Source: 36th Nordic Bridge Championships Bulletins
On the first day of this Nordic Championship West was faced with a choice of what to open on two occasions in the 2nd and 3rd round. Such things depend on system and agreements, of course, and the choice can certainly decide the outcome. Try yourself and consider what you and your favorite partner would have done on these two hands.
South is dealer and says pass. Your turn:
A K Q 10 6
A K 8 5
What would be your choice of opening bid?
If you play some strong club system, it is easy, you open 1 club. Those who play “Standard/Natural” will have to choose between 1 spade, 2 clubs or perhaps show the hand as a balanced NT-hand. The hand is maybe too strong for a 20-21 NT, and its shape is also not ideal. On a bad day you might even wrong side a NT contract if partner for example has K-x of hearts.
The popular opening bid was 1 spade. This was the full hand:
In the Open series, all but one E/W-pair found their way to 7NT where it was nothing to the play. None of the three suits that could give extra tricks broke well, but no extra tricks were needed. It was “CLAIM” in trick one, 3-3-4-3= 13 tricks.
In the Ladies series half of the six E/W-pairs failed to bid the grand, usually after West opened 1 spade.
Dealer West. None vulnerable. West was also in this case the player who picked a special hand:
A K Q J 10 9 7 6
A J 10 3
What would you open?
Again, the opener would have to select an opening bid and those who play strong club would for sure open 1 club, even without the required 16 HCPs. West has 15 HCPs, but to even talk about HCPs with this kind of hand is simply wrong. West has nine absolute certain tricks and a very good chance to make the tenth, on his own hand. To open 1 spade will rarely go wrong in the way that it goes all pass, but you won’t gain much by opening 1 spade. To describe this hand later will be impossible.
At the tables were West’s choice was to open 2 clubs, East was probably a tad surprised, holding:
Q 9 4
A 8 4
A K Q J 4
In the BBO match Boye Brogeland opened a strong artificial 2 club. North overcalled, and Espen Lindqvist was surely tempted to finish this bidding immediately by bidding 7NT. He started with 3 clubs, though, natural. When South jumped to 5 diamonds it went pass-pass, and I suppose Brogeland pass meant something, probably slam interest(?). When it was Lindqvist’s turn next, he had had enough of this and bid 7 NT. On this hand as well, the play took a minimum of time, claim when dummy was tabled, with the two hands having 14 top tricks (actually, 15, as the club suit broke 4-3).
In the Open Series grand slam was reached at every table, all but one (7S) in 7NT.
In the Ladies series there were a few more 7S-contracts, but only one E/W-pair failed to bid grand slam.
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