Monday, January 9, 2012

A remarkable hand

Tong Tjoa reported to the Bridge Bulletin (my favorite magazine) about the following hand he held in a regional team game. His partner opened 3 and he was looking at:

A K Q J 10 8 7 6 -- -- A K Q J 6.

Tong doesn't give the auction, but I assume from his commentary that he bid 7 directly. West led the A and here were the two combined hands:

Tong recognized the power of the 9. He ruffed the heart, played the A and ruffed a club in dummy. His careful play was rewarded when the opening leader had the A K, the A and five clubs to the 10!

Two points:
1. The opening lead that defeats the grand slam is a trump. West had a lot of information and perhaps should have figured this out. South must have long, solid spades and cards somewhere else, i.e. clubs. Am I being results oriented in thinking he might have worked this out?

2. When you have basically 13 tricks in your own hand, don't just jump to the grand. You should try to get doubled and a better approach is to bid 4NT. After North's response, then bid 7. West might think you've had a key card accident and double. If he tries to cash one of his aces, you have a surprise for him.


  1. If I had ever seen a hand that nice in my bridge playing days, I'd have fallen over in a dead faint. What a beauty. I agree with you that a 4NT bet might convince the opponents to double your bid however it might also tip the opponents off to lead the trump too.

  2. A trump lead is the standard lead against grand slams unless otherwise indicated.

    There is no safe sequence that allows you to bid blackwood. Over RHO's 3H, 4NT would be for the minors.

    13 tricks in your own hand is not enough to go slowly. Having spades helps, or else the opponents may figure out a cheap sacrifice.

  3. You might be describing an auto crash for all I know! :-)

    By the way, Misty Anderson made a comment on yesterday's Ocala DP post.

  4. #1, I agree that the standard lead is a trump.

    #2, 4NT seems to be a good bid, but only because your suit is spades. If it is hearts (for example), they may find their cheap spade sacrifice.

  5. You are not result-oriented to suggest a trump lead -- in fact any other lead is insane! People don't psych 7S so I would say your CT is much more likely to be the setting trick than either ace. Disappointing that the letter didn't mention the other table result.