Monday, August 6, 2012


Many congratulations to the USA1 Youngsters for winning the silver medal in China at the 14th World Youth Team Chamipionships.  We had a special interest in this team because one pair of the team was made up of local brothers Adam and Zach Grossack.  Adam already has a World Championship title to his name – for the Youngsters Individual in the WBF event in Philadelphia two years ago.  Zach recently won the 0-5000 Life Master Pairs in Philadelphia with our friend Don and placed 4th in an open National event last year in Toronto.  Zach plays weekly with Kim so I hear a lot of Zach stories (almost all good!).

We were watching the action in the middle of the night (via BridgeBaseOnline) when USA1 surmounted a 56 imp half-time deficit in the semi-final versus Israel to win by an apparently comfortable 32 imps!  In fact, they won the last thirteen boards 74-0. 

Alas, they were not so fortunate in the finals against a strong Polish team. 

Meaning no disrespect to Adam, whom we simply don't know so well, I have irreverently entitled this blog entry WWZD (What would Zach do?) in recognition of the latest trend amongst those of us who have had the pleasure of partnering Zach – sharing hands where we tried to copy the 15-yr-old Zach's bidding style.  That, by the way, is about as far as we can get in emulating Zach.  He apparently has X-ray vision because in the actual play, he usually knows the result of the hand after the first few tricks!

Here's my own submission from yesterday's Sectional Swiss.  I held the following hand: ♠QJ A4 AJ63 ♣K9642.  I opened 1NT (15-17) and partner invoked Stayman.  I denied a four-card major and partner now bid a quantitative 4NT.  Well, by pure logic with my 15-count, I should pass.  But I tried to think about partner's hand.  While he might have as many as eight major suit cards, he might conceivably have only five.  Whichever major suit cards he had, mine should be useful, unless he was short in spades, in which case it was possible that even 4NT wouldn't make.  In any event, I thought, suppose partner had opened a strong notrump ahead of me.  Wouldn't I want to be in a minor suit slam somewhere?  So, I "took a view" and bid 6♣.  If partner didn't have support for clubs, perhaps he could bid 6.  Anyway, he passed, becoming declarer (because of the Stayman bid) and was able to make the slam for a 10 imp gain.  His hand was ♠AT5 J85 KQ72 ♣AQ8.  Would Zach actually have bid 6♣?  I don't know.  But he sure does love minor suit slams!


  1. I am a little confused about the 2C bid, unless you were playing Puppet. With a 3343 shape, why not 4NT immediately over 1NT? Also, doesn't 6NT work here whenever 6C does? I think either slam is down on a heart lead if the spade king is offside (5 clubs, 4 diamonds, 1 heart, 1 spade). The sweet spot looks like 6D which I think does make even on a heart lead as long as trumps are 3-2. So 68% plus the spade king is right half of the remainder. 84% for 6D? Interesting hand.

  2. I'm guessing that 2C was meant to be a mild misdirection or something Bruce. I have to admit that 2C would have talked me right into passing 4NT as I would expect partner would always have a four card major for this sequence. If partner bids a direct 4NT, I'm headed to 6 of a minor.

    I think 5NT over 4NT should be accepting the invite with both minors, so you'd get to 6D.

    Robin's hand is the type that I get too pessimistic about (minors, QJ tight), but really shouldn't because the length in the minors has great potential.

  3. We never discussed the 2C call. I was a bit surprised that there was no four-card major.
    6D is a better contract and maybe 5NT would have been a good bid from me. We certainly hadn't discussed it, though I suppose it should be obvious. 6NT is an irrelevance here, though.