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What Is Your Next Bid?



East's hand grows in strength after west opens one club and even more when the rebid of one notrump lands on the table. From east's point of view, west must have all the values missing from her own holding of 19 high card points, so the hand should be destined for slam. The hard decision would be to venture a grand slam if all the aces were in our possession, so east chose to ask for aces with four no trump. The reply of five diamonds said that we were missing an ace, and the contract of six clubs was bid. You can tell from the hand diagram that the slam is easy once south follows to the first spade. You just draw trumps in three rounds, discard a diamond on the fourth spade trick and lead a diamond toward the king. Even if the diamond ace takes the king, the last diamond will be trumped in the dummy for a total of only one loser and thus 12 tricks. Six notrump also makes.

The slam is also likely to make if the ace of spades is the one missing, but this one is safer in clubs than in notrump. So we were happy to be in a making slam. The strange thing to me is that several pairs did not bid slam on this hand.

Since I am at home recovering from surgery, George Chatel has not only taken on the games I usually direct, he is also generously and enthusiastically helping out with our Tuesday bidding lessons and Wednesday play of the hand lessons. We all owe him a big thanks!