Extra masterpoints on offer to encourage return to club
After the long break away from the physical games at the club it will take players some time to overcome the nervousness that came with the pandemic, and the ACBL has recognised the need to encourage a return to traditional "face-to-face" bridge. To kick this off the ACBL has authorised clubs to award extra masterpoints at a number of games as the clubs cautiously reopen.
Here is the announcement from tournament director Peter Donnellan.
‘Although we restarted without the benefit of the ACBL enhanced points scheme, we are now able to take advantage of it, and all club games from Monday 5 July to Friday 30 July will be designated "Welcome Back" games with increased masterpoint awards – approximately double the usual level. So come along and pick up those points!
“We will also be taking advantage of some further point-enhancement opportunities as we move through the summer into the autumn; these will be announced as we weave them into our schedule.”
The announcement says it all, and with the social aspect of bridge being such a large part of the enjoyment of the game, let me also encourage you to get back to the Club, meet again with old friends, and have a good game and a drink during the post mortem, all of which so greatly enhance the experience.
Today’s hand is absolutely fascinating, with real interest in both the bidding and the play. If you want to solve the declarer play bit get yourself a cup of tea and take your time – it needs a bit of thought. As do most bridge hands! See Figure 1.
South opened the hand 1 spade and North decided to make a limit raise to 3 spades – with four card support, ruffing values and no soft values (Queens and Jacks) in my ten points, I would usually bid 4 spades with the North hand but the limit raise gets no argument from me.
South now jumped to 5 spades – what does that mean?
An unnecessary jump to 5 of a major generally has one of two meanings – if the opponents have been silent during the auction it says to partner, “I want to play the spade slam but I have weak trumps – can you fill that gap?” Partner passes if he can’t and bids the slam if he can – on the hand above North has an easy raise to 6 spades. Back to the hand later.
The second meaning of an unnecessary jump to 5 of a major is when the opponents have been bidding a suit of their own during the auction – in that case it says, “I really want to bid the slam but I have two quick losers in the suit they are bidding – can you help?” Again, partner passes or bids 6 spades if he has first or second round control in the opponents’ suit.
Now back to the play of the hand on the lead of the heart queen. There appear to be so many options – the club finesse, the diamond finesse, 3-3 diamonds, Ace -King and another diamond either dropping the Queen or end-playing left-hand opponent – many choices!
So before I go on to give you the solution (assume trumps are 2-1 so you have no trump losers) I want you to give it a few good tries. Big hint – once trumps come down there is one card in the North/South hands that allows you to guarantee the contract – and it would not be an obvious choice!
Okay, so here goes, but before I do the card is the 8 of diamonds – give it another try?
Win the heart, play a high spade to the King (retaining your low spades in hand for later entries to dummy), cash another heart, play another high spade to dummy’s Ace and ruff a heart high. Now cross to dummy with a spade and this is the position. See Figure 2.
Now play a low diamond from the board and simply cover any card that East plays, giving this position when East follows low and you play the 8. See Figure 3.
Now any return by West gives you the contract – a heart gives you a ruff and discard, a diamond allows you to win the AJ, cross to dummy with a spade and discard your club Queen on the diamond King, and a club lead comes right into your Ace-Queen! Brilliant!
Notice that without the diamond 8 this particular play is not available – switch the diamond 5 with the 8 and you will see what I mean.
I hope you gave it a try … and I hope you solved it!
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, July 2
1. Aida Bostelmann - Heather Woolf
2. Molly Taussig - John Glynn
3. Judy Bussell - Dorry Lusher
Monday, July 5
1. Molly Taussig - Des Nash
2. Judy Bussell - Magda Farag
3. Gertie Barker - Jane Smith
1. Linda Pollett - Bill Pollett
2. Lorna Anderson - George Correia
3/4 Elizabeth McKee - Stephanie Kyme
3/4 Aida Bostelmann - Julia Beach
Tuesday, July 6
1. Katyna Rabain - Louise Payne
2. Jo-Ann Dawson - Jean Schilling
3. Sally Irvine - Ineke Hetzel
1. Malcolm Moseley - Mark Stevens
2/3 Wenda Krupp - Jane Gregory
2/3 Sandra Neal - Karen Clare
Wednesday, July 7
1. Tracy Nash - Des Nash
2. Lynanne Bolton - Greta Marshall
3. Marge Way - John Burville
1. Gertie Barker - Jane Smith
2. Pat Siddle - Julia Beach
3. Judy Bussell - Dorry Lusher
Thursday, July 8
1. Marge Way - Misha Novakovic
2. Lynanne Bolton - Peter Donnellan
3. Magda Farag - Jane Smith
Friday, July 9
1. Diana Diel - Stephanie Kyme
2. Wendy Gray - Richard Gray
3. Marge Way - Jane Smith