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A neat slam hand

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We recently competed in Boise's Regional Tournament, a week-long affair with many chances for players of all levels of experience to play against their peers or to play against some of the prominent names in bridge. The local team of Kendra Bridges and Doug Bullock playing with Earline and Jim Thomas covered themselves with glory by winning the Flight A knockout teams, a very fine achievement for them.

A significant feature of this tournament was the participation of several tables of new players who competed in the 199er events. The term "199" refers to the upper limit of master points of players allowed in the event. Some of the new participants competed several times and discovered the fun and thrill of playing in a major tournament. Many of them later told me that their experience revealed how much more they need to learn. My response is always that we are all still in the learning process. You are never perfect at this game, which is one of its big appeals.

The hand today is from the last round of the Swiss Teams. Charlene and I held the north-south hands and at our table, watched east-west arrive at the contract of 4 spades. Our teammates bid those east-west hands with a great deal of flair. West's jump to 4 clubs after her partner showed a 4 card spade suit is called a splinter bid, showing a hand with 4 spades and a void in clubs. After finding out that they had control in hearts, so that the defense could not cash 2 quick heart tricks, they bid the slam. We had a large gain on this hand and won the match by a large score. This helped us place well in the event, some distance behind the winners Brenda Keller and Bruce Ferguson and their team.

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