Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n° 888 on 15 November 2014.
In a slam sequence, bidding controls often poses difficulties. Here is an original option to overcome them.
We are working on the game engine on a daily basis. One of the biggest challenges is to programme slam bids as they require a considerable amount of judgement. Below is an example of a typical sequence that we have just prepared. For slam bids, when a control is skipped, what does bidding the next control mean?
What about its corollary? What does the bid mean?
Please note that in this sequence, over , it has become common place to play with a minimum hand, to bid a control with a positive hand, and to bid to make a small effort with all average hands (5-3-3-2, 13-15HCP), minimum but well split hands with 6 spade cards or 5-5 two-suited hands.
Subsidiary question: does the bid expressly deny club control? Yes, except if partner bid clubs and you have shortness in that suit.
Let’s go back to the meaning of the bid. Up until then, we had coded as showing heart and club controls, thus indicating a problem in one of these two suits.
There are other variants. Here is the one we have chosen: when a control is skipped, bidding the last one simply promises the one that has been skipped. So going back to the trump suit denies this control.
This seems both logical and practical to us since the focus is on the problematic suit. But you’d better be wide awake because bidding to show club control is not natural at all.
: No reserve and no heart control (let me remind you that partner’s shows club control).
: This is a splendid hand. You will make the slam if partner has heart control. Repeating diamond control bid at the 5-level indicates that you have a problem in hearts.
: Partner reassured you on club control, the slam is now doomed to succeed. Let’s check aces thanks to Blackwood to know at which level you are going to play.