Timid bidding cost them a slam

Joan “Miss Timid Again?” Rightnour and her partner Tina “I’m the Really Timid One!” Perelli proved once again that woman are probably the stronger sex when they whipped the male team of John “Unlucky Louie” Walston and Jason “Geek” Cohen at the Wednesday (1-30-2013) luncheon meeting of our office Bridge Club by the whopping score of 1,050 points to 180.

As a matter of fact, the ladies missed bidding a Slam, so the victory should have been even more lopsided. Tina and Joan won the only completed Rubber, two Games to One, when they first scored a Game in a major, and then finished it off with a 3 No-Trump contract on which Tina easily made three overtricks.

The men had been able to cobble together a Game earlier, but it had taken them three partials to do it! (In the unfinished second Rubber, the ladies scored another 100 points to pad their score.)

The featured hand of the day was that missed Slam, when Tina made three overtricks in 3 NT. The ladies had all the Aces between them and three of the four Kings, which asking for Aces would easily have revealed. So how did they miss bidding it? Even though they had only 28 points between them instead of the usually required 29, this was a hand on which a Slam exploration would have worth it — and if it would have been established that they were missing only one King and no Aces, someone would have bid it.

It seems like both ladies were partly to blame for somewhat timidly underbidding their hands. Joan opened a Heart on a 14-point hand counting two for a singleton, and Tina, who had an even better hand with 16 points, responded a Spade. Joan now repeated her Hearts because she had a six-card suit. Tina then said 2 No-Trump and Joan raised her merely to Game in 3 No-Trump.

Missed bidding opportunities abounded. Joan might have given a jump raise on the second round to 3 Hearts showing she had something extra besides a minimal opening. Tina, who has two Hearts including the King, might then have jumped to 4 NT to ask for Aces, steering toward a Small Slam in Hearts, which also would have made. After Tina bid 2 NT, Joan’s raise to 3 NT was kind of a shut-out bid. She might have kept the bidding going longer by bidding anything else — bidding a minor suit in which she had a stopper, for example.

But Tina also missed opportunities. Once she knew Joan had a six-card Heart suit, she might have jumped straight to 4 NT. She never indicated to Joan that she had a big hand with a second-round jump.

The ladies didn’t seem too upset over missing the Slam — beating the guys by almost 1,000 points seemed to be enough bragging rights for them for the day.

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