Playing in the semi-finals of a knockout team
tournament, we draw Hamman. He doesn't have as
good a team as he often does, but any team with
Bob Hamman is a force with which to be reckoned.
I am out the first half (we have a client in)
and show up stuck 22 IMPs. This is going to be
Late in the second half,
my partner has a bidding problem. I deal and,
invulnerable, open 1NT, showing 10-12 HCP, balanced.
QJ5 AKJ KQJ10 A95
That's a pretty good hand. We have 31-33 HCP,
so slam is definitely in the picture. I could
have a five-card major or four (or even three!)
diamonds, so she chooses to ask for my distribution.
The bidding proceeds:
2 was game-forcing relay Stayman. 3
and 3 were relays. I showed exactly 3-3-2-5
distribution with my actions. What now?
Any slam but 6NT is out; 4NT would be natural and
invitational here, but is that right? What hand
can I have that would make slam a good bet?
How about Kxx xxx Ax KQxxx? No chance;
I'd open that 1, since the good five-card
suit and all primes makes the hand a little too
good for a 10-12 NT. About the only hand I can
think of that makes 6NT good is A10x xxx Ax QJ10xx.
Playing for rare specific hands (sorry, we can't ask about
club spots) seems wrong, so she passes 3NT.
I actually held K109 Q53 A7 K7652. I have 12 HCP,
giving us 33 HCP. No slam has any play. We score up +460,
and expect to gain 11 IMPs on the hand. I note that I
thought about opening 1 on this hand and consider
it to be a maximum 1NT opening.
The 11 IMPs are not to be. At the other table, the auction went
|My hand||Partner's hand|
An astonishing push. After the comparison, we walk
by Hamman's table and hear him mutter, "33 points and
no one bids slam. This game is getting too tough."
We end up losing the match by 3 IMPs. 22 IMPs was
just too tough to recover.
Jan. 2, 1997