David Bird Bidding problems are on page 29
1. Game All. Dealer North. We start at the 2010 Vanderbilt, contested in When 3t is doubled by Helness, who
Reno, Nevada. In the third seat Geir holds the tQ and wants a diamond lead,
´ AKQJ ´ 10 4 Helgemo opens 1t on tK-J-10-8-3 and an Sadek redoubles to show the tA. His part-
N ner then leaps to 6™, a contract that was
™ AQJ98 W E
™ K6532 outside jack. Walid El Ahmady doubles and
t 74 S t A92 Tarek Sadek responds 2™. This is non- claimed at trick one.
® A2 ® Q53 forcing but suggests around 8-10 points. If North had not doubled 3t, East would
Too strong to raise to game, West shows his be entitled to show his diamond control by
West North East South
El Ahmady Helness Sadek Helgemo
strength with a bid in the opponents’ suit: cue-bidding 4t and again the slam would
Pass Pass 1t 3t. A change-of-suit by the doubler over a be reached.
Dble Pass 2™ Pass jump response (2´ or 3® over 2™) would
3t Dble Rdbl Pass be forcing. West’s 3t therefore agrees hearts n Awards: 6™ (10), games (6), 6NT (3),
6™ as trumps. grands (1).
2. Game All. Dealer South. This deal is from the final of the Vanderbilt. 3´ out.
Geir Helgemo doubles 1t and hears a 1´ The lie of the cards rewarded the Nor-
´ 10 7 5 4 3 2 ´ AQ6 response followed by a 2t rebid. What wegian stars for their caution. North led ace-
™ 65 N ™ AK872 should he do next? king and another diamond, ruffed with the
t 832 S t Q 10 Helgemo doubled again, still for take-out. ´6 and overruffed by South with the single-
® Q3 ® AK5 This showed extra values and denied four- ton ´9. Declarer won the heart return,
card spade support; otherwise he would reached his hand with the ®Q and took a
West North East South have raised spades instead. Helness rebid his successful finesse of the trump queen. North
Helness Levin Helgemo Weinstein still had a trump trick, so only nine tricks
spades at the minimum level and I was
Pass 1t Dble Pass interested to see Helgemo’s next move. were made.
1´ 2t Dble Pass Most people think that the top players bid The spade game is a good one, on the bid-
2´ Pass 3´ very aggressively, particularly when a vul- ding. Since I am not a result merchant, it will
nerable game will be the prize. Helgemo bid receive the top award.
a gentle 3´ and Helness might well have
raised with his six-card suit. No, he passed n Awards: 4´ (10), part-scores (6).
3. E/W Game. Dealer West. had just won the Vanderbilt in Reno and along with four trumps, and the slam could
Volcker’s team had beaten that of Bessis in not be made.
´ AJ42 ´ KQ85 the semi-final of the French Open trials! What lessons can we learn from this? The
™ A 10 4 N
™ K65 Bessis rebid 4®, a splinter bid to show a first is that slams (and games) bid on a 4-4
t AK874 S t 10 2 sound raise to 4´ including at most one fit are nowhere near as good as those on a 5-
® J ® K972 club. Volcker cue-bid his heart control and 4 fit. A 4-1 trump break may well cause
Bessis invoked Roman Key-card Black- problems in the play. East held only four
West East trumps and therefore had no reason to bid
wood, hearing of one key card (the ´K). His
1t 1´ continuation of 5™, the cheapest non- enthusiastically.
4® 4™ trump bid, asked for the queen of trumps. A splinter bid suggests that there will need
4NT 5t East would bid 5´ without that card, ending to be a very good fit in the splinter suit for a
5™ 6´ the auction. Since he did hold the trump slam to be good (unless partner has consid-
queen, he leapt to 6´. erable extra values). As I see it, East should
We move next to the White House Juniors The slam was not as good as it may seem. have signed off in 4´ at his second turn.
tournament in Amsterdam. Although North did hold the ®A, so declarer was able
Thomas Bessis and Frédéric Volcker qualify to set up a discard for dummy’s heart loser. n Awards: 4´ (10), 5´ (8), 6´ (6), 3NT (5).
as ‘juniors’, Bessis was part of the team that South held only two diamonds, however,
14 English Bridge August 2010 www.ebu.co.uk