By Bob Klein: This hand is another in a series demonstrating how it pays to bid aggressively with distributional 2-suiters. In an on-line IMP match, I dealt, with both vulnerable:
I wouldn't always open this hand, but I felt feisty and liked my intermediate spots, so I bid 1 Diamond. Partner bid 1 Spade, I rebid 2 Clubs, he rebid 2 Hearts (artificial game force), and I had an easy rebid of 3 Clubs. Partner now leaped to 6 Clubs! I passed, and LHO doubled. Now I wasn't so happy that I opened the bidding. He led the king of hearts, and I looked at:
Here I was in slam with 21 combined HCP, not all of them pulling their weight. Partner sure believed in 5-5, come alive!
How was I to find 12 tricks with this collection? With only 2 quick tricks outside of trumps, I needed either 10 trump tricks or another trick or two someplace. Now if this were the Spingold or a serious KO event, I might take 10 minutes or so to try to find the line with the best chance. But this was on-line bridge, where that would be impossible; the opponents would keep asking me to play, and would be wondering if I fell asleep!
I decided that 10 club tricks would be hard without the queen, so I looked around for other tricks. The jack of hearts might be a trick, or the fifth diamond or spade king. I decided to duck, hoping that either LHO would continue hearts or a possible squeeze might develop. LHO cooperated by continuing hearts, which I ducked to my jack. Now I started the cross-ruff by playing ace and another diamond, ruffed a spade, played a heart to the ace, holding my breath. It held. I ruffed another spade and another diamond. Only low cards appeared. I ruffed another spade and a fourth round of diamonds. On the last diamond, the king and queen appeared. Now I had to guess the ending. I was now looking at
If LHO had all 3 clubs, I had to ruff the spade with the king and play a diamond, overruffing him. This loses if he doesn't have the queen. Or I could just play the ace and king of clubs, playing for any 2-1 split, and taking the last trick with the jack of diamonds. I finally decided that LHO didn't need Qxx of clubs for his double, and in fact with that holding he might be reluctant to double for fear of giving away his holding. With KQT of hearts, Kxxx of diamonds and the ace of spades, that would be enough to double. If he had the queen of clubs also, he might have competed over 1 Diamond. I decided to play for 2-1 clubs, the slam came home, and our team was +1540. At the other table, they got all the way to 3 clubs for +150, so +1390 was worth 17 big IMPs.