Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, March 14th, 2021


jim2March 28th, 2021 at 10:49 am

In today’s column, holding the “Michael’s Monster” hand after partner’s inquiring two notrump bid, what would 3S show?

Iain ClimieMarch 28th, 2021 at 11:14 am

Hi Jim2, Bobby,

Or 3N for that matter.



Iain ClimieMarch 28th, 2021 at 11:45 am

Or 3N for that matter?

bobbywolffMarch 28th, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Hi Jim2 & Iain,

I just finished a long and emotional reply to your question and it, before I could hit the send key, disappeared.

I’ll try again, but in it I went into the necessity of having an excellent partner who would rise to the occasion of understanding and performing up to high enough standards.

At this point, yes 3 spades is clearly the right bid, with nothing else even within the slightest consideration. Then over the expected 4 clubs, a simple 4 diamonds to let partner know which suits I possess and then both of us know it will be hearts.

A grand slam is in the hunt either way with only the guarded king of hearts being with the opening bidder the most likely lost trick. Having at least 10 hearts and the extreme likelihood of partner (while having clubs) is a huge favorite to possess no more than a singleton diamond, making a grand slam very likely (except for the heart king). IOW, partner figures to have at least a few spades and not forgetting that the opening leader if he turns out to be LHO (much better and might provide the key trick).

Otherwise at least one of the two opponents having so many spades between them would probably have either have rebid them or gotten initial support.

Yes, there is some speculation and on a terrible day partner will have either have more than one diamond (and not the king) but it is dollars to doughnuts that he will have enough spades to be very short in diamonds (assuming clubs is his other suit).

However, with a slippery partner, whether he might misread my 3 spade cue bid and go off the rails is always a chance and so I might just bellow 6 hearts and be done with it.

But that bellow certainly has no place in any partnership that any of the three of us would ever want to be subjected.

Summing up, at least to me I would never settle for less than a small slam, and give partner every chance to bid moe, and if not him, likely I who is only undecided between small and large.

My first suddenly erased response hit several different subjects leaving you two and me trying to remember exactly what.

In both cases 6 or 7 were the only two denominations to ever consider.

Finally, I’ll give 4 to 1 odds against partner having more than a singleton diamond in hand and with 10 trumps (or more, but not likely) in hand I like my chances for at least a small slam.

bobbywolffMarch 28th, 2021 at 3:52 pm

Hi again Jim2 & Iain,

My response was totally foolish, since I misread the original problem.

Simply put and to the point, I would, as Jim2 asked still bid 3 spades, showing a very good playing hand, but over a 4 club bid by partner only return to 4 diamonds, indicating additional strength and distribution, but still needing much help from partner to try for slam.

By that action it seems that you’ve at least tried to show what you have, but must leave it up to that good partner to then make a worthwhile decision.

Really sorry for wasting so much of your time by my misunderstanding, to which there is no excuse