2013 World Wide Bridge Contest: Board 1

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A board played in the World Wide Bridge Contest 2013, explained by the actual best bridge coach: Eric Kokish.

By Ana Roth
On 25 June, 2013 At 8:22

Category : Advanced @en, Bridge Hands, Hands 2

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Eric Kokish
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The World Wide Bridge Contest is a long-standing tournament in the World Bridge Federation’s calendar, 2013 is its 27th year, and I do hope you all enjoyed this event and found the hands interesting and challenging – my thanks go to Eric Kokish for his excellent and most entertaining commentary. Gianarrigo Rona, President, World Bridge Federation.

Most North players will open 1, depriving East of that opportunity. Whether East passes or overcalls in diamonds will depend on personal
views on this issue; indeed, there is no perfect strategy with this type of hand.
Where East passes, South will bid 1 or a weak 2. North, with a minimum opening bid, should raise 1 to 2 rather than introduce his clubs, and might consider raising 2 to 3 as a tactical move.

Over 2, East will choose from among pass, double and 3, with the delayed overcall implying a good hand with length in hearts, at least for those who believe in passing over 1. Where 3 is a reopening action, however, that inference is not as strong. Either North or South will usually bid 3 rather than sell out to 3, and it is quite possible that East or West will double 3 to protect their likely equity in 3.

At the tables where East overcalls 2, South will pass, overbid slightly with 2, or try a negative double, intending to convert 2 or 3 to 3, not without risk. West will raise to 3 and occasionally buy the contract, or raise to 4 and more often silence everyone. However, East might well bid 5 once he knows of four- or  five-card support (from his perspective, it would not take much to make game excellent: four or five clubs to the queen, a singleton heart, jack-fifth of trumps, for example).

Where Sur has volunteered 2 over Este’s 2, Norte will raise to 3 over 3{ and will almost certainly bid 4 over a preemptive raise to 4. It is not clear where the auction will end, but the frequency sheets will include 4 and 5, doubled and not doubled.

Although 3 can be beaten, it takes a wildly unlikely sequence of plays: 9 to the ace and a second heart; declarer ruffs and plays a diamond, but the defense continues diamonds to force dummy; declarer will not be able to avoid losing
either two trumps, a club and a diamond, or two trumps and two diamonds. West will usually lead a diamond and, once in a while, a club or the Q, but the timing will be different, and even if declarer is forced to ruff a diamond with a high
spade, by judging to ruff out the Q, he will have time to discard two clubs on high hearts as West ruffs with trump winners. N/S +140 will be quite common, with +530, -50, and -100 making cameo appearances.
In diamonds, with the K capitulating, it might seem that declarer has only two club tricks to lose, but that is not nearly the same as counting 11 winners; in fact, even 10 winners will be too tall an order if the defense leads and continues
trumps. There will be some interesting variations in the play after a spade lead, but to come to 10 tricks declarer will probably need to avoid leading a low heart towards the queen and will eventually have to lead a club to the king. The
lead of the K reduces the play to the same position for declarer. Plus 130 in diamonds will be superb for E/W, and there won’t be many permitted to buy the contract at 3 and record +110. N/S might not double 5, and E/W might score well for -50 or -100, but 5 doubled, -300, will surely be awful.

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