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A hand that needs some good fortune and careful handling

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Fig 1: starting hand
Fig 2: the new position

News from Peter Donnellan that the online Teams game on Thursday night was a huge success with 12 teams in the two separate games – it was set up this way as the online teams games cannot be stratified. I see these games growing in popularity and once again we are so lucky to have Peter, Bill Pollett and Jack Rhind at the Club, as they are tireless in their efforts to keep the game alive in Bermuda, and are thankfully getting the right response from the members.

Bridge is not all about point count, and one can have two great hands opposite each other but with no fit in any suit things often get messy. Conversely, with a good trump fit two very weak hands can provide tons of tricks, as evidenced by the ‘James Bond’ hand I had in the column a few weeks ago. So tread carefully on the misfit hands.

On today’s hand, North-South got into a contract that is reasonable based on point count, but the distribution of the two hands makes the play a problem – the hand came up on OK Bridge and it needed some good fortune and careful handling (Fig 1).

South opened a Heart and North got a bit carried away and bid 2 Diamonds, which is game forcing, not a great bid. In Two-over-One the correct bid by North is a forcing 1NT intending to bid Diamonds later. South, however, was an experienced player and now tread carefully in the bidding despite his 18HCP as he could see a misfit looming, and bid a practical 2NT over the 2 Diamonds (partner will now bid Spades if they have 4, which is unlikely) and North bid 3NT.

West led the Club 5 to the 10 and before making his play declarer thought far ahead and instead of winning this with the Jack, won the trick with the Ace. Now the Jack of Diamonds was led and when West played low, declarer also ducked in dummy. When this held declarer now led a Club from hand and, with the Diamond Queen coming down, the defence could not stop declarer from getting to dummy and he soon made 11 tricks, six Diamonds, two Clubs, one Spade and two Hearts. Great play, great result.

Look at what happens if declarer wins the first trick with the Jack of Clubs – he now plays the Diamond Jack that wins, but this is now the position (Fig 2).

The Diamonds are now stranded! If declarer tries a low Club to the Queen, West hops up with the King and plays a third Club and declarer probably goes down 3, making only two Clubs, a Diamond, two Hearts and a Spade – quite a different result and a harsh lesson for not planning at trick one. When playing a hand declarer has to develop a clear plan to make the contract, and can’t afford the reflex play at trick one before making that plan.

Bridge Club results: February 19-25

Friday 19

1.Louise Rodger & Pat Siddle

2.Alan Douglas & Jane Smith

3.Aida Bostelman & Heather Woolf

Monday 22

1.Gertie Barker & Jane Smith

2.Charles Hall & Margie Way

3.Judy King & Martha Ferguson

Tuesday 23

1.Marion & Duncan Silver

2.Gina Graham & Felicity Lunn

3.Jean Schilling & Tim Mardon

Wednesday 24

1.Gertie Barker & Jane Smith

2=Lynanne Bolton & Peter Donnellan

2=Magda Farag & Sheena Rayner

Thursday 25 Open Teams

1.Elizabeth Mckee, Charles Hall, Bill & Linda Pollett,

2.Heather Woolf, Aida Bostelman, Judy Bussell & Diana Diel

3=Lynanne Bolton, Peter Donnellan, John & Sue Hodge

3=Katrina van Pelt, Kathy Keane, Jim & Donna Leitch

Thursday 25 Junior Teams

1.Betsy Baillie, Claude Guay, Sharon Shanahan & Sarah Lorimer-Turner

2.Malcolm Moseley, Mark Stevens, Mike & JoAnn Dawson

3.Gina Graham, Felicity Lunn, Carol Eastham & Nikki Boyce

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Published February 27, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm)

A hand that needs some good fortune and careful handling

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