous with the first auction but jump rebids of 2NT are not forcing to game while jump-shifts are.


  1. you must have sat E-W. N-S was more fun. :)

  2. Can you match these auctions to the boards?!

  3. The first one - yes. Except it was a couple of newer players and went 1S-1N-2H(!)-4C-4H. Strange auction so it was memorable. 10 tables and the highest E-W score was 51%. NS we had 65+%.

  4. 1NT-2C; 2S-3D; 3H-3NT; 4H-P I've played with some partners that once responder bids 3D he doesn't promise a 4 card major (it depends on the other responses in your system) - when that is the case I have played that 3H (or 3S) is a cue-bid in support of diamonds and interest in slam. Without that agreement I agree with your assumption that 3H offers playing in a moysian fit - very thougtful bidding.

    1H-2C; 2H-2S; 4D-4H; 4S-5C; 5H-P In this auction, 4D is def. a splinter for spades. I think you should always re-bid 2H w/4 hearts - it conserves bidding space and does not deny 4 spades so you can easily still find your spade fit.

    On the last auction, unless you have discussed it I think 3H is non-forcing.