I wonder how the bidding went?

I wasn’t able to make it to Bridge last night but, as always, was keen to peruse the results this morning. It is great to see some of our “beginners/improvers” in the top half of the table – well done Margaret and Susanne and also Julia and Helen (again!).
Board 17 caught my eye. It’s a great example of a “distributional” hand where suit shortages make up for fewer points.

Would you pass with that North hand? After all, it only has 10 points in it. No, you would upgrade its’ strength (to maybe 15 or 16 points) because it contains two singletons. An opening bid of 1 Diamond would come as a bit of a surprise to South who should immediately be thinking “Game or Slam”?

For those of you interested in losing trick count (and you should be!) North, as opener, will have a maximum of 7 losers. Once a fit is found (and that’s important!), South has only 6 losers, in fact, you could argue that South has only 5 losers because, given the bidding, the QDs is most unlikely to be a loser. Add the combined number of losers (13 or 12) and deduct from 18 (= 5 or 6). That gives you the level you should bid to. Which takes us back to where we started from – “Game or Slam? “i.e. 5 or 6 Diamonds? In fact the North hand is better than 7 losers – it only has 6 losers once Diamonds are agreed.

Most N/S pairs were in 5 Diamonds, always making 12 tricks. However, one ambitious pair did manage to find the (unbeatable) small slam in Diamonds. I wonder how the bidding went? The crucial issue is to ensure that the partnership isn’t missing two aces (a distinct possibility when your opponents have 14 points between them). So some form of ace-asking convention would be essential. If want to know how to arrive in 6 Diamonds you’ll have to ask the successful pair. Drum roll for …………………. Barry and Lesley Leverett.