By Ken Masson


Ken Masson has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge for 35 years. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Ken has been living in Toronto since 1967. He and his wife and bridge partner, Rosemarie, are now in their third year wintering in Lakeside.

General guidelines for bidding small slams suggest that the combined strength of the two hands should be around 33 points. This deal proved that slam is possible on a lot fewer points if the hands fit together particularly well.

The hand was played at the Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club and produced a satisfying result for one partnership. South opened 1 spade and after North responded with a game-forcing 2 diamonds, South rebid 2 spades to show at least a six-card suit. North considered that his hand was a minimum in the context and bid 4 spades.

South felt that if partner held the “right” minimum, slam might be makeable so he bid 5 diamonds to show first-round control in this suit. North concluded that partner would not have tried for slam missing first round control in three suits: spades, hearts and clubs. Holding the spade Ace, the club Ace and the diamond King and Queen, North felt that all her values were working and jumped straight to 6 spades.

The play was simple. West led the club Jack which declarer won in hand to lead a spade to dummy’s Ace. When North now called for the spade 6 and East produced the 10, South covered with the Jack and when that held, the spade King captured the Queen and South ended up with an overtrick.

Note that it would not have helped South to use Blackwood on this deal. The bid of 4 No Trump over 4 spades would have asked North to state the number of aces she held. If North had responded 5 hearts to show two aces, South would not know which two aces they were. One of the aces might have been in hearts which would have been a waste to South and if the spade Queen were in the West hand, a hopeless slam could have been bid.

Questions or comments: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Pin It
Bridge By The Lake  By Ken Masson October 2020 Bridge By The Lake September 2020 Bridge By The Lake August 2020 Bridge
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The great thing about duplicate bridge is that it reduces the luck factor in the game. Every hand in matchpoint
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The Annual Valentine’s Sectional Bridge Tournament in Ajijic was once again a big success this February. 
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   Sometimes, despite holding a wealth of high cards, you will reach a slam and when dummy comes down you will
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
  VICTORIA SCHMIDT   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. 
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
 Find us on Facebook