I just returned from the Fall North American Bridge Championships held in Lancaster, Pa. This was a disappointing site with inferior accommodations, poor restaurants, cold weather; and if that wasnt enough, the roads were all torn up by construction. Its always nice to get home; but this time, more so than usual.
I ran into our perennial snowbirds, Pat Roy and Helene Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Quebec, who had a string of successes in regional-rated events. They won the Flight A Open Pairs and the Flight A Stratified Pairs, plus a second and third overall in other large events. Todays deal is one of their bidding triumphs.
Using the Precision Club System, Beaulieu, North, opened one club (artificial, at least 17 points) and Roy responded one heart (at least four cards, at least 8 points). This was forcing to game. North established the trump fit by raising to two hearts, and the rest of the auction was geared toward slam investigation.
The partnership uses a specialized control-showing structure, in which notrump bids (after a major-suit raise) indicate honors in the trump suit. Two notrump showed the trump ace; three clubs, the club ace; three notrump, the trump king; and four clubs, the club king. Four diamonds now showed second-round control in diamonds (with first-round control, Roy would have bid three diamonds earlier); four spades showed the ace; and five clubs showed the club queen.
Are you exhausted? Yes, so am I, and so was North. Six hearts! This beautiful contract with only 26 HCP was reached by few other pairs, netting a fine score for the Roy-Beaulieu partnership. A tribute to their accurate bidding is that the play was a virtual claim for 12 tricks.
© 1989 Richard Pavlicek