What should I bid? (December 2020)

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What should I bid? (December 2020)

The best submission for November came from Sid Reynolds. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridgegear.

Bd 1
Nil Vul
N Dealer
J
K Q J 9 6 5 2

Q 8 7 5 3
 
Q 6 4 2
8 3
K 10 9 5 3
9 4
[ 1 ] 10 9 7 3
10 7 4
A J 7 6 4
6
  A K 8 5
A
Q 8 2
A K J 10 2
 

West North East South
  4 Pass 4NT
Pass 5 Pass 6

Grand slam in Hearts and Clubs was missed. In fact even 6 was risky because -strong South has no D control, and -North’s bid of 5 meant South couldn’t now ask for Q, as 5 is sign-off. Should North have opened 1? If so, how to address the above 2 risks to get to either Grand?

Hi Sid,

Once 4 is opened (an opening bid I entirely agree with, as preempts will more often put the opponents under immense pressure than your partner), it is not possible to get to clubs.

Having said that, there is a common treatment that after a 4M preempt, a 5-level new suit bid is not natural, but asking partner about a control in that suit. So 4-5 would be asking for a diamond control, with the responses 5=no 1st or 2nd (like xx), 6=1st round control, 6=2nd round control.

Here, North will be able to bid 6, but of course that still puts South at a guess as to how good North’s trump suit is. However, North here might (should?) find the inspired bid of 7 over 5 since if South is interested in a slam and is looking at 2+ potential diamond losers, North has a void in diamonds so South should have everything else. South certainly would not risk bidding 5 with xxx in diamonds and a side ace missing.

In conclusion, this is a very difficult hand to bid as South needs to find out too much information with little space. Of course, you might then justify that North ‘should’ start with 1 opening to leave more bidding space, but once you start to open 1 with these hands, you will now lose out on the hands where your opponents had problems (and guessed wrong) against a 4 preempt.

Kind regards
Andy

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