What should I bid? (November 2014)

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What should I bid? (November 2014)

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

Dealer E, Vul N-S, You are South, and you hold:

A63
A932
KJ9
K74

West North East South
 Pass 1NT
 2* 3  4 ?

*2 = spades and a minor

Regards, Albert


Hi Albert,

Assuming 3 is natural and game forcing (which is Standard – with competitive hands, I presume you can use a conventional 2NT bid as Lebensohl), I’m think I’m going to pass (forcing). The fourth heart really makes me want to bid 5, but with the opponents indicating a likely 9 or 10-card fit, partner may be stretching to bid 3 with a shortage in spades. If that’s the case, I don’t want to commit to 5 if partner has, say, 8 points with a singleton or void in spades. For example, opposite x KQxxx xxx Axxx I don’t think I (partner) would enjoy a 5 contract at all. Oh, and partner will be declaring the hand so East may be able to lead his short minor through our king to get a ruff – therefore, I want to give the decision to partner.

Over my pass, if partner doubles I will sit it. Otherwise, partner knows from my (forcing) pass that I was interested in competing to the 5-level so if he has a decent/offensive hand, he can bid on.

Regards,
Andy


Albert:

The bidding continues:

West North East South
 Pass 1NT
 2 3  4 Pass
Pass 5  Pass 5
5 ?

What would you bid after this auction, this time as North?
North holds:
Q
KQ10874
AQ1083
8

Regards, Albert


Andy:

After this continuation, I think I will forgo the grand and just be content with 6. Slam is almost certain to make as partner is quite likely to have 2 aces (at least) to have made a forcing pass over 4. A grand slam will be tough to find, and we’d actually need certain key cards from partner: the 3 aces and the K (and partner almost never has the ‘perfecto hand’). If we make a grand-going move with say 5NT or something, partner may not know that Axx Axx xx AKJxx is not a great hand. As it’s very difficult to judge, I would be happy with 6.

Another good thing about bidding 6 is that the opponents might not save in 6. Well they’re quite likely to based on this vulnerability, but what I mean is, if we make a grand slam move with say 5NT and partner declines it and bids 6, the opponents will then be quite certain that our 6 slam will make and they will definitely take the sacrifice. If we bid 6 instead without any grand slam invite, the opponents may think we’re taking the gamble.

Regards,
Andy

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