Hand played on
Brighton Mixed Pivot Teams
Total IMP scoring
bridge players are familiar with Roman Key Card Blackwood which treats the four
Aces and the K of the agreed trump suit as key cards.
The wheels are set in motion with a bid of 4NT and responder shows how
many key cards he (or she) holds on a step-wise scale.
ace-asking is inconvenienced by possession of a void.
Using Exclusion Key Card Blackwood to find out what key cards partner
holds outside of the void suit the asker jumps to 5 of that suit.
Responder then ignores the Ace of his partner’s void if he holds it and
responds on a step-wise scale to show any other key cards.
following deal was a perfect hand for this treatment. It occurred in the Mixed
Pivot Teams at the recent EBU Summer Congress.
opened 1D at most tables and this was passed round to North where there was a
wide variety of actions. In at least
one match North tried a subtle 1S on the basis “this will not get passed”.
It was. Others, more
sensibly, started with a Michaels cue bid of 2D showing both majors: weak or
strong! After a 2H response from
South, North has the perfect solution for his next action.
In order to bid 7H he needs to know if South holds the Ace of Diamonds
and the K of hearts.
best laid plans can sometimes go wrong. At one table South thought 5C was
natural and passed!
writer introduced a different approach after his partner’s 2H response to
Michaels. I tried a cue bid of 4C
and got a cue of 4D in return. It
was about now that I realised I could have used Exclusion Key Card Blackwood,
but I knew my partner’s style. She would not cue Diamonds immediately with
poor hearts…I hoped! I then bid
4NT (probably superfluous but “just in case”) and when partner confirmed two
key cards I bid the Grand Slam.
after a short pause, East doubled. At
pairs a redouble would be automatic but at teams the possibility that West has
made a lead directing double with a void in spades led me to pass. (The
possibility that he held the King of Hearts after all was not for
contemplating!) On reflection, if
West had a lot of shape he probably would not have passed my Michaels cue-bid,
so he is just doubling in pique.
the event West led a Club. My
partner, also recognising the possibility of a void in Spades with East, ruffed
in dummy and played Ace of Hearts felling the Jack from East.
Partner then thought for what seemed forever before playing Ace of Spades
and a Spade ruff. To my relief, declarer then played the K Hearts and West
slipped his cards back into the board. We
recorded +2470 and with our team-mates only registering -710 a welcome 18 IMP
West risks a 1NT response, rather than passing East's 1D opening, (having
support for both minors) or raises Diamonds life is more difficult for
North-South. North should try
Michaels at lowest level again then some cues and Blackwood but will South get
the right message?
of interest arising from this deal:
you have good playing strength tell partner as quickly as possible, don’t
risk a pass-out.
Key Card Blackwood is a rare bird but its value makes it worth having in
agreement whether partner’s key card response includes or excludes any Ace
he has already shown via a cue bid.
agreement whether a cue by a partner who has been forced to choose a trump
suit shows better trumps than he might have had.
to bid when you have support for partner even with a marginal hand like