Major bid for the Olympiad

April 11, 1966

For three weeks this spring the best American bridge players will be more or less joining the Jet Set as they compete in the two most important of all international events. The first is the World Team Championship in St. Vincent, Italy late this month. Immediately after that the players will move on to Amsterdam for the World Pair Olympiad. There are three separate competitions—Open Pair, Women's Pair and Mixed Pair—to be contested by players from all member countries of the World Bridge Federation, and the U.S. will be fully represented. To help defray the substantial travel bill involved, the American Contract Bridge League recently conducted a special Olympiad Fund Game, in which the same hands were played by 2,000 pairs in some 75 cities. Included in these hands was the one shown here, a very reasonable grand-slam contract, even though almost nobody bid it.

Bidding and making a slam is rare when the opponents have opened the bidding, so perhaps it is not surprising that few pairs considered seven and many did not even reach six, which is no trouble to make. The key bid in the auction—South's jump to four spades—may seem shocking. However, this is an example of one of the few modern gadget bids with which I am in sympathy. It gives a valuable meaning to an otherwise useless bid and it can be explained in just six words: "An unusual jump shows a void."

North had an immediate problem after partner's two-diamond overcall. His cue bid of two spades was the only forcing bid available and did not promise that he had anything particular in the spade suit.

After South bid his club suit, North showed diamond support, leaving the next move to South. When this turned out to be the jump to four spades, announcing a void and interest in a diamond slam, North could visualize a perfect fit. He gambled slightly by reaching toward a grand slam with an old-fashioned bid: a five-no-trump call that demanded a seven contract if South had two of the top three trump honors. With ace-king of diamonds, South obeyed orders.

Warned away from the spade lead, West led the 10 of hearts. South could not consider taking a finesse; East surely had the heart king because of his opening bid. So dummy's ace was played, with declarer hoping to discard dummy's hearts on his own clubs. This is easy if trumps divide, but after two rounds of trumps South found that East began with only one. Now his lone chance was that West would have to follow to four rounds of clubs.

The ace and king of clubs were cashed. South reentered his hand with a high spade ruff and cashed two more clubs. West had to follow, so dummy's heart losers were discarded. It was now a simple matter to ruff South's remaining heart with dummy's last diamond, ruff a spade with a high trump, draw West's last trump and claim the grand slam. South can take credit for his fine void-show ing bid. But if West had held one less club the contract would have tailed and no doubt South would have complained at great length about his partner's overbidding.

East-West vulnerable East dealer

NORTH

[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]

WEST

[King of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[— of Spades]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

EAST

[Ace of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[7 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

EAST

1 [Club]
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

2 [Diamond]
3 [Club]
4 [Spade]
7 [Diamond]

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH

2 [Spade]
3 [Diamond]
5 N.T.
PASS

Opening lead: 10 of hearts

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)