A game of numbers, odds and percentages
I'm travelling this week and there's not a lot happening at the club until the Novice Pairs on April 2 and the Mixed Pairs on April 13, so I'll get straight to the hand.
This hand is a delight in that it shows a deep understanding of the pairs game by one of the players and then the skill to put that all to good use.
Bridge, in addition to being a game of numbers and odds and percentages, is also a game that allows for a great deal of invention, which makes it the great game it is.
With that in mind here is the hand!
Chart #1: Dealer South E/W Vul. Duplicate pairs
You are South and open 2NT (20-22) and partner raises to 3NT wondering whether six can make!
Anyway, you are playing pairs and you need to make the maximum, as every overtrick is vital.
West leads the Heart Queen and you quite like what you see … you win the Heart and lead a Club and the King pops up from East.
You are delighted, and are just about to grab the Ace when you stop yourself: if West has the singleton King then East has 10765 and the suit will not run after the top three tricks.
You make the clever play of letting the King hold, now when you next get in you still have an entry to the five winning Clubs.
Now you win the return and claim eleven tricks with five Clubs, three Aces and three Kings — 11 tricks — aren't you a clever bunny! So you assume the hand was Chart #2:
West, a very good player, mumbles something like “good play” and you move on to the next board.
The game is now over and you go to compare scores and you see that you got a zero on the Board.
You grab the hand records and this is what you see: Chart #3
West had bamboozled you by the brilliant play of the King from K10 meaning that you made 11 tricks while the rest of the room made 12.
West could see what was coming if he played low on the Club, and thus took his only chance of creating a trick by making the play of the King.
This catered for you holding two small Clubs and gave you a winning, or losing, option!
But do not feel bad because West meant it when he said “good play” — he gave you the credit of being able to spot the danger and make the “right” play when the King popped up — even though he knew it was wrong.
Small consolation, but this high-level cut and thrust and brilliance only comes along once in a blue moon, and you should enjoy being part of it, despite the bad result!
1. Edward Betteto/Molly Taussig
2. Richard Gray/Wendy Gray
3. Gertrude Barker/Marilynn Simmons
1. Peter Donnellan/Lynanne Bolton
2. Elizabeth McKee/Stephanie Kyme
3. S Hodge/J Hodge/P Colmet/H Woolf
Tuesday evening junior game
1. Katyna Rabain/Louise Payne
2. Malcolm Moseley/Mark Stevens
3. Judith Law/David Law
1. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith
2. Ellen Davidson/Jeanette Shaw
3. Gill Gray/Marge Way
1. Sue Hodge/John Hodge
2. Tony Saunders/Molly Taussig
3. Julia Patton/Nancy Parker
1/2. C Hall/M Way/J Glynn/L Ferrari
2. Judith Bussell/Martha Ferguson
1/2. E Betteto/A Douglas/G Correia/H Woolf
3. Elizabeth McKee/Linda Pollett
1. Judith Bussell/Linda Pollett
2. Patricia Colmet/Aida Bostelmann
3. Lyn O’Neill/Bea Williams
1. Diana Diel/Elizabeth McKee
2. Edward Betteto/Margaret Way
3. David Pickering/Sancia Garrison