X-Clubs 62

This should have been one of the more easily bid grand slams, but not so.

Board 24 from Friday 13/05/23
Dlr W Nil Vul


Should West open with a game forcing bid? If West is adept at assessing the potential of a hand without actually counting points but looking at possible losers, then the hand is definitely good enough to bid game in either minor. Any THREE card support in either minor and game is near certain, even opposite a Yarborough. Three cards in either minor and fewer in the other, chances of a ruff of dummy’s short minor will still make game. And if the chosen trump suit breaks, good chances of a slam. With that sort of reasoning and analysis, West is entitled to force to game with the opening bid. But, a modest 1C opening is unlikely to be passed out, and if it isn’t, the bidding could be very easy to get to this grand slam: West opens 1C and East raises to 2C. Now, it doesn’t matter what South does (some might bid 3S if West opens 2C and East responds with 2D). West bids 4NT and it does not matter what system you use for ace asking, as long as you don’t mess up your agreed responses, and East will own up to one ace. Given that East must have at least four clubs, only a virtually impossible club holding with South will stop the grand slam. East with Jxxx and South with Q109 just does not occur in the real world.

What is your theory on this: open a game force and then bid game (or slam if partner has an ace) in whichever minor partner has more cards in, or do you go the ‘slowly slowly catchee monkey’ way? Our own “Evil Acol” can do both! A 1C opening is forcing and can show a very big hand, or is a normal 1C Acol opening. A 2C response by partner is 6+ HCP and 4+ clubs. Couldn’t be easier after that, could it?

Happy to send some files to anyone interested in “Evil Acol”, sorry all ‘red books’ now sold out. email me at villyn@xtra.co.nz