Main     Article 7A13 by Richard Pavlicek    

Bidding For ‘em All

Happiness to a bridge player is bidding a grand slam — and making it, of course. It doesn’t really matter how you make it, whether by a brilliant play or a fortunate lie of the cards; they all score the same. Beverly (Bebe) Kodish of Boca Raton achieved that goal on this deal, aided by an overbid from her partner.

North does not have an opening bid in any established system — it counts to 12 points in my methods, which is a point short — but rules are made to be broken. One thing nice about duplicate bridge: Once you pay your entry fee, your wallet is safe. It’s not going to cost you any more money whether you win or lose. Perhaps that was North’s feelings when she opened 1 S, or maybe she just fell in love with her hand. We may never know.

7 NT by South

Both Vul
S A 9 7 5 4
H J 9 2
D A J 5 3
C 2
S K J 8
H 5 3
D Q 10 7 4 2
C 9 5 4
TableS Q 10 3
H Q 8 7 6
D 8 6
C 8 7 6 3
Lead: D 4S 6 2
H A K 10 4
D K 9
C A K Q J 10

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 S
2 D
5 H
6 C
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 C
4 NT
5 NT
7 NT

Kodish, South, was surprised to hear her partner open the bidding, but she kept her cool with a mere 2 C response. North showed her second suit, then Kodish launched into Blackwood, discovering that all the aces were held. Next came 5 NT, and the response to show no kings was a disappointment. Nonetheless, Kodish reasoned that her partner must have at least a couple of queens to justify her opening, and if so, 13 tricks might still be laydown. (I wonder if Kodish considered her partner’s sanity in this reasoning.) Therefore, she nervously reached into her bidding box and emptied it on the table: seven notrump.

Everyone was a bit amused when the dummy came down. Kodish courteously said, “Thank you, partner,” but I’m sure she wanted to add, “Now show me your real hand.” Oh, well; have to play it! The first good break came on the opening lead, when Kodish won the D 9. This gave her 11 top tricks, and she could see a light at the end of the tunnel. All she needed now was the heart finesse. Could it be?

Kodish ran her clubs (pitching spades from dummy) then unblocked the D K. Dummy was entered with the S A, and the D A was cashed to pitch a spade. Finally, she led the H J. Please, oh please.

Yes! Score it up; 2220 points and a top board.

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© 2001 Richard Pavlicek