Cool Hand from the 2012 Bermuda Bowl By Joe Grue

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I usually try if possible to follow Meckstroth’s rule of dealing with preempts:

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On 29 February, 2016 At 13:06

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Source: Cool Hand from the Bermuda Bowl by Joe Grue May 10, 2012


Bobby Levin

Bobby Levin

I want to talk about a cool hand from high-level play. This hand took place in the Bermuda Bowl semi-finals against the FLEISHER team. Levin was sitting North and Weinstein was South, I was sitting West and Jlall was East.

Justin Lall

Justin Lall

And for those of you that know Jlall and me well, with any other partners, we always insist on sitting either North or East. But since we have these preferences, we decided the best solution was I get to sit North and Jlall gets to sit East. Anyway, this deal took place with a few hands to go in the 5th segment with us leading by around 34 IMPs.

Neither vulnerable, I was dealt:aaxx

Two passes to me, and I opened 1, strong (16+ HCP if balanced). Levin on my left overcalled 1 and Jlall bid 3 (8+ HCP and exactly 1=4=4=4 distribution). Weinstein now bid 4 and it was up to me. The opponents have gotten in our face pretty good here. What would you do?  (4NT would be a general slam try, but continuations are murky).aaxx

I usually try if possible to follow Meckstroth’s rule of dealing with preempts: when the opponents preempt, make sure to go plus. His thinking is that there are many ways to win IMPs if you can just go plus! So there’s a case for bidding just 5. But I knew that with a stiff spade that wasn’t the ace, my partner had no wasted points in spades and at least 8 working points over there somewhere. True, he could have:

x KJxx QJxx Jxxx, but that seemed unlikely. So I decided to jump to 6 and hope for the best.

The full hand:aaxx

A spade was led and it happened to be an easy make.  I pulled trump in 2 rounds and tested diamonds. When that suit broke 3-3, I pitched a heart from hand and played a heart to the 9, claiming — even if both hearts were offside, my opponent would be endplayed into giving up my 12th trick.

The other table only reached 4 after the auction :


I believe Stansby and Martel play weak notrumps here so a 3 rebid would have shown only strong NT values, or the equivalent if unbalanced.

Stay tuned for future JoBoo adventures.


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