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April 15, 2000
Making a Defensive Plan and Slam Bidding - Ace Asking

Making a Defensive Plan

As East, your hand:

East
spade.gif (842 bytes)9
heart.gif (841 bytes)A62
diamond.gif (837 bytes)98753
club.gif (841 bytes)A973

The auction:

West North East South
1heart.gif (841 bytes)
1spade.gif (842 bytes) 3heart.gif (841 bytes) Pass 4heart.gif (841 bytes)
Pass Pass Pass

The opening lead is the club.gif (841 bytes)K.

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQJ
heart.gif (841 bytes)J1075
diamond.gif (837 bytes)QJ10
West club.gif (841 bytes)854 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)??? spade.gif (842 bytes)9
heart.gif (841 bytes)??? heart.gif (841 bytes)A62
diamond.gif (837 bytes)??? diamond.gif (837 bytes)98753
club.gif (841 bytes)??? South club.gif (841 bytes)A973
spade.gif (842 bytes)???
heart.gif (841 bytes)???
diamond.gif (837 bytes)???
club.gif (841 bytes)???

What is your defensive plan? You know everything you need to know in order to defeat the opponents.

Overtake partner’s lead with the club.gif (841 bytes)A and lead a spade! Declarer is headed for a sure defeat is he started life with at least two clubs. Win the heart.gif (841 bytes)A and put partner back on lead with the club.gif (841 bytes)Q.

Your action and the dummy’s spade holding should make things absolutely clear to partner. She should quickly lead a second spade for you to trump.

The complete hand:

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQJ
heart.gif (841 bytes)J1075
diamond.gif (837 bytes)QJ10
West club.gif (841 bytes)854 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)K107642 spade.gif (842 bytes)9
heart.gif (841 bytes)4 heart.gif (841 bytes)A62
diamond.gif (837 bytes)64 diamond.gif (837 bytes)98753
club.gif (841 bytes)KQ102 South club.gif (841 bytes)A973
spade.gif (842 bytes)853
heart.gif (841 bytes)KQ983
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK2
club.gif (841 bytes)J6

If you do not make a plan, then opportunities will slip from your grasp. Think about what you know and how it might help your efforts.

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Slam Bidding - Ace Asking

This brief is an excerpt from an article that first appeared in Issue #8 (Sep/Oct 1995) of The Bridge Companion.

The ace asking conventions are valuable tools to use in determining if the partnership has enough controls to bid a slam. Ace asking bids are designed to do one of two things:

I recommend that you read the above two points again, as they are very important. Too many players misunderstand the use of ace asking conventions. The basic facts about ace asking:

Responses to 4NT, Blackwood:

After the 4NT question, a bid of 5NT is a try to get to a grand slam. It guarantees possession of all four aces.

Responses to 4club.gif (841 bytes), Gerber:

When is 4NT Blackwood and when is 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber?

4club.gif (841 bytes) is Gerber in no trump auctions. Responder can bid 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber to ask for aces in any auction where the opening bid was 1NT or 2NT or in any auction where opener’s rebid was in no trump. Opener can bid 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber to ask for aces in any auction where responder made a limited no trump response of 1NT, 2NT, or 3NT. 4club.gif (841 bytes) is used for Gerber ace asking in no trump auctions because 4NT is needed for another purpose. It is needed as a Quantitative bid (partner bid slam if you are on the maximum and pass if you are on the minimum).

4NT is used as Blackwood on suit auctions. All auctions except those detailed above for 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber use 4NT Blackwood as ace asking.

Exercise

What is the last bid?

No. 1
Partner You
1heart.gif (841 bytes) 4NT

 

No. 2
Partner You
1NT 4NT

 

No. 3
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 1spade.gif (842 bytes)
2spade.gif (842 bytes) 4NT

 

No. 4
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 1spade.gif (842 bytes)
1NT 4club.gif (841 bytes)

 

No. 5
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 1spade.gif (842 bytes)
1NT 4NT

 

No. 6
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 2NT
4club.gif (841 bytes)

 

No. 7
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 3NT
4NT

 

No. 8
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 3NT
4club.gif (841 bytes)

 

No. 9
Partner You
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 2club.gif (841 bytes)
2NT 4NT

 

No. 10
Partner You
1NT 2club.gif (841 bytes)
2diamond.gif (837 bytes) 4NT

Answers:

1. The opening bid was in a suit and neither partner bid no trump naturally. 4NT is Blackwood.
2. Partner opened with 1NT. Whenever partner has limited the hand by a no trump bid, 4NT is Quantitative. 4club.gif (841 bytes) would be Gerber.
3. Partner has not made a limited no trump bid. 4NT is Blackwood.
4. Opener’s rebid was 1NT. 4club.gif (841 bytes) is therefore Gerber. 4NT would have been Quantitative.
5. Opener’s rebid was 1NT (13-15 balanced). 4club.gif (841 bytes) is used for Gerber. 4NT is Quantitative.
6. You have limited your hand by the 2NT bid (13-15 balanced). If partner knows we are in slam zone he may check for aces by using 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber. 4NT is Quantitative, used to ask size (minimum or maximum?).
7. You have limited your hand by the 3NT bid (16-18 balanced). If partner knows we are in slam zone she may check for aces by using 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber. 4NT is Quantitative, used to ask size (minimum or maximum?).
8. You have limited your hand by the 3NT bid (16-18 balanced). If partner knows we are in slam zone she may check for aces by using 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber. 4NT is Quantitative, used to ask size (minimum or maximum?).
9. Opener’s rebid was 2NT (13-15 balanced). 4club.gif (841 bytes) is used for Gerber. 4NT is Quantitative.
10. 4NT is Quantitative. 4club.gif (841 bytes) would have been Gerber. You are allowed to stop and use Stayman first before bidding either 4club.gif (841 bytes) Gerber or 4NT Quantitative.

Thanks!
Gary King

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