Goren Bridge Society

Not Blackwood

Both vulnerable, North deals

Many players are not confident in bidding to slam without using the Blackwood convention to ask for aces. Experts hold Blackwood in high esteem, but they will often prefer looking for slam via cue bidding.

The four-diamond bid and the four-heart bid were both cue bids. South’s five-club bid was a signoff denying a spade control. When North continued with a five-diamond cue bid, this revealed a world of information to South. North had to have a spade control. He would not continue toward slam without a spade control after South had denied one. Furthermore, North’s bid was a grand slam try! They couldn’t go back and play in five clubs, so North was not willing to settle for six clubs just yet. Because North’s bid was an effort to reach seven clubs, he had to have a first-round spade control — either the ace or a void.

South didn’t have any particular interest in a grand slam, but he did have two more trumps than North could reasonably expect, so he bid five no trump rather than six clubs. This sent the message that he was not able to cue bid anything at the five level, but he might have a suitable hand for seven clubs. That was all the encouragement North needed and the grand slam was reached.

There was nothing to the play. South discarded his losing heart on the ace of diamonds and ruffed two spades in the dummy for 13 tricks. Nice bidding!

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:18:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/not-blackwood/article27375708.ece

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