Lest you should think that I am too fixated on slams, let me assure you that I am. They are fun to bid and fun to play. But the main reason that I am writing this deal up is this: One week ago I wrote another chapter for “13 Tricks”. It involved bidding of very strong distributional hands, and I did not imagine for one moment that a very similar deal would occur at the club the very next week. Having read that chapter, the reader would have had little trouble arriving at the available grand slam, but only one of the nine pairs at our club did bid to it. Let’s have a look:
Board 2 from Thursday 15/03/2018
Dealer E NS Vul
After two passes, what should West do? While the West hand is no doubt good enough to open with a strong bid of some sort and force to game, it may be difficult to later describe its full shape or playing strength. An old fashioned strong 2♦ opening would be better, but hardly anyone plays the old ‘eight playing trick’ openings these days. I believe that the best way to describe the West hand is to open 1♦.
North does have enough to make an overcall of 1♥, and East has enough to bid 2♣. West can now bid 3♠ to show the full value of the hand and the likely 6-5 shape. West could also bid 4♠ but that may persuade East to pass, whereas bidding 3♠ and then 4♠ may be more meaningful. If North does not overcall (would you, at the given adverse vulnerability) then East will bid 2♣ and West has the same problem. Whatever happens, the West hand is good enough to force to game and show the 6-5 distribution. That should be of great interest to East, with the two aces and great diamond support. East now asks for aces and then bids 5NT which is always a grand slam try and guarantees all four aces between the hands. West, with six diamond tricks and five potential spade tricks can now happily accept the grand slam invitation and bid 7♦. Thirteen tricks in the bag!
While on the subject of “Thirteen Tricks” it is not too late to register and maybe learn something new and different that will improve your bridge if you are into reading and looking for new ways of doing things. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information or check out here.