X-Clubs Hands 27

Unfortunately, Board 23 was not played at every club, so I can’t say just how many NS pairs managed to bid to this very easy 7NT. I say very easy because that is exactly what it should be. Let’s take a look.

Board 23 from Wednesday 9/08/2022
Dealer South All Vul


The North hand is surely a GAME FORCE. The only thing that can go wrong in 3NT is an unlikely club break or double dummy defence if East has something like AQxx in either major and leads the other major to West’s ace and West switches. That is how you should evaluate the North hand as game force to 3NT at least, so open 2C. South has a pretty well flawless response of 2NT. A positive response, the way most more advanced players play it, should have at least ‘an ace and a king’ and not just 7+ high card points. I know that many of our experts would just respond with 2D and await developments but this South hand is not suitable for that in my view, and would in fact make the grand slam more difficult to bid. If you can show your hand in one bid without impeding the auction, why not do so. When South responds 2NT to North’s 2C opening, North can, if partner is to be trusted, bid 7NT without further ado, knowing that South has both aces and enough clubs to make the clubs worth seven tricks unless South has only a doubleton and they break 4-0. But North can check with a simple 4C (Gerber) or 4NT (Blackwood) and when South shows the two missing aces, as expected, bid a confident 7NT. The scientific bidders with different more fancy systems than Acol may, strangely enough, know with less certainty that 7NT is almost stone cold: does South know that North has seven clubs to the AKQ, or does North know that South has at least two clubs? Keeping things simple is good enough to be able to bid this easy grand slam.