AUG_08_EB_p41 Landy 16/7/08 10:22 am Page 37
BIDDING to a making slam is not easy kill the only potential trick in your
even for experienced players. Less ex- partner’s hand.
perienced players find it difficult and • Leads to 3NT aim to take five tricks.
some never even try. But slams are an Against 6NT, we are hoping to take
exciting part of the game both for declarer two tricks. So leads to slams are often
and defenders, and neither side should different to leads to 3NT.
panic when one comes along. Consider • You do not need to play out your ace
this auction: of hearts at trick one. Since both ♠ KQ5
North and South have balanced hands, ♥ J95
West North East South our heart trick won’t disappear. ♦ AKJ9
1NT ♣ KQJ
Pass 4NT Pass 6NT Against 3NT you would lead the two of ♠ 10 9 8 ♠ 632
hearts, fourth highest of your longest suit. ♥ A832 N ♥ Q74
1NT shows 12-14 points. In Standard You would be hoping to set up length ♦ 642 S ♦ 10 8 3
English Acol, a 4NT response to 1NT shows tricks in hearts. But that would be wrong ♣ 10 9 8 ♣ 7643
about 20-21 points and asks South to bid against 6NT, where you only need to make ♠ AJ74
a slam holding a maximum 1NT. So with two tricks. Against a slam we often choose ♥ K 10 6
14 points, or a good 13, South went to 6NT. a passive lead, one that doesn’t give declarer ♦ Q75
On the hand below, you are West; it’s a trick. Let declarer struggle to find twelve ♣ A52
your lead. tricks!
Does the bidding give So what card should you lead from the
♠ 10 9 8 any clues? hand above? First count your tricks: four spades, four
♥A832 Are leads different I would choose one of my 10-9-8 diamonds and three clubs. Only hearts can
♦642 against slams? holdings. If North has a longer suit, it is provide the twelfth trick, so you have to
♣ 10 9 8 Which card should you more likely to be a minor than a major, so decide where the ace of hearts is! The
choose? I would choose the ten of spades. contract can be made. South leads the jack
Now look at the full deal (next column). of hearts from dummy; if East plays the
• The bidding does give you some clues Cover the East-West hands and plan how four, South has a guess – and if South does
about the North/South hands since you, as South, would play 6NT on the ten of not play the king of hearts, 6NT makes.
North did not jump straight to 6NT. spades lead. Remember to do a SWOT (= If West leads the ace of hearts at trick
• North, with 22 or more points, would assess your Strengths, Weaknesses, one, or if West leads the fourth-highest
know that North-South have at least Opportunities, and Threats) before you two of hearts, then South has no guess in
34 points between the two hands. With touch a card. hearts and 6NT always makes.
34 or more points, North-South are
missing at most two kings (or an ace
and a queen). While slam isn’t guaran-
teed, it should have a good play.
YOUNG CHELSEA’S ANNIVERSARY
• 4NT over 1NT did not ask about aces ‘PLAY WITH AN INTERNATIONAL’ PAIRS
(despite what many players think!). It A ‘Play with an International’ event was organised as part of the Young Chelsea Bridge
asked South to bid a slam with a Club’s 40th anniversary celebrations. The club has more than forty International
maximum 1NT, so South has shown members and twenty-six of them were invited (and agreed) to play in a special pairs
14, or a good 13, points to bid 6NT; event. They have represented nine different countries and ten of them are World and/or
with less South would pass 4NT. European Champions. A raffle was held to select their partners on May 8th, the actual
• North did not use Stayman or bid a anniversary date, and over £800 was raised for the Alzheimer’s Society, the charity cho-
sen for the YC’s anniversary year.
suit on the way to slam, so North has
a fairly balanced hand. The event itself was played on May 15th and the leading positions were: 1. Cameron
Small – Fiona Hutchison 65.7%, 2. Andrew Robson – Tim Gauld 59.1%, 3. David and
• You have 4 points; partner is likely to
Heather Bakhshi 57.7%, 4. Nicola Smith – Catherine Cardyn 56.7%.
have just 2 or possibly 3 points. You
want to make sure your lead doesn’t
www.ebu.co.uk August 2008 English Bridge 37