The Open Teams World Championship is named the Bermuda Bowl because it was first contested in Bermuda, back in 1950. However, Bermuda has never subsequently qualified, save as host country in 2000. But they qualified for Monte Carlo in 2003, having topped the Central American and Caribbean zonal championships. This hand, from the match between my squad and theirs, is one I look back on with special pleasure.
The contract in both rooms was six no-trump, reached after some optimistic bidding. With North as declarer for Bermuda, East led an unhelpful spade. Clearly the club suit would have to supply two tricks without the loss of more than one, and there are layouts that will allow this. However, declarer first cashed four rounds of spades, giving away valuable information about his assets and allowing the opponents to signal, before leading the club jack. West was not hard-pushed to cover with the queen, and the contract failed.
At the other table, I was declarer from the South seat, on a heart lead to the jack, queen and ace. I had the advantage of having concealed my length (or lack of it) in the club suit. Accordingly, I won the heart lead, then immediately played the club jack, trying to look like a man with the ace-jack of clubs, hoping to locate the queen in an otherwise solid suit. Unsurprisingly, West did not cover. When the jack lost to the ace, the repeat finesse of the 10 provided the requisite 12th trick.
Bid with the aces
|A K 5 3|
|•A K 7|
|•Q J 5|
|•J 8 5|
Answer: Rebid one no-trump, which, after doubling, shows 18-20 – that is, a hand too good to overcall one no-trump. You have no reason to look to either major suit yet. Describe your hand and let partner, the unknown quantity, decide whether a suit or no-trump is more appropriate. The weak club stop is not a problem – East has not yet shown real clubs, has he?
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