Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Yes another slam from the Vanderbilt final

Oh no another slam.  Board 23 in the final was a loss for Grue.  It was the board just before the board where both pairs reached 7 down 1 and perhaps influenced the bidding on Board 24 in the Open Room.



















♠ J8742



With both vulnerable North, Delmonte opened 1 in third.  Martel bid 3 and Bakhshi made a slightly aggressive bid of 3 which gets high marks with me.  Stansby supported hearts and Delmonte reasonably bid 4NT keycard.  What should Bakhshi respond?

Do you show the heart void or not?  He chose not to and then ended in 5 .  Of course the best contract is 6 or even 7 .   It may be impossible to get to 6C from here though since if 6 is the response to show no keycards and a void.  I was trying to think about how this could have been handled differently.   One answer comes from the other table.

Here Weinstein with the “holey” spade suit made a negative double over 3 When Cheek bid 4 Levin just bid the club slam.  After all he didn’t need much from South.  So that brings up the next question.  If Levin bids 4NT now is it keycard for clubs, a grope for the right denomination or even (shudder to play).  I don’t think it is one or three so Levin really didn’t have a way to ask for keycards.  But if he had they would still have ended in the club slam.

So what do you think of bidding the not so hot spade suit with the South hand?  And how would you assign the blame for missing the slam in the Open Room.


Larry LowellMarch 22nd, 2011 at 10:45 am

I like the negative double with the holey spade suit. Surely partner has 2 or 3 kings.

Jeff LehmanMarch 22nd, 2011 at 2:04 pm

The big potential downside with the negative double on the South hand is having North leave the double in on a balanced hand and then finding that the South hand is contributing less than expected to the defense. I would chance that downside, given that the spade suit looks like a four-card suit, that the hand presents offensive potential in many different strains, and that the chance of a leave-in are not high (and might work out even if left in; consider, for example, if North has a 1 1/2 notrump hand).

The 4H raise perhaps makes the North hand easier to bid, as it brings into play some psychological issues. North can hardly be sure that 6C will make – although hoping partner has two black kings is not asking for too much – but the auction gives him a second way to win: even vulnerable the opponents might bid on to 6H.

Wrt the issue of Bakhshi’s response to keycard for spades: I would not show my void when I have no keycards, but would only show when I have one keycard or more.

Wrt the issue of what a 4NT bid by Levin might mean, I think the relevant advice is if he is not sure how the bid would be taken, then he shouldn’t make the bid!

Nick KrnjevicMarch 22nd, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Sympathize with Bahkshi’s decision not to risk defending 3H doubled.

And given that Bahkshi was a passed hand, there seems to be a pretty strong inference that his 3S call showed tolerance for clubs.

So 6C by Ish would have been a not unreasonable shot and will make opposite hands that won’t make 6s. For example, both spades can go on diamonds opposite. J987x-x-KQxx-Kxx.

Was unfortunate for Ish that this hand came before the 7D hand and not after. Had the order been reversed he would have undoubtedly shot out the club slam.

Jeff LehmanMarch 26th, 2011 at 1:47 am

If I had to pick a meaning for a 4NT call by Levin over the 4H raise, I think I would choose key card for spades (the last suit “bid”). This could be an attractive choice with AQJxx, x, x, AQJTxx (or convert one of the red suit singletons to an ace if you wish … if you would chance a nonforcing opening with such hand). Opposite one key card, sign off and hope to establish clubs via ruffs or finesse; opposite two key cards, bid 6S, opposite three key cards (yeh, sure … and might need p/s agreement about partner’s next call being to bid on should this hand signoff from concern that ambiguous response shows 0 key cards), can ask about CK to choose between 7S and 7NT. Only if partner is two or three small in clubs is grand on a finesse; must be a fair chance he has no more than one club which gives us chance to ruff out the CK.

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