דף 1 מתוך 96
By Ken Rexford
Ruth has been collecting some slam hands from the past month of local
club games for analysis. Here goes!
3-17-11 ♠ 8
DLR: W ♥ K 7 4 3
VUL: all ♦ A 10 3
♣ A K Q 10 9
♠ 9 ♠ Q J 10 7 6 5 3
♥ Q J 10 8 ♥ 9 6 2
♦ J 9 6 5 ♦ 8
♣ 8 7 6 2 ♣ J 3
♠ A K 4 2
♥ A 5
♦ K Q 7 4 2
♣ 5 4
This deal resulted in one pair reaching 6NT, making 13 tricks. Two
pairs languished in 3NT (one making 12 tricks, the other 10 tricks).
The theme for the bidding is that 16 opposite 16 is sometimes very
tough to handle, especially with competition. Neither side has enough
to launch into slam exploration alone, and cooperation is therefore
West passes, of course. North has a strong, unbalanced hand. With 16
HCP and a stiff, the hand values up to 19 points if a fit can be found.
Plus, all of the cards seem to be “working,” meaning that nothing really
is stray and abandoned. But, what else other than opening One Club?
דף 2 מתוך 96
East now has the chance to mess with the auction. Seven spades surely
demand attention, especially with 3-1-2 on the outside. 7-2-2-2 is not
as strong a position. All are vulnerable, so using the “4-3-2” analysis
(bid to within 4 tricks if favorable, 2 if unfavorable, or 3 if equal
vulnerability), with 8 losers, I like a 2♠ overcall. Higher is too risky;
passing is too timid.
If East does this, South probably should consider passing with the
right partner. When you are playing negative doubles, the “expert” way
is to have a pass here almost forcing Opener to reopen with a double.
Because South has four spades, this will increase the chances that
Opener has shortness in spades and thus increase the chances of a
reopening double. If South opts this, North in fact has an easy
reopening double, which will result in 8 tricks for North-south on
defense (assuming North ever leads a heart for South to ruff, which is
hard to not do), for down three (+800 to North-South).
That would not be the best possible result, because a slam makes. But,
+800 would have beat all of the folks not in slam, for a fair result.
Suppose, instead, that South makes a positive bid of Three Diamonds
after this Two Spades overcall. Forcing, with diamonds.
North, remember, has a 16-count if there is no fit, but he has prime
values if there is a fit, plus shortness (now known to be in the right
place), for 19 points (add 3 points for a stiff in the opponents’ suit with
a fit). A practical call after Three Diamonds by Partner would be for
North to blast out a “Splinter” of Four Spades. A “Splinter” is any
unusual jump (here, a jump cuebid past 3NT in the opponents’ suit
clearly is a Splinter bid), showing shortness with slam interest.
Back to South.
דף 3 מתוך 96
South dislikes the shortness in spades, to a degree, because his A-K
are now “wasted” for a diamond contract. But, if Opener is interested
in slam, 16 pure high card points and “primes” means that South should
accept the try anyway. “Primes” means Aces, King-Queen combinations,
and the like. As this is matchpoints, 6NT stands out.
South could ask for Aces on route, in case Seven Diamonds is possibly
there. I cannot imagine a good slam-bidding partnership stopping short
of slam, but I could imagine a few sad folks trying the wrong line in
3-17-11 ♠ 4 3
DLR: S ♥ K 10 9 8 5
VUL: all ♦ 7 5
♣ K 8 4 2
♠ Q J 5 ♠ A K 9 7
♥ A 2 ♥ 7 6 4 3
♦ K Q J 10 8 6 ♦ A
♣ A 5 ♣ Q 7 6 3
♠ 10 8 6 2
♥ Q J
♦ 9 4 3 2
♣ J 10 9
This deal involves primarily a question of evaluation. No one reached
the slam, all playing in 3NT. What went wrong?
South passes, and West opens One Diamond. After a likely pass from
North, East responds One Heart.
What should West rebid? With 17 HCP, and a great trick source in