Players must learn to think outside the box

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A number of pairs will be travelling up to the ACBL Summer Nationals in Toronto where they will play a number of Pairs and Teams games, and I have often written of the difficulty local players have in making the switch from Pairs, which they play most of the time, to Teams play which is very different.

The club is recognising this and next Thursday, July 13, will see a Teams Game being held at the club. There is a sign-up sheet at the club or you can e-mail Peter Donnellan before noon on July 12 — you can sign up as a Pair and will be matched with another Pair.

Bridge is a complicated and demanding game, so if there is an opportunity every once in a while to play a hand without needing to think really hard, that does help.

Some players, however, take that all too far and just never think outside the box — with that as a hint see if you can figure this hand out before reading to the end.

Dealer North N/S Vul

North

? KJ102

? Q4

? K743

? A52

West East

? None ? 8643

? J10972 ?A865

? J95 ? Q1062

? J9874 ? 6

South

? AQ975

? K3

? A8

? KQ103

The Bidding:

North South

1D 1D 1S

2S 3C

4S 4NT

5H 6S

This is a really good slam. West led the Heart Jack and East won the Ace and returned a Heart.

It all looked too easy for declarer until he played a spade and West showed out!

It now became dangerous and declarer decided to plump for something good happening in Clubs, not realising that the bad Spade break probably meant that other stuff was probably not breaking well.

Declarer thus drew Trump, effectively turning this into a 6NT contract, and when the Clubs did not break sidled to a one-trick defeat!

Do you see where declarer went on remote? Take a try and then read on.

Having played hundreds of hands where the ruffing is done in the hand with the short Trumps, declarer could not see beyond that — the winning play? Ruff two Diamonds in hand.

Win the Heart, play one Trump discovering the bad break and now play Ace King of Diamonds and ruff a Diamond. A Trump to Dummy’s 10 leads to another Diamond ruff and this position:

North

? KJ

?

?

? A52

West East

? None ? 86

? 10 ?86

? ?

? J987 ? 6

South

? Q

?

?

? KQ103

Now the Queen of Spades overtaken with the King, draw the last Trump throwing a Club from hand and claim! A perfect Dummy reversal.

Never an easy play to find, but one that comes up often. Funny thing is that declarer would have a better chance of finding it if the South hand was Dummy! Players are just used to doing all the ruffing in Dummy and it needs some training and thought to recognise these situations. Which you will do, of course, next time you sit at the table.

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Published Jul 8, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm)

Players must learn to think outside the box

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