Sunday, 6 November 2011


Thursday 3rd November 2011

After this hand Colin said he was going to publish it on the Bridge Base Forums, to see if anyone agreed with the way I bid. I like my bidding, even though the result was a disaster.

Love all
S deal
♠ K 9 5
♥ J 8 4 3
♦ K Q J 5
♣ A 7
♠ J T 8 4
♥ 2
♦ 8 7 6
♣ K Q T 6 3
♠ -
♥ K T 7 5
♦ T 9 4 3 2
♣ J 8 5 4
♠ A Q 7 6 3 2
♥ A Q 9 6
♦ A
♣ 9 2
-2♦ - 3♥
-5♥ - 6♥
-- -

Colin had the big hand sitting South. He opened 1♠, and I shrewdly repied 2♦. Next Colin showed his big hand, and at least 5-4 shape with a leap to 3♥. Sitting North I now knew big things were happening. A massive double fit.

I reflected for a while then pulled a bold 5♥ bid out the bag.

It sets Hearts as trumps, shows slam interest, and asks partner to bid the slam with good trumps (two of the top three honours). This wasn't something we've previously agreed, and when the opponent asked Colin the meaning he said "No idea" but swiftly bid six anyway, which turned out to be the right thing to do. 6♥ is an excellent contract.

When Colin saw this dummy I expect he was rather surprised, probably thinking we should be in 6♠.

West led a club, which Colin took with the Ace. Then he crossed to the ace of diamonds and tried to go back to dummy's ♠K, with the plan to throw away a Club. Unfortunately East ruffed this Spade, cashed a Club, then got another Heart trick later on. The result, 6♥-2 was a bottom. The rest of the field were either in 6♠= or 4♠+2. Why was no one in Hearts? Don't they realise a 4-4 trump fit is better than a 6-3?

Whatever the contract, if Spades split there's 11 top tricks, and you can easily get one more by force in hearts. Either slam should be fine.

Although I was slightly worried about suit quality in 6♥ that doesn't mean it should't be trumps. If there's a suit we've each got four of then if we're not strong in that suit we're usually not making any slam. Actually on this layout in 6♠ you've got a trump loser but can discard two Hearts and a Club on dummy's Diamonds, and with the Heart finesse working you only lose one trump. In 6♥ you have no Spade losers (barring a defensive ruff) so make if you only lose one trump.

In summary, I stand by my bid, it was just an unlucky deal. However it was a poor result and with this some other misadventures we didn't trouble the leaderboard that night.


We switched lunchtime bridge to a Monday, and were rewarded with a massive eight people. On my table England U25 International Graeme Robertson squeezed a tight game in on a 4-3 fit, then made the mistake of doubling me. Very fortunately for him, I went down one. Then he overbid to 3♠, surely it was time for some payback now?

Love all
E deal
♠ 9
♥ 7 4
♦ K J 8 6 4
♣ Q 9 5 4 3
♠ Q 6 5
♥ J T 8 3
♦ 9 7 3
♣ J 8 7 2
♠ A 7 2
♥ A Q 9 5
♦ Q T 5
♣ K 6 3
♠ K J T 8 4 3
♥ K 6 2
♦ A 2
♣ A T
2♥ - 3♥ 3♠
- - -

Robert sitting East dealt and kicked off the bidding by miscounting his points and opening a weak 1NT. This was doubled by Graeme as South. I was sitting West and had a rubbish hand, and with no agreements there was a small temptation to pass, but I remember a few weeks ago Colin did that and the result was 1NTx-6. So I tried 2♥. Robert didn't know if this was strong or not so bid 3♥, which goes loads off if doubled. But South bid 3♠ passed out.

Surely we were going to take this down?

Declarer has two trump losers, two hearts losers (unless he's allowed to ruff one), and a club loser. Diamonds are 3-3 but that doesn't help as there's no entries to get back to dummy.

I led a heart, which East won with his Ace. He shrewdly cashed the ace of spades to prevent a heart ruff then continued with hearts. Declarer won with his king, made some comment about definitely going down, said "I might as well try this" and played the king of spades. The queen did not drop, and he continued spades to my queen. I cashed a top heart and was still on lead, sitting West, with the position as below, declarer needing to win all the remaining tricks:

♦ K J 8 6
♣ Q 9 5
♥ 8 3
♦ 9 7 3
♣ J 8 7 2
♥ Q
♦ Q T 5
♣ K 6 3
♠ T 8 4
♦ A 2
♣ A T

I thought about leading clubs, as partner might have the ace and if I don't lead them we might never get that trick because of all dummy's diamonds. But then leading a club could cost the contract as I'm leading away from my Jack - in fact here it loses out if declarer guesses to play a low club. In the end I went for a diamond, which went to the Eight, Ten and Ace.

Now it looks like the only hope for declarer now is the diamond finesse. But first he ran all his trumps, discarding all the clubs from dummy. Then, in a very clever move, just before taking the Diamond finesse he cashed the ♣A, and miraculously West dropped the ♣J and East the ♣K, so his ♣T was high and the contract made. This is fair enough from East, he has to protect the ♦Q so had bared the ♣K. You might be thinking why didn't West protect his Clubs, and probably I should have, but had overthought it and kept all my Diamonds because I though that way declarer wouldn't know to drop the doubleton Queen of Diamonds (which doesn't exist, but that was my thinking).

Net result - duped by Graeme again.