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Old 11-17-2016, 06:36 AM
Dead Cat is offline
I was curious...
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 4,498
Originally Posted by amarone View Post
A couple of grand slams from the Atlanta Sectional last week.

First hand in the A/X pairs - this is the top bracket. My LHO held


His partner opened 1H, he bid 2D, game forcing. His partner bid 2H showing a 6-card suit. He now bid 4NT RKCB (although I would play it as natural - you can bid 3H first of you want to agree hearts). His partner bid 5C, showing 1 or 4 key cards. He should now bid 5D, asking about the QH, and partner would have bid 6C showing both QH and KC. However, he bid 5NT, his partner bid 6C showing KC, and he bid 7H. Not only could he have been off the QH, but if hearts are coming in, he can count 13 tricks and should bid 7NT at matchpoints. I was sure that would be a good board. Nope. In this highest bracket, only one pair can apparently count to 13 and bid 7NT. Over 60% of the field missed the grand. His partner had


Now one in our direction. I held ATxxxx Axx xx Ax. I opened 1S, partner bid 2D, game forcing, showing 5+ diamonds. I bid 2S, showing 6. He bid 3S, setting trumps. I cue bid 4C, which does not show serious slam intent but is a cue bid in case partner is interested. He bid 4NT, RKCB. I bid 5C showing 0 or 3, and he bid 7NT because he can count to 13.

He held:


You will have spotted the flaw. Partner may be able to count to 13, but apparently not to 5 - we were missing a key card. He thought my 5C bid showed 1 or 4. He won the club lead, crossed to hand and took the spade finesse. It lost, and they cashed six more club tricks. Down 7, vulnerable. This result, as they say in cricket, did not trouble the scorers.
I guess your second hand just goes to show even the (relatively) simple conventions can easily go very wrong. Bad luck.

On the first hand, how can responder count 13 tricks? He doesn't know that partner has the jack of hearts, does he? True, for this to be a problem the defenders would need to have a lucky 4/0 split in hearts, so it might be a good gamble anyway, or am I missing something?