Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

What a difference a preempt makes

I was watching the Buffett cup today and this fascinating hand arrived. It has two interesting lessons. Here is your chance to shine. In this case you are Zia and you are representing the US. Everyone is vulnerable and you are dealt.

♠ 86
♥ KQ76
◊ 3
♣ QJ10763


On your right Lindqvist opens 1◊. What do you do?

If you are Zia you bid 3♣ and this has an amazing effect. (The same action was taken by the American in the other match to the same effect). Brogeland holds

♠ AQ2
♥ AJ1043
◊ Q92
♣ K9

He bids 3♥ over your 3♣ bid and hears his partner bid 3NT. It would take a very brave man to take any action now.

Lindqvist holds

♠ KJ3
♥ 9
◊ AK1084
♣ A542

You can see that 6◊ is pretty well cold and 7◊ has a play. Now here is the second lesson. One I have learned through bitter experience. In the other room the auction started out like this (his time with no opposition bidding).


West East
1♥ 2♣
2♠ 3NT
4◊ 4♠
4NT 5◊ (0 or 3)

Back to the Brogeland hand. What do you do now? You know that partner has presumably something like 2-2-5-4 or 1-3-5-4. You have all the top controls. But, 3NT does not show extra values. Your 2♠ bid was a game force and partner jumped to game. He doesn’t have a fit and he doesn’t have a lot extra. My bitter lesson is that I want at least 13 tricks to bid a grand. I reason is that an amazing amount of the time the opponents don’t even bid the small slam.

I don’t think you can really count 13 tricks here. You need some kings. I am not sure it is even with a grand slam try. But at the other table the West hand jumped to 7◊

As it turned out it could not be made on the lie of the cards. It isn’t that great a grand either. Maybe Bob McKinnon if he is reading this can give me the percentages. The result: the USA lost this board when 7◊ went one down.

  ♠ 109754  
  ♥ 852  
  ◊ J764  
  ♣ 8  
♠ AQ2   ♠ KJ3
♥ AJ1043   ♥ 9
◊ Q92   ◊ AK1085
♣ K9   ♣ A542
  ♠ 86  
  ♥ KQ76  
  ◊ 3  
  ♣ QJ10763  

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