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Brogeland-Saelensminde

BoyeSael Next up in our series we take a look at a troublesome deal from the finals of the 2007 Bermuda Bowl in Shanghai, China. This hand features two of that year’s title-holders, Boye Brogeland and Erik Saelensminde.

Rosenberg
5
K5
KJ10954
9843
Saelensminde
AKJ64
J9763
QJ5
Zia
Q109873
A84
832
10
Brogeland
2
Q102
AQ76
AK762
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
2
P
2
P
2N
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
6
P
P
P
D
2
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
Q
10
2
1
1
0
3
A
10
5
2
1
1
2
A
5
4
3
2
1
2
5
J
Q
2
2
2
3
6
5
5
1
3
2
A
3
2
4
0
3
3
K
J
8
7
1
4
3
K
7
7 tricks claimed
N/S -250
8


The first two rounds of bidding are automatic, so let’s jump in at...

North’s 3 bid
This has a distinct advantage over 3 in that it shows 12 of his cards (rather than 10) and support for partner’s suit.

What should South’s 3 call show?
This is perhaps the crux of the deal, as well as the point where the auction began to come off the rails. South thought that the partnership had begun cue bidding while North thought they were still looking for a playable strain. Does 3 initiate a control-bidding sequence, or is it a punt bid that puts the ball back in partner’s hands?

North’s 3
When strain is still in doubt bids below game are often looking for the best game. Should 3 show a 5th heart, a good 4-card suit (suggesting a possible Moysian), or a control for clubs? Erik was hoping to show 5=5=0=3 shape, but should the definition for the cheapest bid available over 3 be so specific?

South’s 3
South was still in control-bidding mode, but cue-bidding shortness in partner’s long suit often causes problems even in known control-showing sequences. Could 3 be played as Last Train, showing extras but a reluctance to travel past 3NT?

The Rest of the Auction
Erik intended 4 as a suggestion to play, while Boye likely pictured a hand such as Axxxx AKxx x QJx and leapt to slam.

The Americans at the other table also reached 6 after an identical first three rounds of bidding. Clearly there is not universal agreement on the interpretation of this sequence. Is there a definitive answer to this dilemma?

We pulled the tape, now we invite you to make the call.

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