Some advice on ‘how to win at bridge’
Anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I love talking bridge and I love teaching bridge. Most of the hands in my column have some instructional aspect – I try and avoid “clever” hands for the column and also stay away (most of the time!) from really technical plays such as squeezes. I do, however, like talking about endplays, because the opportunity to use them occurs so many times at the table.
Back in the 1980s I did a bit of teaching and I also try and make my panel shows at the Bermuda Regional instructional as well as entertaining. All of this preamble is to announce that I will be giving a three-hour talk at the Bermuda Bridge Club on Saturday, April 1, between 2pm and 5pm, entitled “How to win at bridge”.
The talk is open to all, and refreshments will be provided. The talk will be aimed mainly at the intermediate to advanced players but I believe all players will benefit from the afternoon, be they beginners or experts.
Rather than teaching you to memorise certain plays or bids I will seek to explain the structure of bridge bidding and play, so that you can work out for yourself the best course of action when you have a decision to make! I will also be talking about bidding, defence, declarer play and leads, together with specific advice on what you, and your partner, need to do in order to steadily improve your game and prepare you for the games ahead.
I hope to see you there!
Bridge is a game of constant invention but it is rare, after all these years, that any play has not occurred somewhere before. If you read and play enough, a situation will occur at the table where the memory bank kicks in and the correct play appears in front of you.
This happened on a hand last week, and I just love the featured play! See Figure 1.
South opened one heart and after a pass by West, North bid four hearts – I really like the bid even if partner is a minimum – with at least ten trumps the hand will usually have a chance. Also, it puts pressure on the opponents if they have a spade fit.
East is faced with a difficult choice as the opponents may be stealing the hand – in the end she made the wise decision to pass and defend, so four hearts became the final contract.
The hand needs a bit of luck to make, and things started well when West led a diamond – East won the Ace and returned a diamond. Declarer won and took stock. It would appear that West would need to hold the club Ace for the contract to make, as declarer looks to have a spade to lose at the end and can’t afford to lose two clubs.
But something about the hand resonated with declarer and the light bulb went on – could he manage the club suit in a way to help him with the spade loser?
Declarer drew two rounds of trumps ending in dummy and then led the five of clubs!
East was stuck – she won the Queen and switched to a spade but declarer was in control. He won the spade, played the Jack of clubs driving out the Ace and now the King of Clubs took care of the spade loser – brilliant play!
Notice that the low club play was a no-lose play – if the hand was as below, and the Ace -Queen were with West, declarer can still make the hand. See Figure 2.
The Jack loses to the Queen and West switches to a spade – declarer wins and leads a club – with West holding the Ace once again the King of clubs provides a discard for the spade.
Notice also that if the clubs were split with East holding the Queen and West holding the Ace, the play of the low club from dummy will also work whether East goes up with the Queen or not.
Hard to see that play unless you’ve been there before, but it is a gem!
• David Ezekiel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, February 24
1. Marion Silver – Charles Hall
2. Jane Smith – Marge Way
3. Molly Taussig – Jack Rhind
1. Diana Diel – Stephanie Kyme
2. Gertie Barker – Martha Ferguson
3. Betsy Baillie – Erika Jones
Monday, February 27
1. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
2. Caroline Svensen – Jane Clipper
3. Sheena Rayner – Magda Farag
Tuesday, February 28
1. Richard Hall – Tim Mardon
2. Ben Stone – James Fielding
3. Wenda Krupp – Jane Gregory
1. Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens
2. Louise Charleson – Matthew Charleson
3. Amanda Ingham – Heidi Dyson
Wednesday, March 1
1. Marge Way – Charles Hall
2. Molly Taussig – Tony Saunders
3. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
Thursday, March 2
1. David Petty – Tim Mardon
2. Sharon Shanahan – Claude Guay
3. Molly Taussig – Des Nash
1. Rachael Gosling – John Glynn
2. Elizabeth McKee – Tracey Pitt
3. Betsy Baillie – Delton Outerbridge
Non-Bridge Club Online Results for Bridge Club Members
February 27 – Elizabeth McKee and Stephanie Kyme – 6th out of 110 pairs
February 28 – Diana Diel and Marge Way – 2nd our of 222 pairs
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