In which some people who play bridge blog about it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Friday, July 30, 2010
It's part of the delightful nature of bridge that sometimes the bidding goes awry. There is simply too much information to be able to always communicate unambiguously.
When there's a little slip in bidding communication, though, there's often a way to nudge the auction at least partway back on track. In this hand, where I sat South and partnered with a very nice beginner, North bid 2C, forgetting that 2C was earmarked for the Stayman convention, an inquiry about my majors. That was an error, but one that could have been amended.
Q x x x
K Q x x x x
K Q J x
A J x
x x x x
When you see that the bidding has gone off track, it's easy to get flustered and just try to bail out in the lowest contract possible, as North did here by passing my spade bid. But when there's an opportunity to rectify the situation rather than abnegate, it's best to seize that opportunity, which may land you in a contract that, if not optimal, is at least better than one you'd otherwise get into. In this case, a rebid of 3C by North would have indicated to me that my partner genuinely liked the club suit. I might have also concluded that her Stayman bid meant she had four hearts, but I wasn't likely to support that regardless.
As it happened, we only went down one trick, undoubled; but making a contract in clubs would have been preferable.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Not the first bridge murder, and unlikely to be the last.
The couple were said to be "enthusiastic" members of Lytham Bridge Club.
"Over some couple of years he firstly got into the habit of drinking to excess and secondly being vociferously critical towards his wife when they were playing cards."
From the BBC, Lytham couple's bickering over Bridge 'ended in murder'
Monday, April 05, 2010
If my partner had bid her 10 high-card points preemptively, I might have at least leapt us into a spades slam. But I went for good old 6NT again.
A K Q J 9 7 3
A Q J 9
A K J 6 2
This one was pretty straightforward after the dummy came down. Lost the first club trick, won the second club trick, crossed over to partner's lovely spades and cashed the lot, discarding three hearts and two diamonds. In lieu of finessing, I then inelegantly played my top red-suit winners, diamond diamond heart, and the winning queen of diamonds happily fell on the ace of hearts, both opponents opting to guard the club suit instead. My jack was a winner and the slam was good. Did I learn my lesson? Not quite yet.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The day after my perhaps undeserved success with my bold bid, I found myself transformed into an aggressive bidder. After all, that one jump to game had worked; how could there ever be any consequences for a big bid?
I sat South in a hand that went something like this.
10 7 6
A Q J 5 4
A 5 3
A K Q 3
9 8 7 3 2
I thought my partner might pass a raise in hearts or NT, and I figured with his opening bid he ought to have at least one of the missing aces.
After the defenders won the first trick with the club ace and returned a losing club, the contract rested in the hands of the heart king. The finesse was 50-50, but could those odds be improved? With only three hearts out on the street, there were six possible situations:
I played three rounds of spades and, when both opponents followed suit on all three, led a fourth. East discarded a diamond and West threw a heart. That ruled out a few possibilities: West hadn't started with a void or with a singleton king, and it was unlikely she'd discard from Kx either.
I led a heart from my hand, and West threw another low one on it. I paused mid-trick. The only outstanding heart now was the king, and it could be with either opponent. Knowing my enemy, I guessed that if West had started with Kxx, she would not have discarded in that suit at all, preferring to keep the honor behind the ace doubly guarded. Therefore she had started with a low heart doubleton, and the singleton king lay with East! I played the ace from dummy.
And I was wrong; East, who had been dealt a heart void, followed with a club.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
You open 1S and partner responds 1NT. What do you rebid?
A K J 10 4
A 10 4
A 7 2
2S? 2D? 2NT? None of them were greatly appealing to me with an unfamiliar online partner, so I jumped to 4S, hoping partner had a couple of spades.
She didn't, and diamond and spade finesses were both offside, but her long diamonds made good anyway, to the tune of one overtrick. Boldness rewarded!
The complete deal:
J 7 2
Q 9 8 5 3 2
K Q 3
Q 8 6
A Q 10 4
J 9 6 4
9 7 5 2
K 9 6 5
10 8 5
A K J 10 4
A 10 4
A 7 2