BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

Slam bid­ding is an im­por­tant part of bridge. Al­though they are in­fre­quent, it is nec­es­sary to bid at least some of the good ones, es­pe­cially in teams com­pe­ti­tions. There are four ba­sic types of slam. The ones with two flat­tish hands and at least 33 hcp can be bid by all but the most in­ept. The ones where one part­ner shows a short­age, of­ten by a splin­ter bid, re­quire the nous to re­alise they are, in prac­tice, deal­ing with a 30-point pack and the point count re­quire­ment has de­clined to 28-29 when there are no wasted val­ues op­po­site. The third kind is where one player has a very long, strong suit and needs to iden­tify a few spe­cific cards in part­ner’s hand. Th­ese are of­ten very dif­fi­cult since the auc­tion may need to start with 2C and then need a jump to set a suit. Of­ten 1C sys­tems are bet­ter with th­ese hands. The fourth type of slam hand is where there are two long suits with one in each hand. Th­ese can be easy to bid but only if you have good agree­ments.

Many pairs use jumps over a mi­nor as a weak bid for du­bi­ous gains and re­gret it when they miss an easy slam like this one. When North makes the strong jump shift and South sup­ports spades, an ex­change of cue bids is made. South knows about the good spade suit, the 1st or 2nd round club con­trol and the lack of a heart con­trol in the North hand and in­vokes RKC. North shows 0 or 3 (clearly 3) key cards and then the QS and no side suit kings so South bid the slam and 13 tricks were made on the QC lead. At my ta­ble, they were play­ing weak jumps in the 5-9 range so that 1D-1S-2D-2S would be in­vi­ta­tional and 1D-1S-2D-3S would be forc­ing but when South bid 4S nei­ther had enough in­for­ma­tion to go on it seems. There is an­other class of two suited slams where each part­ner has a mod­er­ate five card suit and the other has sup­port. Th­ese hands are of­ten best ex­pressed with a fit jump (in pref­er­ence to Ber­gen) but that will be in a fu­ture col­umn.

Teams, both vul, Dealer South

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