What Should He Bid?

Henry Francis sent me this interesting bidding situation. North faced what seemed at first to be an impossible problem during a Swiss Teams event. This was his hand with neither side vul:

Dlr: South Vul: Neither

North
S A K Q 9 8 7 4
H J 4
D —
C K 6 4 3
West
S
H
D
C
East
S
H
D
C
South
S
H
D
C

And this is how the bidding went:

 

WestNorthEastSouth
1H
2D2S4D4H
5D?

North knew a grand slam was a distinct possibility, but how could he get that message across to his partner? Suddenly it occurred to him – what about a six diamond cuebid? Would his partner get the message to bid a grand if she had solid hearts and the ace of clubs? He decided to try it.

His partner had to do a little thinking when the diamond cuebid came around to her. “What is he trying to say?” she thought. “I think he’s saying that spades and diamonds are totally under control. I think he’s saying that I should bid a grand if I have good hearts and the ace of clubs.” So she went all the way and bid seven hearts. This was the full deal:

Dlr: South Vul: Neither

North
S A K Q 9 8 7 4
H J 4
D –
C K 6 4 3
West
S J 10 5 3
H 6 2
D Q J 7 5 3
C 9 7
East
S 2
H 9 5 3
D A K 10 9 8 6
C Q J 10
South
S 6
H A K Q 10 8 7
D 4 2
C A 8 5 2

Declarer ruffed the opening lead of the diamond ace and cashed dummy’s jack of hearts. She came to hand with the ace of clubs and drew trumps. She then led a spade to the board, cashed the top spades and ruffed a spade. The dummy still had the king of clubs for an entry, and the heart grand slam went into the books. Their opponents stopped in a small slam at the other table.

About the Author:

Harold Schogger has just celebrated 40 years of bridge teaching. He opened his bridge club in Hendon London in 1983. Since 1997 he has devoted his time to teaching and directing.

He holds the Professional Teachers’ Diploma from the English Bridge Union, and now trains teachers for the EBU. He is also a member of the International Bridge Press Association. Harold is the author of Practice Your Rule of 11 and the ebook Bridge for Winners.

Harold has been an OKbridge member since 1997. You can see his valuable blog posts here under the category Bridge Hand Review. Harold is also a Premier Life Master.

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