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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

Last week I wrote about the problem of bidding so aggressively that you push the opponents into a game or slam that they would not otherwise bid. Here is another such hand, where I was on the short end of the stick this time. I was sitting East with neither side vulnerable and North dealing:

I opened a gambling 3N which shows a long (7 or more cards) running minor suit. The bidder hopes that partner has a couple of tricks, can stop the suit led, and has at least one card in the long minor to lead to declarer’s hand. Then, presto, nine tricks and game made. Alternatively, if you are not making 3N, the opponents probably have a game and you hope the 3N bid will make it difficult for them to find the right bid.
South made an aggressive 4S overcall. My partner raised my presumed suit to the five level. North was happy to raise his partner, in view of his very adequate support for spades. I bid 6C, to raise the ante and North, with the reasonable hope that his partner was void in clubs, made the wise decision to raise to slam.
South ruffed the club lead, pulled trumps in two rounds, played the ace of diamonds and eventually trumped three diamonds on board. He led towards the jack of hearts, to try and make an overtrick, hoping that I held the heart queen. When the finesse failed, he made twelve tricks (6 spades, 2 hearts, the ace of diamonds and three diamond ruffs), and had nearly taken all thirteen. I was left regretting my ill-judged decision to bid 6C, thereby pushing the opponents into a cold small slam made with only 20 high card points between the two hands. Such is bridge in paradise!
I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected]m. Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the web site

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Bridge in Paradise