OCT_08_EB_p08-09 Bird_quiz 12/9/08 11:57 am Page 8
David Bird Bidding problems on page 1 of the pull-out at the centre of the magazine
1. N/S Game. Dealer East. WE start at the invitation IMP pairs held at 6♣. It is very unusual for a slam to be bid in
the Tallinn Festival. What response do you like the ‘fourth suit’.
for West here, 1♥ or 2♣? At the other table Orlovich (West) preferred
♠ 6 ♠ A J 10 3
♥ AKQ87 N ♥ 2 Both the West players featured on Bridge a fourth-suit 3♣ at his second turn and heard
♦ AKQ42 Base Online chose 1♥ and I agree with this 3NT from East. Even though this might be on
♣ 9876543 ♣ K Q 10 decision. Even though you hold 7-5 shape, you a stopper such as A-x, he advanced with 4♣.
are hardly worth a potential sequence of 1♦ – East cooperated with a cue-bid of 4♦ and West
West East 2♣ – 2♦ – 2♥. Also, of course, hearts is the then bid 6♣. A fine effort at both tables.
Laanemäe Karpov suit where your top cards lie. Both Easts made
1♦ the rare continuation of a game-forcing 2♠ s Awards: 6♣ (10), 5♣/3NT (5), 4NT (4).
1♥ 2♠ and now there was a parting of the ways.
2NT 3♣ Laanemäe bid 2NT and was surprised to hear
3♣ from his partner. He expressed his delight
at this development by leaping all the way to
2. Love All. Dealer West. This was the most spectacular deal from the auction.
quarter-finals of the US Trials for the Mind How would you play 6♣ when South leads
Sport Olympics in Beijing. the ♦A? Moss ruffed, cashed the ♥A, crossed
♠ K982 Michael Moss chose to respond in his to the ♣J and led a heart to the jack. South
♥ Q 10 6 2
♦ KQ83 longer suit, clubs, showing his hearts on the ruffed and returned a trump, killing the slam.
♣ 4 second round. Fred Gitelman could hardly bid At another table (after bidding 1♠ – 2♥, 2♠
♠ AQ7653 N
♠ Void 3NT with only 10-9-2 in the unbid suit, and – 3♣, 3♠ – 6♣), declarer started the same way
♥ 84 W E ♥ AKJ975 did not like to bid his moderate spades for a and then played a heart to the king on the sec-
♦ 10 9 2 S ♦ Void ond round – not a good line.
♣ AJ ♣ KQ76532
third time. I like his decision to give preference
♠ J 10 4 to clubs. To make the slam, you should ruff the dia-
♥ 3 Moss now leapt to 5♥, putting the finishing mond lead and play ace and a low heart.
♦ AJ7654 touches to the description of his two-suiter. Nothing can then prevent you from ruffing a
♣ 10 9 8 Since the bidding was already forced to 6♣, he heart in dummy when the 4-1 heart break
hoped that his partner would bid a grand slam comes to light.
West East when holding the ♥Q and ♣A (or perhaps
♣A-x-x and a doubleton heart). On his actual s Awards: 6♣ (10), 7♣ (8), 6♥ (7), 7♥ (5),
2♠ 3♥ holding, Gitelman did not feel he could bid a games (4).
4♣ 5♥ grand with any confidence. He displayed his
5♠ 6♣ uncertainty by cue-bidding in spades. East
then signed off in 6♣ to complete an excellent
3. Love All. Dealer South. We move now to the final of the US Trials, with a second-round control, and to cue-bid
with Strul facing Nickell. South opened with a (either in diamonds or another suit) with first-
weak 2♦. Rodwell chose to overcall 4♥. What round diamond control.
♠ A K 10 ♠ Q5 sort of hand does this show, would you say? It seems a borderline decision to head for a
♥ K Q J 10 7 6 5 N ♥ A3
W E The jump to 4♥ shows a strong hand. It is a slam on the East hand and Meckstroth did
♦ Q S ♦ 6543
well-established principle that you do not bid indeed think for a long time. He eventually
♣ 92 ♣ AK853
‘weak over weak’. In other words if you have a emerged with the winning bid of 5♥, convert-
moderate hand with great shape, you do not ed to 6♥ by his partner. No doubt a key reason
West North East South
Rodwell Becker Meckstroth Strul leap to the skies over an opponent’s pre-empt. for East to advance was that he held four dia-
2♦ So, Meckstroth could expect a fair hand monds, making it very likely that partner was
4♥ Pass 5♥ Pass opposite. One possibility now was a raise to short in the suit.
6♥ 5♥. It is generally agreed that this asks partner
to pass with no diamond control, to bid 6♥ s Awards: 6♥ (10), games (4).
8 English Bridge October 2008 www.ebu.co.uk