Seven Notrump

In which some people who play bridge blog about it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nilsy's first slam

Or, a rousing turn on the Blackwood-go-round

Pass♣ ♦ 2NT
Pass♥ Pass♣ 
Avid followers of the spreadsheet up there ^ will notice that Nils's score leapt up last night by a dramatic 3,000-odd points. That was due in large part to a lovely small slam that I pushed him into semi-unwittingly. I opened strong with 20 points and AKJxx of hearts. After his 2NT, I should have had the sense to stop us in 3NT, but I wanted to show my hearts, and then he jumped past the stopping-point with his next bid of 4C, which I understood to be denying heart support (in fact he had Qxx in hearts and was just temporizing to show strength). I bid 4NT hoping we would play it right there, but the idea of playing in no-trump was thus far only in my mind, and Nils heard the bid as Blackwood ace-asking in a to-be-determined suit contract. Maybe he hoped I knew his secret hearts and would land us there. He showed the missing club ace, and I deposited him in a vulnerable small slam in no-trump, figuring that asking about kings would benefit the defense more than us, and that he wouldn't pass 5NT anyway, just as he hadn't passed 4NT despite my hopes. I had my eye on Wendy, the diamond overcaller, for the missing points anyway. Marya led a middling spade, which dummy won with the doubleton ace.

I clambered around to look at Nils's hand, which was a little sparse-looking, with no kings and one ace. I have no confidence that I would have made the contract. Wendy indeed had the kings of diamonds and clubs -- an opening diamond lead through dummy's A-Q would have set us -- but Marya had long spades topped by that suit's king, and she hoped to establish them. But Nils played it carefully and like the pro he is, losing an eventual trick to the club king, winning the heart return (a spade would've killed us then for sure, but I don't think Wendy had one to lead), and then establishing the long club suit in his hand and squeezing Wendy like a delicious organic tangerine till her errant diamond king fell under the ace on the last trick, winning the slam and the rubber.


  At Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:05:00 PM, Blogger Paul said:

It occurs to me after the fact that this search for a fit, which turned out serendipitous, was a direct outcome of last week's conversion to weak twos.

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