BRIDGE BY THE LAKE

By Ken Masson

 

Missing a makeable slam is one of the more painful experiences in bridge. Of course, bidding a hopeless slam is not much fun, either! This is an area of bidding that often confounds less experienced players who regularly launch into the Blackwood convention at the slightest hint of extra values. But, as Easley Blackwood himself often stated, his invention was designed to stay out of bad slams, not get to good ones!

In this month’s hand, which herself and myself (sitting South and North respectively), played at the Lakeside Bridge Center, our use of another popular convention helped steer us to the optimum contract. South opened the bidding 1 heart and North immediately had visions of (at least) a small slam. After all, he had a very powerful hand of his own with 5 good trumps, 16 high card points and great outside controls, you could say it looked like a slam-dunk.

West passed and North bid 2 no trump, the Jacoby Convention that announced the combined values for game (or higher) with hearts as trump and asked for a further description of South’s hand. Holding a minimum opening bid, and with no extreme shortness (a void or singleton) in any outside suit, South made the correct descriptive rebid of 4 hearts. Other rebids that South could have made included: 3 no trump (intermediate values, no shortness) 3 hearts (maximum values, no shortness), 3 clubs, 3 diamonds or 3 spades, each showing a singleton or void in that suit.

4 hearts was not the response North was hoping for so he paused for some contemplation. It is generally agreed that at least 33 points (including distribution points) are required for a small slam in a suit. A jump to game by partner was the weakest rebid she could have made. The very good trump fit would only be useful if one hand or both could ruff a number of losers, but since North had no extreme shortness either, he reluctantly felt obliged to pass.

West led a low club which declarer ducked in dummy. East won the King and returned the suit, won by dummy’s Ace. Trumps were now drawn, ending in the closed hand. Declarer now cashed the Ace and King of spades, crossed to dummy’s Ace of diamonds (maybe the singleton King would appear!) cashed the Queen of spades, pitching a club from hand and conceded a diamond trick – making 5.

Had South rebid anything but 4 hearts, North would have felt comfortable with continuing on to the 6-level at least. Even showing a minimum, it was still possible, if unlikely, that a slam could be made, but it would have been a complete guess. Fortunately, the use of the Jacoby 2 No Trump Convention had proved invaluable in this deal.

And, also noteworthy, the Blackwood Convention would have been absolutely useless in getting to the best spot.

Questions or comments: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

bridge-july2010

Pin It

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Bridge By The Lake  By Ken Masson December 2017 Bridge By The Lake October 2017 Bridge By The Lake April 2017 Bridge
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The great thing about duplicate bridge is that it reduces the luck factor in the game. Every hand in matchpoint
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The Annual Valentine’s Sectional Bridge Tournament in Ajijic was once again a big success this February. 
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   Sometimes, despite holding a wealth of high cards, you will reach a slam and when dummy comes down you will
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals