• eBulletins

Not by the book ...

Posted by Rakesh Kumar on Saturday, 11 June 2016 at 22:30

The first day of the VCC was fun, friendly and full of slams. Slam bidding is, of course, a fine art. Top players invest enormous amounts of effort optimising their slam bidding methods. For the rest of us ... well, gut feeling is sometimes an adequate substitute. Otherwise, there's always guesswork as a reliable fall-back. Take this hand, for example, from Match 1:

At our table, my partner sitting East opened a strong 2 and I bid a waiting 2. He showed his heart suit, then we had a couple of misunderstandings as he thought I had agreed hearts, and so he offered me a choice of slams -- by bidding 7!!! On the club lead, I had to decide how to handle trumps, but fortunately they broke 2-2 with the queen onside, so the contract was proof even against me.

Another non-textbook bidding sequence occurred in Match 3. With a very shapely hand and plenty of playing strength but not that many high card points, I opened 1 and was surprised to hear partner make a weak -- albeit vulnerable -- raise to 4.

I guessed he must have 5 hearts to the ace and little else, and was probably thinking in terms of preventing the opponents from finding a spade contract because he had a singleton in that suit. That ought to make 6 a good prospect, I said to myself ... so I just bid it. When North led A, this became another very easy contract. But on a different lead ... I wonder if I really would have had the courage to run the 9?