Hand of the Week, Vol. 4 No. 3

Your partner opens 1NT, and your RHO passes. You are looking at:

S A Q 5
H K J 8 7 5 3 2
D T 8
C 7

Do you just see 10 HCP, or do you see potential for a slam if partner's hand fits well with yours? Signing off at 4H is very timid.

On the other hand, even if your partner has the necessary key cards, will you feel confident about the slam, or will you feel like you are gambling? Especially if one key card is missing, success is going to depend on your partner having working kings, not wasted values opposite your singleton.

The traditional use of the splinter bid is to show a game-forcing raise of partner's major, in a sequence like 1S-4C, but splinters are so valuable for deciding whether to try for slam that many partnership extend them to other auctions. The textbook meaning for 1NT-2D-2H-4C is shortness in clubs and at least six hearts, not Gerber. (If you wanted to ask for aces, you can either respond 4C to 1NT, or use Texas and then bid 4NT.)

Dealer East
Both vul
S T 7 4 3
H Q T 6
D 6 3
C A 9 6 2
S A Q 5
H K J 8 7 5 3 2
D T 8
C 7
[table marker] S 8 2
H A 4
D A K 9 7
C K Q T 5 3
S K J 9 6
H 9
D Q J 5 4 2
C J 8 4

This was Board 26 of the Saturday afternoon session at the Boise Sweetheart Sectional, 08 February 2014. If you splinter, your partner will be disappointed to have the CKQ opposite your shortness, and you will stop comfortably in 4H, making even if the HQ doesn't fall and the SK is offside. On the actual cards, you will survive even if you launch into Roman Keycard Blackwood, stopping when you find out that an ace and the queen of trump are both missing, but you've taken an unnecessary risk of getting to the 5-level without first finding out if your partner has a suitable hand for you.

Previous hand
Next hand
Back to HOTW index
Back to Articles index
Back to TaigaBridge home

This page last updated 11.03.14
©2014 Gordon Bower