Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 29th, 2021


ClarksburgSeptember 12th, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Good morning Bobby
This hand seems to cover a lot: hand evaluation, bidding agreements, bidding judgement, form of scoring, and perhaps even “where’s that Queen?”
N KQ10875 108 A2 953
E 6 52 KQ1065 K10876
S 42 QJ9764 987 Q2
W AJ93 AK3 J43 AJ4
Neither VUL, West dealer
Should West downgrade (flatness) and open 15-17 1NT ?
Facing West’s 1NT, does East have enough to show a “GF, both minors”
If East did show GF both minors, should West take a shot at minor-suit slam at IMP scoring?

North interfered with natural Two Spade call. If in a 6D contract, and as the cards lie, does playing the Club suit essentially come down to a guess? Or is there some way to infer that South’s doubleton club is Qx?

How would your auction go?
Many thanks.

Iain ClimieSeptember 13th, 2021 at 8:15 am

HI Clarksburg,

FWIW in 6D I’d take the SK, knock out the DA, take the H or trump return, draw a 2nd trump keeping the DJ in hnd if a heart were returned and then run the C10 playing North for short clubs (wrong but lucky). If the C10 holds with North followign then I’m home by drawing the last trump and repeating the C finesse, coping with C4-1. If the C is covered, I’m cashing another club, coping with South having CQ9xx and 3 trumps as well as C3-2.



bobbywolffSeptember 13th, 2021 at 5:58 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Sorry for the delay, but my computer has been out for almost two full days.

No I would not downgrade since, if anything I might upgrade to 2NT because of togetherness of very high honors, but will settle for an opening of one club, followed by 3 clubs by partner over either a 1 or 2 spade overcall, then only 3NT by South.

The play of the clubs is pretty much an even money guess, between A of clubs from hand, then a finesse, or originally the 10 of clubs, and if covered by the queen then returning to dummy to finesse the nine, especially if North had overcalled 2 spades.

I realize I would go set either way, if East does cover the 10, but his having Q9xx IMO, instead of him having only Qx, but, in truth it depends who the opponents are and what I think is East’s mindset, as well as being at the table when the cover is made.

Finally, NO, East does not have enough to force to game over a 1 club opening, but does if partner opens 1NT by whatever bid shows both minors, but then says no to slam suggestions.

Sorry for you, the person you chose to answer was the wrong one!.

bobbywolffSeptember 13th, 2021 at 6:07 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, I agree with your handling of the clubs at either matchpoints or IMPs (not crucial) if North was not playing a slam. And of course, by leading the 10 first might only lose to a singleton queen with North, not a disgrace, because of the preempt.