East west vulnerable

Play Bridge: Adding slam forces to your arsenal

"Small and grand slam forces are important tools one can eventually add to one’s arsenal."

Small and grand slam forces are important tools one can eventually add to one’s arsenal. These bids have been covered in past columns, and they simply ask partner to choose a slam based on his trump honour cards. Five No Trump is the grand slam force and asks partner to bid Seven with two of the top three trump honours and to bid Six with one.

Why is Roman Keycard Blackwood not used to find out about all the keycards? One may only need to know about the trump suit. If this is the case, why risk the response to Blackwood being doubled for a lead?

Furthermore, Roman Keycard Blackwood is not used when one has a void or any time one needs to know which Ace and not the number of Aces. Therefore, any time just the quality of the trump suit is required, one may choose to use a slam force.

The bidding: The hands are identical to those of the last column, but the method to bid a grand slam is different. When North finds out about South’s Heart sihngleton or void, all he needs to know is the quality of the trump suit. Therefore, he jumps to Five No Trump.

The Lead: The King of Clubs. From the auction, it is not apparent there is a club void. The lead of the King is very important because if partner gets the lead, the Queen may be cashed for the setting trick.

The play: Declarer ruffs the opening lead, keeping the Ace for later. This is often a very useful technique so that the Ace will be a stopper once trump are gone.

Result: Seven Spades making for +1510.

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