BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

Al­though re­lay bid­ding sys­tems can per­form well with one per­son ask­ing ques­tions and mak­ing all the de­ci­sions, nat­u­ral bid­ding sys­tems do bet­ter if the auc­tion is a con­ver­sa­tion rather than a one-sided de­ci­sion mak­ing process. Too of­ten one per­son ex­er­cises ‘cap­taincy’ but they don’t have the cru­cial cards and never find out about them. This hand is one where the fi­nal de­ci­sion is not made by ap­par­ent cap­tain. South opens 1S and North in­vokes a ver­sion of Ja­coby 2NT where 3C shows all min­i­mums so the 4C bid shows ex­tras and a club short­age. This is a good method be­cause it goes to­wards re­fin­ing opener’s range, which many sim­ple re­sponse schemes do not, and helps with game or slam de­ci­sions. Since South has shown a non-min­i­mum hand (say 14+), North can see 22+hcp in the three suits other than clubs and no club losers. This sug­gests that slam is, at worst, on one top loser and a fi­nesse but could easily be much bet­ter.

South now asks for key­cards and finds two plus the queen of trumps and might easily bid 6S as hap­pened at many ta­bles. How­ever, it does no harm to bid 5NT con­firm­ing that all key­cards are held. Part­ner will nor­mally bid a side suit king at the six level but is also per­mit­ted to jump to 7S with an undis­closed source of tricks. With the good di­a­mond suit, South jumped to the grand slam. This con­tract would have been pre­car­i­ous with­out the jack of di­a­monds but as it is, de­clarer can easily man­age trumps be­ing 2-2 or 3-1 (90%) and di­a­monds be­ing 3-3 or 4-2 (84%) by ruff­ing two clubs and mak­ing four trumps, five di­a­monds and the aces of hearts and clubs. With­out the jack of di­a­monds, de­clarer would need di­a­monds to be 3-3 and, fail­ing that. The club fi­nesse to be on­side which is about 68% and not quite good enough for a grand slam.

Still the les­son here is to have meth­ods whereby both of you can make the fi­nal de­ci­sion.

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