Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bidding 'em Up in Palo Alto **+

Jenn and I played in a two-day KO event in the annual Fourth of July Palo Alto sectional over the weekend.  We got to the finals but lost.  Here's a hand from our semifinal match.  I held, in fourth seat, neither side vulnerable:

♠  AT9x
♥  void
♣  AKJT9x

LHO dealt and opened 2 Diamonds.  Jenn overcalled 2 Spades and RHO passed.  What now?

I should have just gone right to 5NT, a grand slam force in spades.  This asks partner to bid a grand slam with two of the top three honors.  The only risk here was that Jenn had a lot of diamond losers, since RHO didn't raise diamonds, or she held three small clubs and might lose a trick to the queen.  I could foresee setting up the clubs to take care of her diamond losers.  But I thought I might get more information, so I cuebid 3 Diamonds.   Jenn now bid 3 Hearts, which RHO doubled.  What now?

I couldn't risk bidding 5NT since this might be for hearts, the last bid suit, even though it was doubled.  I was afraid to bid 3 Spades, since while this should be forcing, I sure didn't want to see a pass from Jenn which would have been a huge disaster.  So I stalled for time by repeating the cuebid with 4 Diamonds.  Jenn now bid 4 Spades.  Phew!  Now I could bid 5NT as an unambiguous grand slam force in spades.  Jenn duly bid 7 Spades, uncomfortably,  with

♠  KQxxxx
♥  Qxxxx
♦  Qx
♣  void

She had the worst possible holding, a club void, so the slam required some care in the play.   It would be awkward to try for 13 tricks on a straight cross-ruff missing the trump jack, so Jenn had to set up the clubs.  Her LHO led the ace of hearts, ruffed in dummy.  Jenn ruffed a club and played a spade to dummy, the jack falling singleton.  Now she had enough entries to ruff safely until the club queen fell (clubs were 4-3) so the grand slam made. 

All of this produced a push board, as they bid the grand at the other table also (they didn't use GSF, just  Blackwood, so were lucky that partner held the spade king and not the heart ace.)  We won the match by just 10 IMPs, so we had to bid and make this to get to the finals. 

Good luck!

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice hand. Congrats on second.