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Hamman-Zia

BobZiaBob Hamman and ERROR: UNKNOWN USER "zia-mahmood" IN INTERNAL PROFILE LINK. Try username, email, or FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. are two players who need no introduction. Their jaw-dropping array of successes spans several decades, capped most recently by their team’s victory in the 2009 Bermuda Bowl. This week’s hand comes from the semi-finals of the 2010 U.S. Bridge Championships.

Fleisher
7
Q1053
Q10852
J84
Hamman
AQ109
A986
3
AKQ3
Kamil
6532
KJ74
J
9652
Zia
KJ84
2
AK9764
107
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
96
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
10
J
A
1
1
0
K
5
7
4
1
2
0
Q
6
4
8
1
3
0
3
J
A
2
3
4
0
K
5
6
9
2
4
1
2
10 tricks claimed
N/S -100
6

First, let’s address North’s second call.


After 1-1 should North “go low” with 1 or force to game with a jump-shift?
As a practical matter strong, 3-suited hands should refrain from jamming an auction with jump-shifts. Case-in-point: Hamman was able to show his hand perfectly by the 3rd round of the auction. A 2 rebid would often complicate the matter. But how strong is too strong? At what point should a hand with a similar pattern jump-shift at the earliest opportunity?

Hamman and Zia play a natural system with some gadgets, one of which was on display after the 1 rebid. 1 was artificial and forcing for one round, while a 2 rebid by Zia would have shown game-forcing heart support.

Sequences that follow 1-1; 1-1 often lack definition. After North’s 3 bid, how can South show slam interest in spades?
3 shows either 4=4=0=5 or 4=4=1=4. By agreement 1 did not deny a heart fit. Holding 4 hearts Zia could bid 1 in order to hear more from partner or support immediately with 2 intending to describe his own hand. Therefore, 4 was not available as a slamtry. Should 4N be quantitative or keycard for spades?

How should North’s 6 bid be interpreted?
Hamman was trying to show his concentration in clubs to help Zia evaluate his cards for a grand. When we spoke with Zia, he had this very reasonable point of view: "I believe that if a suit has been bid naturally, and is rebid at the slam-level, then it is playable if that is a possible interpretation." 6 and 6 are available as grand tries in spades and possibly 5NT as well. Should 6 be a grand-slam try as well or a suggestion to play?

Should South pass 6?
It appears that hands that would make 6 the optimal contract would have started with a jump-shift over 1. But we leave that for you to judge.

Zia’s pass was the last mistake of the auction, but Hamman’s 6 bid put his partner in a position to make that mistake. Did Hamman get his side in trouble by making the “perfect” grand try? How might the pair have improved on this leaps-and-bounds auction?

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

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