Bids from Belgium (Le Bridgeur Magazine n°892 – March 2015)


Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n° 892 on 15 March 2015.

Funbridge doesn’t only focus on card play. This month you will be challenged by a slam sequence requiring some thinking.

As you may know, Funbridge Quiz 2 is available on tablets and smartphones. It enables you to improve different areas of your game, especially auction, leads and defence, and test your knowledge thanks to 500 questions adapted to all levels. Then you can put your knowledge into practice on Funbridge. Here is a deal played on Funbridge and commented by one of the best Belgian players, Jean-Michel Grosfils.

S K J 8 7 5 3
H Q 9 2
D A 8 4
S 10 9 2
H K 5 4
D 10 9 7
C K J 7 5
NSEO_en S  –
H J 8 7 6
D J 5 3 2
C Q 10 9 4 2
S A Q 6 4
H A 10 3
D K Q 6
C 8 6 3


4S(2) PASS 5C(3) PASS


(1) Don’t bid 3♠ because the six cards are not nice enough and the bare club ace raises major question marks, hence the need for keeping some room for manoeuvre for the next bids.

(2) Minimum fit (principle of fast arrival). Moreover, bidding 3♠ would not guarantee the fit but could show a hand without any heart stopper and fit.

(3) Despite the six spade cards and only six losers, Blackwood will be of no use to decide to play the slam. The question is above all to know if both hands are complementary!

(4) This is where it all happens!

Let’s sum it up calmly:

  • North didn’t hesitate to boost the auction with 5♣ despite South’s discouraging bid.
  • He clearly controls clubs well and is weak in hearts.
  • He didn’t use Blackwood, so he is not particularly worried about the quality of trumps (he may hold king-jack, maybe even sixth) and is looking for good covers in the red suits.
  • In other words, he is clearly trying to make sure that South’s 15-16 HCPs bring optimum support in the three higher-ranking suits without losing any points in clubs!

As a result, South must reassess his hand:

  • He has good trumps and even a fourth card which might be helpful despite the dull split.
  • He covers the red suits well and the heart 10 may become useful.
  • There is no longer a big weak point in clubs, quite the contrary.

His hand looking rather better now, the slam in spades is a reasonable bet, a fortiori in IMP scoring system.

On the diamond 10 lead, slam will definitely be a success: eliminate minors and trumps, then play a heart to the 10 and voilà!