Bidding Judgment by Andrew Kambites
Judgment in Slam Bidding
THE SECRET of bidding good suit slams be made with relatively few points. East
is less counting points and more the avoids confusion by agreeing trumps with Principle: If partner is known to be
ability to diagnose fitting cards in the 3™, hears a 4® cue-bid and then uses short in a suit, the ace is a good card.
bidding. Roman Key-Card Blackwood. 5® shows 0 Queens and jacks are likely to be
Consider Layout A: or 3 key cards (clearly three, the ™A-K and useless. Even the king could have no
the ®A). 5NT asks for specific side-suit value if opposite a singleton.
kings and 6t shows the king of diamonds.
Layout A East can now count thirteen tricks.
´ 32 ´ A765 The point of this deal is that the tQ-J The ability to hold a dialogue with partner
™ AK865 N ™ QJ2 and ´K-Q-J are missing and it doesn’t (as opposed to a monologue) is key to
t K S t A82 matter! delicate slam bidding. Suppose South opens
® AJ862 ® KQ3 Now contrast Layout B: 1´ and North jumps to 3´ (East-West
silent). For many players there are only
three possibilities: Pass, 4´ and 4NT. Each
West East Layout B of these bids is unilateral; for example,
1™ 1´ ´ 2 ´ KQJ8 4NT says: ‘I am taking control. Tell me
2® 2t ™ AK865 N ™ QJ2 how many aces or key cards you have and
3® 3™ t 32 S t QJ6 I will decide.’ More subtle players involve
4® 4NT ® AJ862 ® KQ3 partner with cue-bidding, Often they use
5® 5NT it to find out about a specific card and
6t 7™ (or 7NT) then take control; for instance, consider
West East Layout C:
2t is fourth suit forcing. Any bid at the 1™ 1´
three level after fourth suit should be game 2® 2t
forcing, so 3® is game forcing, showing 5-5 3® 3™ Layout C
shape. After 3® East has every right to be 4® 4™ ´ AK9865 ´ Q J 10 2
excited about his hand. He has filling ™ Void N ™ Q96
honours in partner’s suits and aces in There may be other ways to bid the East t 65 S t A872
spades and diamonds, opposite shortage. hand but East certainly should not venture ® A K 10 7 2 ® Q6
This is just the sort of deal where slam can beyond 4™.
PAB = BAM = 2-0-1 1´
A New Way to Play Teams Bridge
GET READY to enjoy a different way to play teams! The second Friday at the Brighton West checks up to see that there are not
Congress will feature a Point-a-Board (PAB) event – what they call BAM (Board-a- two top diamond losers, then settles for
Match) in the United States, where it is extremely popular. the unbeatable slam.
The format is also known as ‘2-0-1’ from its scoring: on each board, only two However, Layout D shows a more
points are at stake – you gain 2 if your score is higher then the opponents’ (even by sophisticated version of cue-bidding:
only 10 points if, say, you are in 1NT making for +90 and your opponents were in
1´ making for +80). If you score less than your opponents, you get zero, and if your
score is the same as theirs you get 1 point each. Layout D
The result is that, although you are playing teams, the tactics are a lot closer to ´ AK8754 ´ Q932
pairs, which adds interest to the game. ™ A7 N ™ Q94
In the next issue, David Gold (who is a distinguished supporter of this format) will t 74 S t AQ5
tell us more about what it takes to do well in a PAB event.
® AQ7 ® J32
40 English Bridge April 2013 www.ebu.co.uk