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Shh, Joe Boo is Listening
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On board 16 in the Vanderbilt semifinals, this hand came up in the match between AMOILS and FALK. See if you can listen as well as Joe Grue, who held this hand:

South
AJ1087432
A6
A42
W
N
E
S
P
2
?

When RHO opened 2 Grue got to use a handy convention he and Cheek play. He jumped to 4 to show an excellent hand with spades.  LHO stuck in a 4 bid and now partner bid 4NT, RKC for spades.  In many auctions, the response of 5NT would show 2 keycards + void, but here they used another nice gadget.  When a strong hand is answering keycards, 5NT shows 3 + a void, so Grue was able to show his exact number of keycards with 5NT. But LHO was not done bidding:

South
AJ1087432
A6
A42
W
N
E
S
P
2
4
4
4NT
P
5NT
7
P
P
?

What's your call?

 

Grue bid 7, which ended the auction.  Partner's hand:

West
Cheek
K5
Q973
KJ1087
J9
East
Grue
AJ1087432
A6
A42
W
N
E
S
P
2
4
4
4NT
P
5NT
7
P
P
7
P
P
P
D
7 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
9
6
1

Cheek's pass was forcing, hoping that Grue would bid 7 holding the crucial Q and double without it.  While Grue did not have the Q, he felt his 8th spade was enough to accept his partner's invitation.

Now that you are here, how do you play the hand on the lead of the Q?

After taking a few minutes (for Grue, that’s a long time) to think about the distribution, he worked out that LHO must be long in the round suits (hearts and clubs) for his bidding, so he cashed exactly 1 top spade and took the ruffing finesse in diamonds.  

Something went wrong with this article that can probably be fixed by editing it. Here's what I know: Hmm; couldn't parse the auction P2H4D(Strong spade bid)4H4NP5N(3KC

This was good enough for +2210, winning 13 IMPs when the other table only bid and made 6.  Nicely bid and played, Joe Boo!

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