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Thinking Bridge: Atlanta NABC 8th Day

Source: ACBL NABC Atlanta Bulletins

Opening lead: 4.

Bidding commentary: North’s leap to 4 is a splinter jump showing a singleton diamond, strong spade support plus opening-bid values. South’s double of an artificial bid is lead directing. South has a perfect hand for slam – nothing wasted in diamonds – and when he finds the A plus the K and K in the North hand (some pairs agree not to splinter with singleton high honors), he gambles for a grand. Most would settle for a small slam.

Play commentary: South can make this contract if East has the Q or West has the Q. Assuming one of these finesses works, declarer still has to take the right one! When two queens are missing and taking the right finesse is necessary to make the contract, play the ace and king of the longer suit (hearts in this case). If the queen doesn’t drop, take a finesse in the shorter suit (clubs). Yes, I know, you may have stopped in six and didn’t have to worry about which finesse to take, but one day
you might. Many partnerships use a direct jump from 1 to 4, 4 or 4 (second hand passing) to show a singleton in the jump suit, opening bid values and at least four-card spade support. In response to a 1 opening, jumps to 3 (not 4), 4 and 4 (second hand passing) are also splinter jumps. A direct jump to 4 is natural, showing a zillion spades with less than opening-bid strength. A 1 response to an opening bid followed by a leap to 4 after a minimum rebid also shows long, strong spades with opening-bid strength.


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