I note with interest and admiration that Carolyn Morrant and Peter Cole are up at the top of the slam leaderboard with just a few weeks to go. They are averaging a slam bid and made every other week which is mightily impressive. I wonder how they do it? This week, they were the only N/S pair to bid and make 6 Diamonds (+1) on Board 17 for a 100% score and, intrigued, I thought I would have a look at the hand which is now published on this blog.
According to the handydup analysis, a contract at the 5 level is the maximum makeable contract, but this obviously didn’t deter our brave, intrepid slam bidders! North might open a pre-emptive 3 Diamond bid but, with an outside ace, shouldn’t. That just leaves a pass or one diamond bid, neither of which are attractive. I wonder what most Norths did? Tell a little fib and open 3 Diamonds? South, with a lovely hand and very strong Diamond support, has to make a decision as to whether to settle in 5 Diamonds or investigate the slam. On discovering that opener has indeed got an outside ace, I can see the temptation to bid the small slam.
Poor East is very unlikely to find the “killing” Heart lead and declarer can ditch losing hearts on black suit winners which I’m sure is what Carolyn/Peter did to get their outright “top”. So the moral of the story is that if you aspire to win the prestigious Slam Trophy (or “Roy” Trophy as some people call it!) you have to take the occasional risk and “go for it”. The race for the Slam Trophy is as close as I can remember it. I hope fortune favours the brave!