Seven Notrump

In which some people who play bridge blog about it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taking more chances

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.

Pass1 ♥ Pass1 ♥
Lead: ♥ 6
♥ 10 7 6
♥ A Q J 5 4
♦ A 5 3
♥ Q 8
♥ A K Q 3
♥ 9 8 7 3 2
♦ K Q
♥ K J

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:

1. ♥ Kxx
2. ♥ Kx
3. ♦ K
4. ♥ x
5. ♥ xx
6. ♥ -

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.


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