A whole exciting world of bridge games awaits you online
Even though we are soon to enter Phase 3 of our Covid lockdown, the prospect of returning to the regular live games at the Bridge Club still seems somewhat distant, and that is a shame for those who can't handle the online version particularly well.
For those that can, and especially for those who might even now prefer playing online, there are a slew of regular games available and attendance is still robust. It is going to be really interesting to see how the bridge world reacts to the “new normal” once that arrives, but I expect there to be some profound changes.
Today's hand is an instructional declarer-play hand but also has an interesting nuance in the bidding. See Figure 1, for the full hand.
South opened a 15-17 NT and North made the practical raise to 6NT — notice that he did not look for a 4-4 Spade fit, as his doubleton contained a Queen which makes some sense, but could also go badly wrong. With a small doubleton it would always be right to look for the major fit.
West led the 8 of diamonds. After winning this with the Jack of Diamonds, declarer took stock and saw that if Spades were 3-2, he would make twelve tricks by attacking Hearts even if it meant conceding a Heart to the Queen: he would make four Spades, three Hearts, four Diamonds and one Club. If Spades were 4-1 though, he would need to make four Heart tricks.
Good declarers have a simple rule for playing suit combinations when there are no pointers from the bidding or play:
tackle the suit in a way that doesn't waste pips. In this case, cashing the Ace of Hearts (in the unlikely event that one opponent has the singleton Queen) would waste the 10.
So, declarer played a low Heart to the 10 at trick two. When that held, he cashed the ace and king of spades, getting the bad news that the suit was 4-1. So, he crossed back to hand with a diamond to the Queen and led a second low Heart to dummy's Jack. When that also held, he cashed the King ofHearts and returned to hand by playing the 9 of Diamonds to the Ace, cashed the Ace of Hearts, crossed to the table with a Spade to the Queen and cashed the King of Diamonds. Declarer took three Spades, four Hearts, four Diamonds and one Club.
At match points with the North hand I would follow the Bob Hamman maxim of “tell me why we are not playing in no trumps” though at teams I might well look for the Spade fit.
The main thing on this hand, however, was the play and declarer clearly handled that well.
Thursday, May 28
1, Elizabeth McKee – Linda Pollett
2, Gregor von Bulow – Fabian Hupe
3, Rosie Smith – Alan Douglas
1, David Sykes – Ed Betteto
2, Claude Guay – Sharon Shanahan
3, Gertie Barker – Jane Smith
Friday, May 29
1, Sancia Garrison – Martha Ferguson
2, Jack Rhind – Ed Betteto
3, Gertie Barker - Elizabeth McKee
Saturday, May 30
1, Marion & Duncan Silver
2, Claude Guay – Sharon Shanahan
3, Annabelle Mann – Lorna Anderson
1, Charles & Molly Roraback
2, Carol Jones – Kathy Keane
3, George Correia – Inger Mesna
Sunday, May 31
1, Betsy Baillie – Lisa Ferrari
2, Charles & Molly Roraback
3, Joanne Edwards – Wenda Krupp
Monday, June 1
1, Judy Kitson – Gill Butterfield
2, Julia Beach – Annabelle Mann
3, Linda Abend – Pat Cerra
1, John Rayner – Heather Woolf
2, Ed Betteto – Charles Hall
3, Magda Farag – Sheena Rayner
Tuesday, June 2
1, James Mulderig – Robert Mulderig
2, Louise Payne – Katyna Rabain
3, Sally Irvine – Ineke Hetzel
1, Jane Smith – Alan Douglas
2, Margie Way – Charles Hall
3, Peter Donnellan – Bill Pollett
Wednesday, June 3
1, Judy King – Martha Ferguson
2, Inger Mesna – John Rayner
3, Pat Siddle – Diana Diel
1, Linda & Bill Pollett
2, Charles Hall – Sancia Garrison
3, Julia Beach – George Correia