Bridge & Humor: A Question of Bridge By Phil Smith

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Are you an A-team or a B-team player?

By Ana Roth
On 11 September, 2015 At 19:07

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Are you an A-team or a B-team player?In this week’s poor bridge, you’ll find out if you are an A-team player or a B-team player by taking a simple three-part test. No peeking at the answers before you finish the article! Ready? Okay, here goes; the setting is county night at Hurworth Bridge Club, Darlington, and you are dealt the following as West:
spade 7 3 2
heart poor bridge J 10 5 3
diamond K Q 9 5
club A 4
South opens the bidding with 1diamond and you have your first really tough decision. What do you do?a) Pass. A balanced hand with 10 points, half of which are in your opponent’s suit, is not worth a bid.
b) Double. ‘Cos, you know, it’s fun to bid.
Okay, have you made your choice? Good, the auction obviously proceeds as follows:

West North East South
1diamond
X XX Pass Pass
1heart poor bridge 1spade Pass 1NT
Pass 3NT All Pass
This leaves you on lead to 3NT. Which of the following answers best describes your thinking:a) Leading diamonds or spades looks pointless and as partner doesn’t seem to have all that many values, it doesn’t look right to try to set up any club suit he may hold. Hmmm, a heart might be right.
b) Always lead from your longest and strongest suit! And with KQ9x in diamonds, the diamondK stands out a mile!
As all good bridge players can guess, the opening lead is the king of diamonds, and dummy comes down with the following:
N/S Vuln
spade A K 9 4
heart poor bridge 7 6 4
diamond J 3
club K Q 9 2
spade 7 3 2
heart poor bridge J 10 5 3
diamond K Q 9 5
club A 4
Declarer plays a low diamond from dummy and a low card from hand, allowing you to hold the first trick, and leaving the bare jack of diamonds in dummy. What is your next move?
a) Well, given that we’re here now, I could switch to something else, or, if you insist, play the diamondQ to pin the jack in dummy and hope the partner has the ten.
b) Clear-cut low diamond. We’ve found a killing lead and we just need to put partner in with his diamond ace and he’ll push his last diamond through!
So a low diamond is played from West and the jack holds the trick in dummy! For the full layout of the hand was:
spade A K 9 4
heart poor bridge 7 6 4
diamond J 3
club K Q 9 2
spade 7 3 2
heart poor bridge J 10 5 3
diamond K Q 9 5
club A 4
spade Q J 8 6 5
heart poor bridge 9 8
diamond 10 8
club 10 7 3
spade 10
heart poor bridge A K Q 2
diamond A 7 6 4 2
club 8 6 5
If you inspect the North-South cards, it is hard to see where nine tricks will come from when playing in no-trumps. There are six tricks on top and, on the auction, a probable two more assuming the club ace is onside. But the ninth will have to come from the diamond suit, and to set up a long card, declarer will have to give up the lead three times, allowing the defence to set up and cash a long trick in either spades or hearts, should they have been led at trick one.
On the actual play of the hand declarer makes 10 tricks as, after the jack holds at trick 2 he returns to hand with a heart and clears the diamonds. West now plays on hearts (too late for him!) and declarer can play towards dummy’s club holding twice.
How did you score?All a’s: You could be an A-team player.
Any b’s at all: It’s the B-team for you, unless we have a C-team, of course!

 

 

 

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