Into Thin Air

Hi all

Here’s an interesting hand from Star.

South
Q4
T9864
AK8632
West
North
East
South
11
1
???

1. Unbalanced with , or any balanced 15-19

A bidding problem in round one. What to do? I think it’s a fair assumption partner is holding a strong NT, so the fit is established. What bid do I have available to express my happiness about the lucky suit? And how do I cope with the expected heavy interference in ?

I don’t like 2, to me it shows values instead of shape, primarily looking for 3NT. I have great sympathy for a splinter 3, but I’m not sure if I bring enough tricks to bring home a NT contract. I decide to 4, showing my void and perfect fit. And I have canceled out all opposition with my brutal jump, I smile with confidence.

I have been too busy with my opponents I see. Hoek is gazing at his cards and he takes half a dozen moments and then some more. Finally he bids 5 and suddenly I get scared. Maybe I have overbid my hand, I hastily bid 6 and my confidence has just evaporated. I pray Hoek has a nice hand.

North Dealer
All Vul
North
A74
A983
AKQJ
75
West
J9863
JT6
73
QT9
East
KQT52
K752
52
J4
South
Q4
T9864
AK8632

Hoek wasn’t holding a nice hand, he was holding a Superman-Batman-Spiderman-Hulk “OMG-I-cannot-dream-for-something-better” hand. When the trumps split friendly 6 was yawningly laydown, but we missed our best spot in 7. I don’t think Hoek is to blame for not forcing to the grand, his trump possession is just too thin. His 5 is a nice try, but I was too rigidly focused on the suit to think of anything else.

When I’m looking at the South hand now, I cannot imagine where I got my slam aspirations from. The grand is just unbiddable, I think.

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