Focus on bridge hand in front of you
Nothing really going on at the Bridge Club at the moment and some pairs will be gearing up for some tournaments abroad including the ACBL Summer Nationals which this year will be held in Toronto between July 20 and 30 - a nice venue and worth going to.
I was playing on BBO last week and defended a hand where the opponents had a shocking bidding sequence to get to a marginal slam but declarer then pulled the fat out of the fire by some really excellent declarer play. That reminded me of a similar hand I had covered in the column which is worth repeating as it demonstrates the need to focus on the hand in front of you once the bidding is over.
A health warning before you read on - this bidding is not for the squeamish among you as, other than the final bid, N/S did not bid very well!
East South West North
2 S 3 H Pass 3NT
Pass 4 H Pass 4 S
Pass 6 H
The bidding was pretty awful, especially from South.
I am a big fan of getting your suits mentioned early but South’s 3 Heart bid is the underbid of the year (should start with a double) and his 4 Heart bid is not far behind!
In between that I am not enamoured with North’s 3NT bid with no Spade spots - 4 Hearts would have been my choice. North then makes this huge overbid of 4 Spades (Ace of Spades and Heart support) and now even the very timid South had to bid 6 Hearts!
Bad bidding, great spot! Sort of four wrongs making a right!
West led the Spade three, clearly a singleton (as East has shown six with his weak two opening), and the play of the hand is interesting.
Declarer has to assume that all the non-Spade high cards may be with West and play it that way, and she did, proving that a bad bidder can be a good declarer!
She won the Spade Ace, Heart to the Ace, Diamond to the King and another low Heart - when East follows the hand is in fact now guaranteed!
All declarer has to do now is put in the Heart 10 - if it loses West is endplayed! He has to lead a Club or a Diamond, either of which gives Declarer the hand. On a Diamond lead declarer simply ruffs the fourth Club and on a Club lead declarer can pitch a Diamond from dummy on the fourth Club and ruff a Diamond! Elegant play! What if the Heart finesse wins ? - you almost have a more difficult situation!
Now you can draw the last trump, play Clubs and if the Jack doesn’t appear after three rounds play the last Club and West will be endplayed into leading a Diamond into your Ace Queen!
All this interesting stuff out of some really weak bidding!