Slamming in the trenches, part 3

Hi all

A double shot this time. The last two slam oriented hands from the Patton matches last Tuesday.

South
KQJ
AKQxx
AQT9x

Difficult hand to open after pass – pass. I don’t like to open these kinds of hands with some strong opening bid. You never really get your shape or strength across. I chose to open 1 and prayed that that wouldn’t be the end of the auction.

I dare not show you what happened. Let’s just say that partner showed a lousy hand with some fit and I just raised myself to slam. As the kibitzing director later said: "It’s never a dull moment with you guys!"

North
xx
AJ8xx
xxxx
xx

South
KQJ
AKQxx
AQT9x

What can I say? Slam isn’t exactly odds on. West started with the Ace of and shifted to a trump. I draw another round of trumps (a lucky 2-2 split), and I proceed with two rounds of , discarding a from dummy. Ace of and two ruffs follow and all celebrities make their appearance on the red, bloodstained carpet.

North Dealer
– Vul
North
xx
AJ8xx
xxxx
xx
West
Axxx
K9xx
JT
KJx
East
Txxx
QTxx
xx
xxx
South
KQJ
AKQxx
AQT9x

Ugly slam to be in, but so were the opponents. So it all evens out, doesn’t it?

Two games later I pick up these cards:

South
KT9x
Jxxx
Kxx
xx

I can open this hand "weak with both Majors", but I chose not to. I have no distribution and a soft hand overall. My LHO opens 1 and Hoek enters the bidding with 2 (upper cuebid, showing 5-5 Majors, could be weakish because of my first hand pass). RHO passes and I jump to 4. Either partner is strong and this will easily make, and if partner is weak I want to take away as much room as possible.

LHO isn’t done bidding yet and puts a confident 4NT on the table. No explanation, but I guess it’s a strong and minor suit oriented hand. Hoek passes and RHO finds some good news in his cards: 6.

I have strong feelings these guys are for real. Because of the double fit in and and lack of defensive values I go for the sacrifice: 6.

South Dealer
All Vul
North
AQ7xx
QTxxx
x
Jx
West
Kx
AQ9xx
AQxxxx
East
J8xx
Ax
JTxx
Kxx
South
KT9x
Jxxx
Kxx
xx

I lose five obvious tricks (I could cope with the trumps splitting 0-4), resulting in -1100. So I start writing down +270 (or +290 if they take the finesse) in the difference column. What a disappointment! Nira and René weren’t able to bid the cold slam. But I was still happy with our result, though it had a little less shine than it could have had.

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