The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LXIII: Different Strategies
By Ray Adams
One way to get to game is to bid it immediately. This cuts into the opponents’ bidding space and forces them to guess what to do at a high level.
When Pas held the West hand, he bid 4♥ as seen in the top auction above. This put considerable pressure on North, who was uncertain which action to take. The 5♣ bid (which would have been wrong) beckoned, but finally he passed.
Pas had no trouble making five, and would have probably made six had North not led the singleton diamond. This took away Pas’ late entry to the hefty clubs.
At the other table, West opened a pedestrian 1♥, which allowed Kowalski to easily waltz into the auction with a Michael’s cuebid. After a contentious bidding sequence, Nograwowicz emerged the winner at 5♠. The defense should lead spades to prevent declarer from scoring all his trump tricks. However, West had no spade to lead and started with the queen of diamonds.
East won the ace and shifted to a club, hoping West could ruff. No such luck. Dummy won the trick and Nograwowicz now crossruffed the hand, cashing the king of diamonds in the process. Eventually, he scored the ace of clubs, the king of diamonds, and nine ruffs for a total of eleven tricks to make his contract. Plus 650 and plus 650 was a nifty 16 imp swing for Team Porcupine and seemed to underscore the viability of their bidding methods.
As an after note, North at Pas’ table should probably try 4♠ or maybe even 5♥, but the prickly 4♥ bid had put way too much pressure on him, and the porcupines once again prevailed.