June 2009


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By Arlene Port


You are South – Matchpoints, N-S Vulnerable

Your hand is: 

S  -    5
H  -    A 8 6 3
D  -    A K
C  -    A J T 9 5 2

The bidding is:


* Pre-emptive

What do you bid? 



Bruce Keidan 6C. Because that is what I think I can make.

Ernie Retetagos: 5 Clubs.  The bidding does not preclude partner from holding spade wastage as part of their raggy 12 count.  With the opponents bidding on so few high cards, one can expect some bad distributional breaks.  As the auction has progressed, I would be better placed if I started with a negative double instead of 2 clubs.  

Stanley Ruskin: 5S, This is very difficult but 5S should tell partner to pick a slam. If I’m missing 7, too bad since there is no way to find it. I think this bid says that you know I have a club suit and now partner should pick the slam. I think this shows good support for the other suits also. If you have a partnership understanding, 4NT is regular blackwood and you can bid 5S to let him pick a slam.

Jim Bachelder 5NT, pick a slam. hopefully, partner has something like: xx, KQx, QJxxxx, KQx; I don't think that's asking for much!

P.J. Prabhu: 5 NT, "pick a slam". This is really a guess with guts, perhaps more guts than reason? I'm hoping that partner has no wasted values in S, especially the K. Double is a safe call with a plus score (+300), but possibly below average. I could stop in game, but in which suit? I considered 5H, but how would partner know that QJTXXX of D is an acceptable suit for 6D? With Ax, KQx. QJTxxx, xx he'll bid 6D, and I hope 6H with Jx, KQxx, QJxxx, Kx

Herb Sachs: I abstain. There is no auction that I would have that would be like this one. I would never bid 2C, but would Q-bid 2 spades to show hearts and an opening strength hand. However, if I was forced to bid, I would pass, knowing that this is an absolutely forcing bid.

Brian Ellis: 5C For some obscure reason, I failed to make a negative double at my first turn and therefore lost the heart suit.  Five hearts now would certainly show at least a five card suit.  Four NT now would show diamonds and longer clubs.  Double is too small a profit, so I am bidding 5C and hoping for some match points.  If I had made a negative double in the first place, then 4NT now would show hearts and longer clubs and a strong hand.  Bidding 2C first showed a total lack of anticipation for what might happen during the auction.

Bill Holt: I am bidding 5H.  A better sequence would have started with a Negative Double over the S overcall, allowing me now to bid 6c and more accurately show my shape.  But given the question, 5H is about all that makes sense to me.  Hopefully partner can raise to 6 something and doesn’t have secondary honors in Spades.

Florine Walters: Five Spades--pick a slam.

Gail Carns: 4NT  Keycard in clubs

Steve Nolan: 5NT, offering a choice of minor suit slams.  Partner can tell from my previous bids that I have something in diamonds and longer clubs.   This hand is so strong that slam in our best fitting minor will have decent chances.  Of the alternatives, 5C and 5D are too conservative in my view, and are too unilateral about the trump suit.  5H isn't bad, but I have a difficult rebid if partner says 5NT.  4NT is ambiguous; I won't know what partner's next bid means.   Double and pass are both defeatist.  

Asim Ulke 5H Slam is possible in in clubs, diamonds or hearts. I bid 5H and play 6 in the suit partner bids next except of course spades.

Auxiliary Experts: Marvin Rulin: 5H The hand belongs to us. slam is a distinct possibility but where is the best place? I would bid 5 hts and see what partner does.

ED NOTE: This hand was presented in 1995. In defense of the bidding, bridge, as in all sports has been refined over the years. Styles change and new methods of bidding have been developed since that time. Many objected to the 2C bid. In today’s world hardly anyone would make that bid.

Internet Post Results:





National Experts:

Philip AlderDBob Lipsitz4NT
Michael Becker4NTJeff Meckstroth4NT
David Berah5SMarshall Miles4NT
David Berkowitz4NTPeter Nagy5S
Larry Cohen4NTErik Paulsen5S
Billy Eisenberg4NTArthur Robinson5S
Lt. Col. Robert Friend5CBeverly Rosenberg4NT
Barbara Haberman5SAl Roth4NT
Carl Hudecek5CJeff Rubens5NT
Eddie Kantar4HIra RubinP
Edgar KaplanPJoey SilverD
Sami Kehela5SRobert WolffD
Eric Kokish4NTKit Woolsey5C
Michael LawrenceDBLZia Mahmood5NT
Sidney Lazard4NTTom Zinkle4NT



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