Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, December 5th, 2021


Tim QuigleyDecember 19th, 2021 at 6:44 pm

I had 16 points: A9 spades, AJ863 hearts, Q8 diamonds, AJ74. I opened 1H, LHO bid 2S, and my partner bid 3S. I took that as inviting and bid 4H. We made 6. He said I should have taken it as game forcing since it obliged me to bid 4H and therefore should have cue bid. I don’t think we could have gotten to slam anyway if I bid 4 clubs. Blackwood is not helpful. First, is he right that 3S showed opening points and was therefore game forcing? Second, is there a way to get to slam on this hand? Thank you.

bobbywolffDecember 20th, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Hi Tim,

And welcome to Aces on Bridge.

Your partner, of course, was correct in suggesting that his cue bid of 3 spades, showing heart support was forcing to game since the logic of the game more than strongly, but absolutely, suggests that.

Next, the value of possessing 3 aces makes your hand even stronger than first thought, since having at least the first trick in three of the four suits (plus extras) should encourage you to drive to slam yourself, even opposite a minimum hand, for his original bid, your partner might have.

Carrying on, owning specifically the ace of the opponents suit is almost always a tremendous advantage, usually giving the declarer time to play the hand to best advantage, of course, opposite the game force to which your partner thought his hand is worth. Having a third spade in your hand would even make your hand stronger in being able to ruff with your partner’s little trump, often manufacturing an extra trick, by theoretically trumping in the short trump hand (if he started with fewer than five hearts).

Without going through a full auction since you didn’t disclose his 13 cards, making the full auction difficult to suggest, my advice is for you, after his initial game force, should, at least an attempt, to drive to slam yourself.

Your post, certainly including your main thoughts, needed to be asked, if for no other reason than to get an appraisal of just how excellent your specific cards were for eventually (if not sooner) reaching the slam level of bidding.

Thanks for your post and do not be a stranger, that is, if you want to improve your game, since this site is full of very high level players who tend to not only tell it like they see it, but are good enough to compete against the very best bridge players in the whole wide world.