Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seattle slams

Above: The spillway at the Chittenden Locks is a popular Seattle tourist destination. It has a fish ladder that allows salmon to circumnavigate the dam.

Kate and I bid several slams at the North American Bridge Championship that just concluded in Seattle. We play a big club system (our version of Precision Club), and it's awesome for bidding slams.

Look at the deal below (rotated) from the first Sunday Fast Open Pairs, board No. 8 in the first session:

Kate's 2 bid was a transfer positive showing 5+ diamonds and game-forcing values. At IMPs, I would have bid 2 to set trumps and ask about controls. Because it was matchpoints, however, I had to introduce my good five-card heart suit. Over my 3 bid, Kate bid out her pattern because on some layouts, I would have to give a false preference. My hand is only 16 high-card points, but turned into a monster as the auction unfolded.

My left-hand opponent, Dick Budd, led a spade, but it didn't matter. The 6 contract is cold with any lead.

I wonder how the auction would go playing standard 2/1 methods? We scored 32- on a 35 top for getting to slam.

Above: No beauty and the beast jokes, please. Photo taken by Jonathan Steinberg.

Top photo taken with my Canon EOS 40D.


  1. Let me take a whack. Here's how it could go playing 2/1:

    1H - 2D (game-forcing)
    3D - 3H (Is 3H is a cue-bid with diamonds as trump? This could be tricky and you have to hope it's not treated as heart support)

    Now, south knows this has to be void in hearts, so he can "see" spade losers going away on the hearts and should have all the information needed to blast to 6D.

    Partnership misunderstandings about what 3H means is probably the reason for your 32/35 matchpoints.

    Some norths would avoid 3H because of this. If so, North should raise to 5D and South with his extras could bid 6D.

  2. No jokes at all. Well, except to say that I'm a 110% believer in the Bridge skills of these two handsome people!

  3. "No beauty and the beast jokes, please."

    Not like I was thinking that or anything ... : o )

  4. If North responds 2D 2/1 (which is really a stretch), most Souths will find a way to force to slam (bid RKC), or splinter in clubs which should get North interested. A likely auction: 1H-2D-4C(splinter)-4D(nonminimum, real diamonds)-RKC-6D

    For most players, North does not have a GF hand. The auction will start 1H-1NT-2D
    At this point, North still does not have better than a heavy 3D raise, especially at matchpoints.
    South now bids 3S, which in my world should show 3541 pattern, although some may get cute and play it as stopper showing.

    If 3S is GF, North can bide time with 4D (positive) and we get the same as above. If 3S is not specifically GF, it's a little trickier, as North would actually have to bid 5D to show max, and South would have to make the call to bid 6.

    Then again, too many matchpoint hogs would have bid 3NT with the North hand at some point.