Article 7A02 Main

Slam Bidding Gadgetry

 by Richard Pavlicek

This deal is from the Swiss team event at the recent Fort Lauderdale Sectional. My son Rich Pavlicek was North and I was South, and we reached a good slam that was missed at the other table. The bidding made use of three effective slam gadgets: a splinter bid, key-card Blackwood, and a follow-up to ask for the queen of trumps.

North dealsS A Q J 3WestNorthEastSouth
None vulH A K 8 7 2RichRichard
D 31 HPass1 S
C A 10 3Pass4 DPass4 NT
S 9 6 5TableS KPass5 CPass5 D
H J 9 3H Q 6 5 4Pass5 NTPass6 S
D Q 8 6 5 4D K 9 7 2All Pass
C 8 2C Q 9 6 5
S 10 8 7 4 2
H 10
D A J 10
6 S SouthC K J 7 4

Rich’s unusual jump to 4 D showed a singleton or void in diamonds and four-card spade support. Despite my topless spade suit, I sensed the good fit and bid 4 NT (key-card Blackwood); Rich answered 5 C showing zero or three key cards (obviously three). Still concerned about the weak trumps, I next bid 5 D to ask for the spade queen; 5 NT confirmed this card and also showed the H K in our methods, so we reached the slam. (Without the spade queen Rich would bid 5 S and I would pass.)

West led the D 5 to the king, ace; then a spade was led to the jack and king. The diamond return ruffed out the queen; then the S A was cashed to reveal it would have been better (though illogical) to cash it first. Next came the H A; heart ruff (with S 10); spade to jack, then hearts were continued to establish the long heart. This provided 12 tricks without needing to guess clubs.

Article 7A02 MainTop Slam Bidding Gadgetry

© 1991 Richard Pavlicek