North South Vulnerable

Play Bridge: Small slam forces work well with a void

Small and grand slam forces are very important tools to be added to one’s bidding arsenal

Small and grand slam forces are very important tools to be added to one’s bidding arsenal, necessary only when one is just concerned with the quality of the trump suit. The grand slam force was reviewed last week, and this week the small slam force will be discussed.

The bidding: South opens One Spade and North bids Jacoby Two Notrump showing a strong four-card major raise of opening points or more. It does not have to be 13 points, it just has to be a hand that would be opened in first or second seat.

Two No Trump, in this sequence, asks the opener to bid a second five-card suit at the four-level first, then shortness at the three level, then game with a minimum or lousy opener, then Three No Trump (never to play with a nine-card major fit) with mild slam interest and then, finally, three of the major with serious slam interest.

As mentioned in the past, when one does not have the King, Queen or Jack opposite partner’s shortness, one may get to slam on 27 high card points.

North, with his good 13 and a void is sure that Seven is not there and bids Five of the major asking partner to bid Six with two of the top three honours in the Spade suit and pass with one or less. South complies and plays Six Spades.

The Lead: A Heart lead is out because leading a suit in which the opponents have shortness will never result in a plethora of tricks, but may develop a discard for the declarer.

King from King-Queen is a mildly risky lead against game but is perfect against slam when the setting trick may be the Queen. As was the case last week, the person on lead does not know the opponents have a club void.

The play: Declarer ruffs the opening lead, draws trump and cashes the top diamonds and loses a diamond trick. He has plenty of winning cards and ruffs to get his 12 tricks that he needs.

Result: Six Spades makes for +1430.

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