Hand of the Week #5

Bonus hand of the week:

Here is one of the wilder deals from Anchorage, from the Saturday evening pairs game.

Nobody vulnerable, I was in fourth seat with a decent hand:

H A 2
D 8 6 4 3 2
C A K 9 8

To my surprise, my opponents, Rick Oldford and Marion Kelly, did a lot of bidding, while my partner and I watched and waited to see where they would come to rest:

1S 1NT(forcing one round)
3H 4H
5C 5H

Are you licking your lips greedily as you put a Double card on the table?

You shouldn't be. You are not playing against beginners who accidentally bid slams off two cashing aces. Rick is one of the top five players in Alaska. What was the 5C bid? A cuebid, exploring for slam, ostensibly showing the ace of clubs. You are looking at the ace and king of clubs. Declarer has told you he is void in clubs. You have the ace of trump, but your Qx of spades isn't worth anything, and given the bidding, your partner probably doesn't have a face card in his whole hand. The evidence says your opponents are almost surely going to MAKE six hearts. Pass and take your medicine.

Dealer West
None vul
S 6 5 2
H T 8 5
C J 7 6 4 2
S A K J 9 8 7 3
H Q J 7 3
[table marker] S 4
H K 9 6 4
D J 9 7 5
C Q T 5 3
H A 2
D 8 6 4 3 2
C A K 9 8

Yup, twelve easy tricks. He didn't even have to ruff a spade in the dummy to establish the suit. Unlucky for you, minus 980 is worth only one matchpoint -- West bid well, thinking of his hand as "3 losers" rather than "18HCP". But if you doubled, minus 1210 is worth zero matchpoints, and you deserve it. Even against a beginner who WOULD bid a slam off two cashing aces, you don't need to double - if the field is in 4H making 5 and you beat 6H one trick, you will already have a top.

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This page last updated 16.06.08
©2008 Gordon Bower