Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES -

Slam bid­ding is a dif­fi­cult area for many part­ner­ships. Some of the dif­fi­cul­ties arise from the choice of bid­ding sys­tem. The hand op­po­site was easy to bid when EW were play­ing 2- over1 game force ( 2/ 1 GF). West’s 2D re­sponse was game forc­ing and East made a min­i­mum re­bid. A 3C re­bid would show at least a king more than a min­i­mum in terms of high cards. In most sim­ple bid­ding sys­tems, West now has a prob­lem since 3S is just in­vi­ta­tional, 4S is an un­der­bid and 4NT is a guess. Since this EW were al­ready in an FG auc­tion, West could sim­ply agree spades at the 3 level and have a con­ver­sa­tion about slam suit­abil­ity at the 4 level. This is the point of 2/ 1 GF bid­ding which solves the ‘‘ partscore or game’’ prob­lem with the first re­sponse and also cre­ates room to solve the ‘‘ game or slam’’ prob­lem. With a 7 loser hand, East would just bid 4S but, with 5 losers, East must show strong slam in­ter­est. By mak­ing a cue bid at the 4 level, East shows 6, or less, losers and slam in­ter­est.

♠The cue bid also shows a first or sec­ond round con­trol in that suit. West, sim­i­larly, shows slam in­ter­est ( 6 or less losers) and a con­trol in di­a­monds and East then shows a heart con­trol. Since both play­ers have now shown 6 or less losers, EW ex­pect to make a slam con­tract. West uses RKC and bids the small slam know­ing that there are 12 tricks no mat­ter which key­card is miss­ing.

This hand il­lus­trates the prob­lems in­her­ent in Acol and Stan­dard. In th­ese sys­tems, West would prob­a­bly in­vent a 3C bid to make the auc­tion game forc­ing be­fore agree­ing spades. How­ever, part­ner’s raise to 4C would leave West with a prob­lem. A bid of 4S would be pass­able and part­ner would re­spond to 4NT as if clubs were the agreed suit.

De­spite work­ing well on strong hands, 2/ 1 sys­tems have two draw­backs. Ac­tual 2/ 1 FG auc­tions are rare and the needed forc­ing 1NT re­sponse to one of a ma­jor con­tains a very wide range of hands.

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