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What Uses are Aces and Spades?


The last card landed on the top of my partner’s other twelve and I picked up a collection reminiscent of so many hands before:

♠ AT764          A872             ♦ T54              ♣ 2

Using the wonderful (but high risk) SEHAWK™ bidding system my partner sitting North opened 1♦ (showing 13 to 15 SEHAWK™ points). A rather puzzled look on the face of East was followed by a pass from him. My hand was worth 14 SEHAWK™ points and so I made a game invitational bid of 2♣ (I like bidding singletons almost as much as bidding voids!). An even more puzzled look from West was followed by his hesitant pass. My partner then made the bid that I wanted to hear – 2♦, top of his range and forcing to game. Another pass and back to me. Now we knew where we were going (game), time to work out the strain – bid the 5 card suit, 2♠. More puzzled passes from the opposition and a raise to 3♠ from my partner – this was a mixed message. Probably 3 spades to an honour (he knew I had 5 spades) or 4 small ones. Shifting the decision and onus to me, typical! (Definition of partner at bridge – of your three opponents at the table the one sitting in the middle). Anyway – in for a penny and a raise to 4♠.

West looked pleased (but hadn’t doubled) and led K. Dummy hit the table:

♠ 9532             5                  ♦ A63              ♣ A9643

OK, in SEHAWK™ terms, we have 20 points (4 Aces) plus 8 points (distribution) plus 2 points (9 card trump suit) – making 30 points and enough for game. In pure HCP terms we have only 16 and it’s all Aces and spaces – help, I feel sick!

Didn’t I read somewhere that Meckstroth – Rodwell once bid and made 4 on 14 HCP so it’s not entirely Mission Impossible? C’mon, Mr SEHAWK™, think!

Neither opponent had doubled so the trumps were going to be, at worst, 3-1; on a good day 2-2. Neither had bid (but had wanted to – remember the bemused faces), so they almost certainly didn’t have a 5 card suit anywhere. West’s lead strongly indicated him holding KQJx. I’ve got 4 and dummy only one so East must have 4 pretty useless ones. I thought if I WOLD then I probably would be physically ill, 4 winners, …

Let’s take the lead at face value and set sail on a cross-ruff. Ace of hearts and ruff a heart low in dummy. Now the Ace of clubs and a club ruff in hand. Heart ruff, club ruff, (I’m enjoying this!). Now down to this with the lead in the South hand:

North:  ♠ 95                 –                   ♦ A63              ♣ 96

South: ♠ AT7              8                  ♦ T54              ♣ –

East had followed to the three club tricks with J, Q, K so no prizes for guessing how many of these he had left! Six tricks won and two Aces to go so it’s not going to be a complete disaster. OK, ruff the last heart on the table with the 9 and then (deep breath) – lead dummy’s last trump. Win the Ace (they both followed) and exit with the 7 – the deeply satisfying sight of West’s K eating East’s J followed. Now they were powerless, I could ruff either of the round suits and a diamond gave me the Ace that I could get at anyway. I cheerfully surrendered the last two diamond tricks and chalked up the game.

Moral of the story

Don’t moan about Aces and spaces – they let you make 16 HCP games. SEHAWK™ allows you to bid them! (What other bidding system would give you even one bid on the NS hands, let alone six and a game contract?)

The Hands

The four hands were:

N          ♠ 9532             5                  ♦ A63               ♣ A9643

E          ♠ J8                 T964            ♦ KQ87           ♣ KQJ

S          ♠ AT764          A872            ♦ T54               ♣ 2

W         ♠ KQ                KQJ3           ♦ J92               ♣ T875

More About Mr SEHAWK™

Name: Cliff H
Bridge player for: 45 years
Level of expertise: Amateur
Preferred bidding system: SEHAWK™ (Standby Every Hand A White Knuckle Ride)

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  1. Hearts | Write Fight Flight

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