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How Do You Bid This Slam

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We just returned from a week at the Las Vegas Sectional Tournament and a stretch of the flattest and least interesting hands I've seen in some time. We played a lot of bridge and our results were middling in good competition, but there was little of note to write about. Some of the country's biggest bridge names were there to play in the teams finals for the Grand National Teams, so we encountered them in other events.

This interesting and distributional hand came up in club competition, and the auction as shown happened at our table. I presume my extreme overbid as west scared the north-south pair because they did not bid their hands beyond the 3 spade level (when 12 tricks are cold as ice). In fact they made all 13 for the unusual score of plus 260. I saw one other result of plus 230 out of eight total times the hand was played, indicating that east found a club lead instead of a heart. What surprised me was that not once did any north-south pair manage to bid to the slam that is so very cold. I thought when I played the hand that north could possibly have cue-bid clubs or hearts to show control and a better-than-average hand, or that south could have jumped the bidding in spades. His hand values to 11 in support of spades, and 2 spades seems to be an underbid.

Another notable point on this hand is that if the slam is bid, east-west have a good sacrifice at 7 hearts, which can be down only 3 for minus 500 instead of 980.

Last Sunday at the monthly Unit Game we once again had a special section for new players, those with fewer than 100 masterpoints. We also honored Audrey Wilson for attaining Gold Life Master status, 2,500 points, and my partner Craig Jones, who is a Silver Life Master at 1,000 points. Congratulations!

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