Both vulnerable

Both vulnerable

Play Bridge: The key to self sufficiency

Tips and tricks for new to experienced bridge players.

This was a hand that occurred at the Rookie Master game on the fifth Thursday evening of this past October. The Rookie Master game occurs every month there is a fifth Thursday. Phone Margaret Thiel at 250-368-6565 if interested.

The Masters are very patient, and I teach my Rookie two things that come up and try to ignore the rest. One has to know the trump suit before trying for slam, and Mexico, not No Trump, is a destination. Three No Trump is a play for nine tricks, and one should have a fit and not a bunch of misfits unless one has extra values.

The bidding: South opened Two Clubs because one opens Two Clubs with eight and a half quick tricks, and he had nine with three possible defensive tricks. Furthermore, all South needed from partner to make game was a worthless Diamond doubleton with trump support, zero HCP’s.

North replied Two Diamonds waiting, and South jumped to Three Spades. This shows a self-sufficient suit and sets Spades as trump even if partner is void.

One never makes slam inquiries until some sort of fit is found and investigations have been made, but a bid of Three Spades has taken care of that.

Furthermore, Three Spades asks partner to start cuebidding. Obviously, partner would only cuebid Aces and Kings not singletons and doubletons with poor trump support.

This is beyond the scope of a Rookie Master game, but I prefer the Italian style of Cuebidding. A cuebid below game shows first or second round control and one stops cuebidding when one does not have a control in a suit skipped by partner.

Partner replies 3NT which is never to play and is called serious Three No Trump asking partner to start cuebidding because North needs to hear about Clubs and North is serious about slam.

After North hears Club and Heart controls, she only needs to double check if the controls are aces and not distributional and uses 1430 keycard Blackwood. Missing a keycard, she settles for Six Spades.

The Play: West will never cash the Club Ace and free up South’s Club Control. Instead, she leads the Diamond Queen.

Declarer draws trump, pitches a Diamond on the Heart King and claims Six Spades with nowhere to park the Club King.