2013 World Wide Bridge Contest: Board 5

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The 5th board of the World Wide Bridge Contest 2013, explained by the actual best bridge coach: Eric Kokish. Photo: Eric Kokish, Donna Compton & Eric Rodwell by Peg Kaplan

Eric Kokish, Donna Compton & Eric Rodwell
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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.

South will overcall East’s 1 with 1, and most Wests will not pass, choosing 2 or 3 as system and style will dictate. Although North has fivecard support and a modicum of strength, he has a nine-loser balanced hand with junky values inappropriate for a game raise or a limit raise, and he will do well not to bid any higher than 2.
Easier said than done, as E/W figure to reach 3 and North will find it difficult not compete to 3 with at least 10 combined trumps and probably roughly half the deck in the high cards.

East has a good hand, but a poor spade holding and weak side suit, and should be able to stay out of -300 territory in 4], but in practice, bidding 4] might nudge his opponents into 4, down 200 or 500 depending on whether East doubles and defends accurately. Might East double 3? That seems wildly unlikely if West has shown heart support and a weak hand, but if East judges that his side was likely to make 140 in 3, he might try for a doubled one-trick set and +200 to beat all the partials. That might seem overly aggressive with some questionable defensive holdings, as 3 +140 might be the normal result while 4] doubled would be too expensive, but East might take the position that if his side would score
poorly if N/S had judged correctly to gamble that 3 would be down one not doubled for -100.

It will be interesting to see the results on this deal. To hold spade contracts to eight tricks on the normal heart lead, East must defend carefully, switching to a low diamond after taking two heart winners. Declarer lacks the entries to eliminate diamonds before leading a club from dummy and will not be able to deny East a timely safe exit card. If East errs by cashing the A at trick three, declarer can win the club continuation with the king (hardly a clear-cut play), cash the A, eliminate diamonds, and exit in trumps to endplay East, who must concede a ruff and discard.

To hold heart contracts to eight tricks, N/S must take an early diamond ruff to go along with the A and a club trick. If South defends passively, declarer will have time to lead diamonds twice towards his hand, finessing against North’s jack.
He can draw trumps and use one trump entry to lead diamonds toward his hand and either ruff the K (if it’s still in his hand) or play A, club if it’s not, forcing the defenders to play a second diamond or yield a ruff and discard to provide a
second dummy entry for another diamond play.

The auction will rarely end below 3, but there are plenty of possibilities for both sides to judge the level accurately and to play or defend well.

This are the results and frequencies of the board:

Frequencies for Board 5 Vul N/S N
Score Freq Factored NS EW
50
393
397.26
2581.7
1888.3
100
358
361.88
3340.9
1129.1
-100
353
356.83
1807.4
2662.6
-200
301
304.27
930.0
3540.0
-500
192
194.08
231.5
4238.5
140
115
116.25
3956.5
513.5
150
82
82.89
4155.6
314.4
-420
74
74.80
510.5
3959.5
300
72
72.78
4315.3
154.7
110
68
68.74
3771.5
698.5
-140
56
56.61
1331.3
3138.7
500
37
37.40
4425.5
44.5
-120
21
21.23
1411.2
3058.8
-300
19
19.21
606.5
3863.5
-800
17
17.18
16.2
4453.8
-170
15
15.16
1249.4
3220.6
-90
10
10.11
2174.4
2295.6
-110
9
9.10
1441.5
3028.5
-150
5
5.05
1269.6
3200.4
-450
5
5.05
430.6
4039.4
730
3
3.03
4468.0
2.0
170
2
2.02
4240.5
229.5
-590
2
2.02
35.4
4434.6
670
1
1.01
4463.9
6.1
-130
1
1.01
1388.9
3081.1
-400
1
1.01
586.3
3883.7

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