Spade Heart Hayling Island Bridge Club Diamond Club
Play Problem 012
Not so much a play problem, rather a bidding exercise - contributed by Neil Ogg

Interestingly enough both pairs who bid and made the Grand Slam on Board 21 play the Strong/Either Or Club System.  This system uses a 1C opener to indicate either a strong 16+ point hand or a natural club suit.  Responses then show points so the joint point holding can be established quickly and clearly.  A further benefit of the system is that all Acol Strong 2 bids are replaced by 1C.  This leaves the 2 level free for useful Weak 2 Pre-empts.
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At Table 4 Bill, playing N with 16 points, opened the strong club.  Holding 15 points I responded 1NT, showing 12+ points.  Bill then bid 2NT indicating a flattish hand with at least 16 points, (he could have bid 3C showing strength and clubs but opted for the more economical 2NT).  Given my distribution, a NT contract did not seem attractive.  From Bill's bid I knew we were in slam territory as our minimum joint point holding was 31.  I could also assume from Bill's bid that he held at least 2 or 3 clubs.  A slam in clubs seemed the best option.  I then bid 4C, (Progressive Gerber asking for Aces).  Bill responded 4H showing one.  I bid 4S asking for Kings.  Bill responded 5S, (should have been 5H showing 3 but a natural mistake given the adrenaline flow!).  Holding all the Aces and Kings, the long club suit and the Heart shortage I felt that a Grand Slam was on and bid 7C - which Bill played and made.
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Anyone interested in trying this system, which does help get to game and slam contracts but  for some reason is rated Level 4 by the EBU, (although it is actually very simple), please contact me and I shall be pleased to supply a short description of it.
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Neil 

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Note from Web Admin:  This was Board 21 played on 28 October 2010
Congratulations to Neil & Bill who achieved a joint top for this board with a score of +2140 and were top N/S on the evening. 

The contracts for this board were:

One other pair bid the Grand Slam in Clubs;
Two pairs bid 5C making 13 tricks;
One pair bid 6C making 13 tricks;
One pair bid 3NT making 12 tricks;
One pair bid 3NT making 13 tricks.