There is no better’ game when comparing chess with bridge
People often compare, and confuse, chess and bridge and there are endless discussions on which is the “better” game.
For me there is no “better” — they are both brilliant mind games, but they are really different.
In terms of pure brain-crunching analysis there is no doubt in my mind that the top chess players would outdo the top bridge players, but once you get beyond that, bridge requires a wider variety of skills beyond memory and the power to analyse.
I grew up on chess, played it a lot and was fortunate enough to win a few things at it. But once bridge came on the scene it was as if my obsession with chess had never happened.
I still read the occasional chess column and did make a brief appearance at the local chess club some years ago, but that is the extent of my involvement.
In bridge, there is a lot of “history” to be taken into account before making the right play — what was the bidding, what was led, what cards have been played, who are the opponents, etc, whereas in chess, the board is the board and what went before is just not as important as it is in bridge.
For that reason, the top chess players can play 40 opponents at the same time and beat them all.
Chess computers have now mastered the game and, at this time, I believe the top chess computer is virtually unbeatable.
But bridge declarer play programs are not there yet relative to the top players, but they are getting there.
One aspect that both games have in common is the need to analyse the opponents’ actions and figure out what is behind them, and that leads me to today’s hand.
East South West North
1H 1S 3H 4S
West led the Queen of Hearts against four Spades. East overtook this with the King and returned the 8 of Diamonds. Declarer deduced that this had to be a singleton and that the only reason East could make that play was if he had control of the Trump suit, so both the opening bid and the play market him with the Trump King, and if the Diamond was a singleton, East probably had Kxx in Spades as opposed to Kx.
So he decided that it would be pointless, and dangerous, to take the Trump finesse — East could win, return a low Heart to partner and get a Diamond ruff for down one.
To cater for this, as it was almost certain that East had the King of Clubs, declarer decided to attempt to cut the defender’s communication in Hearts.
Declarer took the Diamond shift in dummy and ran the Queen of Clubs. After playing a second Club to his Ace, declarer crossed to dummy with a trump to the Ace and led the Jack of Clubs. East covered with the King and, rather than ruffing this trick, declarer discarded his remaining Heart.
This loser-on-loser play gained nothing directly, but it prevented a Diamond ruff by severing the Heart link between the defensive hands. East now tried a fourth round of Clubs, but declarer ruffed high and, as West could not overruff, declarer was home. He was then able to claim his contract, conceding a trick to the King of Trumps, losing only one Heart, one Club and the Trump King.
Wonderful analysis and execution by declarer in the face of a really thoughtful defence by East.
Thursday, June 4
1, Linda Pollett/William Pollett
Friday, June 5
1, Clifford Alison/Craig Hutton
2, Charles Hall/William Pollett
3, Patricia Siddle/
1, Joyce Pearson/
2, Inger Mesna/John Rayner
3, Edward Betteto/
Saturday, June 6
1, Linda Abend/Julia Patton
2= Marion Silver/
2= Claude Guay/
2= Judith Kitson/
Monday, June 8
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2, Lynanne Bolton/
3, Gertrude Barker/
Wednesday, June 9
1, Marion Silver/Duncan Silver
2, Joann Dawson/
3, James Mulderig/
1, Patricia Siddle/Diana Diel
2, Marilynn Simmons/
3, Linda Pollett/William Pollett
1, Magda Farag/
2, Lorna Anderson/
3, Julia Beach/
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