• eBulletins

Eight-card suits

Posted by Rakesh Kumar on Sunday, 20 July 2014 at 00:01

"What's an 8-card suit?" "Trumps!" That's one of David Beauchamp's more memorable lines ... there was no shortage of 8-card suits on day 1 of the Butler, but oddly enough, the 8-card suit wasn't always great as a trump suit. Here's a hand from round 1 (board 12, NS vul) where the 6-3 fit was a lot better than the 8-1 fit:

In the Open, 16 of 36 pairs reached the making 6, but 5 of 7 in 6 failed. In the Women's 6 of 15 made 6.

The next exhibit is from round 3 (board 27, nil vul) but this time the siren song of the 8-card suit was merely an overture before the shipwreck:

There were some who got away with it, but 7 of the 11 who bid 6 in the Open went down, as did 2 in the Women's.

In round 4, North was dealt 8-card club suits twice (!) and there was a lot of potential action. The first hand to report is board 8 (W dealer, nil vul) which at our table was opened 3.

This didn't look like a good time to overcall in clubs, so I didn't, but when East raised to 4 and it came back to me, I now bid 5, which was duly doubled. However, 5 always makes 10 tricks, and although 4 can go off on AK of diamonds and a diamond ruff, it's potentially a making contract on a spade lead, if South doesn't rise with the A and declarer guesses the hearts correctly. Scores in both the Open and the Women's were all over the place, mostly 4 but also 5x contracts, almost all going off.

Then came the tantalising board 10 (E dealer, both vul) which began with 1 at our table, followed by a 1NT overcall by partner. West raised to 3 and, feeling that I might bear some resemblance to Col Sanders' favourite bird, I bid a mere 3NT. 

However, East continued to 4, so I now pulled partner's double to 5. He gave it some thought, but that's where we played. It turned out that only 11 of 36 in the Open and 3 of 15 in the Women's reached the slam, which is bullet-proof if only one can get there .... on this occasion, David Beauchamp's advice would have been well worth taking, early in the auction!