Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Is this really that hard to bid? (from the Senior Camrose)

I was watching a bit of the Senior Camrose: Great Britain versus Scotland.  (Scotland hasn’t left Great Britain yet, has it?)  I know that sadly, bidding is most of the game these days.  And 22 of Great Britain’s 45 imps in this match was all about bidding two slam hands.  Have a look at this one.  In your methods can you reach the grand slam (hearts or notrump whatever you want) and KNOW you had 13 tricks.  Guessing doesn’t count.  You are not vulnerable against vulnerable.  North passes in opening chair and the opponents are silent throughout – you have a few rein.






Ray and I play Namyats so an opening four clubs bid with the East hand shows eight to about nine tricks with hearts as trump.  But I might stretch to it at this vulnerability (does Qxx count as a trick?)  If I do that we will get there in very few bids.  Ray transfers back to hearts (four diamonds) and then bids keycard.  And thinking I really do have eight tricks he can count thirteen tricks.

The Great Britain auction was similar.  East opened 3NT showing a solid suit and after a few bids once West knew that all the keycards were accounted for the slam was bid.  So there you have it, a grand is easy to bid.  But ..

The auction got more challenging in the Open Room. East opened one heart.  I am not sure of their methods but it appears that East showed a solid suit and all the keycards.  But West still couldn’t count thirteen tricks.  So let’s you and I try it playing two over one methods.

I open one heart and you bid two clubs.  I bid three hearts showing a solid suit (at least six) and establishes hearts as trump.  Suppose you bid keycard sometime soon and I show all of the missing ones.  You might take the position that if all I had was a bunch of hearts say seven to the AKQ I would have preempted four hearts and play me for some loose queens.  What do you think?  I am not sure of the Scottish methods but I believe they reached this point and the Scottish West did not take that inference.

It is awfully scary to bid a grand slam hoping your partner wouldn’t open at the one level with seven solid hearts and out but even then you do have twelve top tricks and as a lover of squeezes I go with the old saw “where there is twelve tricks, there must be a thirteenth somewhere.”  If you take that approach you would have won (or saved) eleven imps.





PaulMay 21st, 2012 at 3:40 pm

The Scottish East showed a solid or semi-solid suit in the auction but the real problem was that West had a “senior moment” with the key-card response.

West had bid four spades, kickback, to ask for key cards. East bid five hearts, showing two key cards and the queen. West, thinking this was a response to 4NT, believed they were missing the queen of hearts.

The Great Britain team is the pseudonym of the sponsor’s team. The Senior Camrose started five years ago under the patronage of Bernard Teltscher. For some reason they’ve changed the name of his team from the Patron’s Team to GB.

I believe discussions are on-going as to whether the competition will continue without patronage now that the initial five-year agreement has expired. I expect it will and will probably use the same format as the Open and Women’s events, where the host country provides the sixth team.

Oliver ClarkeMay 23rd, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Fairly simple for super-precision, as you might imagine. We play a relay in the cheapest new suit over the rebid after a Forcing 1NT as Trump Asking in Opener’s Major, and a relay over that response as general Control Asking. After that all the bids are suit-specific asks about the degree of control held in that suit:

1H 1NT
2H 2S (Gamma)
3NT (AKQxxxx) 4C (Beta)
4H (3 Controls) 4S (Epsilon)
5C (3rd) 5D (Epsilon)
5NT (2nd) 6C (Epsilon)
6H(3rd) 6S (Repeat Epsilon)
7D (Qx exactly in S) 7NT
All Pass

Over 6H: the 2nd round control of Diamonds must be a singleton and one of the 3rd round controls must be Qx or xx and the other must be Qxx. The simple way to find out is now to bid 6S. If partner has xx in Spades and Qxx in Clubs, then the response will be 6NT, which can be passed. If partner has Qx or Qxx in Spades, then any Club losers in Openers hand are now taken care of. (If Opener has Qx in Spades, then there are 2 discards available for the Clubs (K of Diamonds and the K of Spades), and if Opener has Qxx in Spades, then he can have at most 2 Clubs, and so only 1 discard necessary).


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