DEC_EB_p14-15 Bird 16/11/07 10:10 am Page 14
David Bird Bidding problems on page 1 of the pull-out at the centre of the magazine
1. N/S Game. Dealer East. THE deal comes from the final of the 2007 tricks in no-trumps via a simple squeeze in
Australian Interstate Teams, with ACT fac- the minor suits. It was not, however, as
♠ 95 ing South Australia. It is not often that you good as a grand slam in either major suit,
♥ 85 hold 25 points when partner opens with a which would have been a 95% prospect.
♦ KJ964 one-bid. Quite rightly, Barbara Travis Playing in a major, you can overcome a bad
♣ J 10 7 4 responded at the one-level to hear some- club break simply by ruffing the ♦Q.
♠ AKJ3 ♠ Q 10 8 2
Hands where you have to judge the best
♥ AKQ3 N
♥ J 10 9 7 thing worthwhile from partner’s rebid. Bob
♦ Void Bignall’s 3♦ was a mini-splinter, showing denomination are notoriously difficult. If
♣ Q95 ♣ AK862 the values to raise hearts to the three level East had held the ♣J instead of the ♥J, you
♠ 764 and at most one card in the diamond suit. would rather be in 7NT than seven of a
What should West do now? major. Which contract did you choose?
♦ 10 8 7 5 3 2
♣ 3 On many deals it is right to play in 6NT
or 7NT, rather than in a suit. You may then I Awards: 7♠/7♥ – 10, 7NT – 8, 7♣ – 6,
West North East South have a chance of making the required tricks small slams – 3, games – 1.
Travis Vaughan Bignall Smart even when the suit that you might other-
1♣ Pass wise have chosen as trumps fails to break.
1♥ Pass 3♦ Pass Travis duly leapt to 7NT. This was indeed
superior to 7♣, as she proved by making 13
2. N/S Game. Dealer East. Next we see a very difficult board from a missing ace-queen and ace in his long suits
friendly match played between England and is unlikely to have two top losers in
(de Botton) and Norway (Hauge) at the spades in addition. The worry is that West’s
♥ J543 Brighton Summer Congress. 4NT might be based on a weakish hand that
♦ 63 Nick Sandqvist’s 4NT indicates two suits was aiming only at a sacrifice.
♣ K652 – we can all agree on that. What strength There is no ‘right answer’ in these situa-
♠ Void 84 ♠ does it show? While such a bid might well tions. You have to rely on your judgement.
♥ K9876 ♥
A Q 10 2
♦ K Q 10 7 5 4
A92 ♦ be based on a strong hand, it could also be Watching on Bridge Base Online, I certain-
♣ AJ ♣
10 9 8 4 used to initiate a sacrifice (particularly at ly expected Malinowski to raise to 6♥. At
♠ A K Q 10 9 7 6 3 favourable vulnerability). Not inclined to any other vulnerability, he surely would
♥ Void gamble that West held a strong hand, Artur have done (because of the increased likeli-
♦ J8 hood that 4NT was constructive). There is
Malinowski responded just 5♣.
West’s correction to 5♦ showed that he no easy solution to this bidding dilemma. If
West North East South held the red suits. What should Malinowski there was, the England stars would have
Sandqvist Saelesnminde Malinowski Svendsen do now? He has stronger support for a red known about it!
Pass 4♠ two-suiter and must have considered bid-
4NT Pass 5♣ Pass ding a slam. The main deterrent against I Awards: 7♥ – 10, 6♥ – 8, 6♦ – 7,
5♦ Pass 5♥ doing so is not the two spade losers. West is games – 3, 4♠ (South) - 1.
3. N/S Game. Dealer East. The deal comes from the semi-finals of the cards and indeed all three other East-West
2007 Spingold championship, contested in pairs did reach the poor slam. All credit to
♠ AJ732 ♠ KQ865 Nashville. Ao, therefore, who took note of the large
♥ A84 N ♥ 62 Wang’s 3♥ was a transfer bid and the number of losers in his hand. Realising also
♦ AKJ S ♦ 10 6 4 3NT rebid, a break of the transfer, showed that five-card trump support is not particu-
♣ QJ ♣ A75 excellent spade support. If East wanted to larly valuable when you have no singleton
sign off now, he would bid 4♥ – a ‘re-trans- in your hand, he signed off. Well bid,
West East indeed! Justice was done when only one of
fer’ to 4♠, so that the strong hand could
Pass play the contract. No, Wang could sniff a the minor-suit finesses was successful.
2NT 3♥ slam and cue-bid 4♣ instead. Many players
3NT 4♣ would now have bid a slam on the West I Awards: 4♠/3NT – 10, 5♠ – 6, 6♠ – 4.
14 English Bridge December 2007 www.ebu.co.uk