Bidding: the most important area of bridge
Bridge experts get to where they are by being good in all areas of the game - bidding, declarer play, and defence.
Bidding is by a long way the most important area of the game, contributing probably 70 per cent towards the results, with declarer play following with perhaps 20 per cent and defence at about 10 per cent.
At the club level the declarer play and defence contributions probably increase, as a good declarer/defender will gain a huge advantage over most of the field, but at the top level of the game the experts rarely make errors in play or defence so it all comes down to the bidding.
Counter-intuitively, the important area of bidding is undoubtedly the easiest part of the game to learn, whereas declarer play and defence take many years of practice and experience.
One of the ways to get to be a good player of the hand is by looking to combine as many chances as you can on your way to trying to make the hand, and making the right decision as to which chance you attack first – as in this week’s hand (see Figure 1).
The bidding at one table got a bit out of hand – South opened 1NT, North bid 2 hearts as a transfer to spades, South super accepted with his 4 spades and 18 points by bidding 3 spades and North then made the bizarre leap to the spade slam!
West led a trump and it looked like a lot of good things needed to happen for the slam to make, with the diamond King and heart Ace needing to be with East - but declarer did well to notice that perhaps only one of those needed to be right!
Declarer won, drew one more round of trumps and then played four rounds of clubs making the crucial discard of a heart, not a diamond, from dummy.
Now declarer crossed to dummy and lead the singleton heart. If East had the Ace he has to take it and now the King of hearts provides a parking spot for dummy’s losing diamond – slam made.
For the full hand, see Figure 2.
If East does not have the heart Ace and the King loses to West’s Ace, declarer now ruffs the heart return in dummy and relies on the diamond finesse. So declarer combined two 50 per cent chances which gave him a 75 per cent chance of making the slam – great play.
In closing, I must sadly report the passing of Bea Williams, who until recently played regularly in the Monday afternoon game at the Club. Bea was a strong and talented lady whether it was golf , bridge or other walks of life and her personality always shone through. Bea represented Bermuda at the third Bridge Olympiad held in Deauville, France in 1968 in partnership with Margaret Cooper and had many successes at the Club. She will be missed, and our thoughts are with her family and close friends.
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, March 19
1/2. Lorna Anderson - Joyce Pearson
1/2. Elaine Stevens - Ian Hilton
3. Magda Farag - Gertie Barker
Monday, March 22
1. Judy King – Martha Ferguson
2. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
3. Nick Kempe – Francisco Plana Estruch
Tuesday, March 23
1. Wenda Krupp – Jane Gregory
2. Jean Schilling – Tim Mardon
3. Marion Silver – Duncan Silver
Wednesday, March 24
1. Gertie Barker – Judy Bussell
2. Inger Mesna – John Rayner
3. Marge Way – Charles Hall
Thursday, March 25
1. Nick Kempe - Francisco Plana Estruch
2. Elizabeth McKee – Linda Pollett
3. Stephanie Kyme – Charles Hall
Friday, March 26
1. Rachel Gosling - Marge Way
2. Leila Gaines - Nick Kempe
3. Aida Bostelmann - Heather Woolf