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Learning and practice make a good bridge player

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Practice makes better: plays become easier over time

As I have written many times before, getting to play good bridge is a combination of a desire to learn combined with a lot of practice.

As time goes on, plays that used to be difficult as declarer or in defence become easier, and after more time become almost reflex.

What got me on this track is a hand that came up last week online – I was sitting West and I’ll give you all four hands (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

South opened 1NT (15-17HCP) and North had an easy raise to 3NT – I led fourth best of my longest suit, the three of spades.

Declarer was forced to win the first spade as a spade return would be deadly. The next card he played was the Ace of diamonds – this made it pretty easy for me to throw my Queen under the Ace to avoid being end-played, and now there was no way for declarer to keep my partner off lead, and the spade return beat the contract by one trick.

Note that the play of the diamond Queen could never really cost. If South had the Jack, my Queen was dead anyway with the K10 in dummy. Note also that if the diamond Queen had not been ditched, declarer could let me hold the next diamond and make the hand.

The correct play for declarer is not that difficult to spot – win the spade, cross to the Ace of hearts and lead a low diamond and put in the nine, forcing my Queen to win.

Now I cannot attack the spades and declarer makes nine tricks with one spade, two hearts, four diamonds and two clubs – that’s nine tricks. Declarer’s play also works well if I hand the QJxx of spades, as now the rest of the diamonds come in.


Friday, September 2


1. Linda Pollett – Bill Pollett

2. Jack Rhind – Charles Hall

3. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray


1. Lorna Anderson – Joyce Pearson

2. Molly Taussig – John Glynn

3. Diana Diel – Stephanie Kyme

Monday, September 5

1. Peter Donnellan – Charles Hall

2. Pat Siddle – Diana Diel

3. Gertie Barker – Molly Taussig

Tuesday, September 6

1. Tim Mardon – Richard Hall

2. Marion Silver – Duncan Silver

3. Katyna Rabain – Louise Payne

Wednesday, September 7

1. Pat Siddle – Diana Diel

2. Julia Beach – Magda Farag

3. Lynanne Bolton – Peter Donnellan

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Published September 10, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated September 10, 2022 at 7:54 am)

Learning and practice make a good bridge player

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