Still a bit befuddled about the news where the absolute cream of the bridge crop has been using signals outside of the legal zone. Heh, try adding that to your convention card: Full Tray Relay and Orientation Slavinsky Leads. Major kudos to all who helped uncover, crack codes and assemble evidence, you did the bridge world a huge favour. Opponent wise there are and there always will be plenty of formidable ones left to enjoy.
Here’s a deal from HOK:
- 5+ , 8+ hcp, unbalanced
- 4 crd
- 8-11 hcp
- 1 Ace
When Kees showed his 4 card suit I had palpable visions of a grand. Just imagine a 4-1-5-3 with the Ace of and KQ-5th of and I’m willing to bid up to 9, counting six trumps in my hand, five tricks in dummy, both round Aces and two more ruffs in dummy.
Kees showed exactly what I didn’t want to hear, revealing duplication in and ! My initial elation replaced by genuine abhorrence. My skyward glance accompanied by something blasphemous. Come to think of it, I genuinely loathe stiff honour cards, both on defence as well as declaring, inflexible as hell and not worth full bang for your buck.
In my head I rotated thru some sample hands and deemed the 5-level unsafe. Kees could be looking at QJ-4th, J-3rd, five small and the stiff Ace. He would be quite embarrassed to be at the helm in 5. Even adding the Queen of does not increase the health of the contract to more than 50%.
I decided to sign off in 4. This was the complete deal:
West found the lead and Kees was unable to figure out the whereabouts of the Queen so we wrote just one overtrick. Loss: 10 IMP.
The majority of the field was playing in small slam, most of them took twelve tricks because North usually declared a contract. A couple pairs reached for the stars, though only one pair was able to cross-link undaunted bidding bravado to competent Queen-discovery. Reward: 15 IMP.
One lesson to take away. It is not too much to relay once more to ask for Kings. Then if Kees shows one (5 to 3 it is the King) the deal revolves around locating the Queen (if it happens not to be in our possession). If you do, you’ll take all thirteen tricks. If you don’t, well … it’s five or seven. I know what I prefer.