Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

A Corridor Hand

The Kingston Regional was a lot of fun.  I played in my first Midnight Game in quite a while and my team managed to eek out a victory against the Smith team.  The hands were wild because half of them had been ghoulied (the half dealt at the Smith table).  The hospitality was great with free wine and beer and free food, good food.  One highlight was listening to Captain Paul’s lectures.  The one I listened to was on reverses and it reminded me that I hated reverse auctions that start with responder rebidding her major at the two level: you know 1D-1S-2H-2S.  The auctions always seem a bit difficult after that.

At a bridge tournament you always wind up trying to bid or play a hand when someone thrust some paper at you and your partner.  Here was a hallway hand that Jeff Smith gave Isabelle and me. You have X AKXXX Q 109XXXX

I force open you a few rules. You are playing 2/1 but 2C is not a game force if you bid 3C at your next opportunity. It shows a good club suit and invitational values in that auction.

Partner opens 1S and you bid? I bid 1NT (F) although during the discussion there was an argument for 2C by Marty Caley (who was prepared I assume to bid 3C later). Partner bids 2C! over your forcing notrump and RHO bid 2D. Partner’s bid shows 2+ clubs but partner will only have 2C when 5-3-3-2 so if they have 2 clubs they must have 3 hearts. What now intrepid readers?

I made an outré bid I admit of 4D. I was taking a bit of a risk that partner had 3C at least. I think 3C (Jeff’s bid) is very reasonable. Let’s follow this path for a while. Over 3C it goes 3D and partner bid 3NT. Your bid?

Did you find the master bid of 4H? Partner has to have at least 3 hearts or 3 clubs so you have a place to play this hand and it just seems to me that when you are 6-5 you want to play a suit contract. Over 4H partner will likely bid 5C and you will play there although partner who was 5-2-2-4 with the KQJX of clubs and both missing ace might get the idea and bid 6C. 4H is such a wild bid it must show some sort of shape like this even if it is a bit inconsistent with the 3C bid.

Back to 4D, Isabelle who was bidding the hand with me bid 4S over 4D and I just couldn’t bid 6C with such lousy clubs and we subsided in 5C. As it turned out 5C works best because the opening lead is a stiff heart and when his partner wins the CA he gets a heart ruff, very unlucky. Passing 3NT was not a winner since you do not have enough tricks without the club suit and you only have a single diamond stopper. I told you not to play 6-5 in notrump.

Isabelle and I got to a few very neat slams. Here is one auction from Sunday. Here is Isabelle’s hand. S xx H xx D KQ109xxx C QX. You are vulnerable. The auction starts 3S on your left. 4H by partner, 4S your call? Isabelle bid 5D. It went 5S on your left and 6C from partner – what is she doing to you? Is 6C a grand slam try? I think 6C is pick a slam but in any case you are going to bid 6D. It goes double all pass. I held

S x H AJ109xx DAJ CAKxx

After the lead of the SA the slam is fairly easy but I believe clubs break so you are okay on an unlikely heart lead. However a trump lead will beat the hand.

Of course we did have some problems.  Here is a hand I got wrong but it seemed very reasonable at the time. 

You have Ax A10xxx AQxxx x. This time you are not vulnerable. The auction starts

You Opp Partner Opp

1H Pass 1S 2C

2D* Pass 2S 3C


* usually denies 3S

What do you like now?

Marty Caley suggested double which keeps all your options open. The choice at the table was 3D. How do you like that?

Here is the other hand

Kxxxxx QJ K10x xx. Would you take a bid on that hand now? As you can see 5D is laydown, 4H is a good contract and 4S (probably the third best) is decent too.

As partners said you have three makeable game contracts, you should find one. We played in 3D.

Overall I think we both felt very good about our play and I hope it will give us confidence for the very important bridge next week in Montreal.

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