Investing Wisely

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Playing rubber bridge recently with a partner of this type I was sitting East when we held at game all:

By Ana Roth
On 4 November, 2015 At 16:49

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The expert game
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As a keen reader of bridge literature it usually amuses me to hear somebody say “Oh! I’ve never read a bridge book” with the inference that this does not improve a person’s game, anyway.

Playing rubber bridge recently with a partner of this type I was sitting East when we held at game all:

 5 2
 8
 K Q 10 2
 A 10 9 8 7 5
 K J 10 3
 Q 5 4 3 2
 A J
 J 6

The bidding, North dealer, was:

West North East South
1  Pass  1
 2NT  Dbl  Pass  Pass
 3  Dbl  The End

My partner had been keeping bad company and possessed a new toy in the shape of the unusual no-trump a simple double never occurred to him. The opening lead was the Ace of hearts (from Ace-King) and I put down my hand, not without confidence. All played low to the opening lead and North switched to the 6. After a long pause my partner played the King from dummy, taken by the Ace, a small spade being returned to North’s Queen. As both club honours were wrong declarer finished one down.

“Unlucky,” said my partner, “it only depended on taking the right spade view or on finding the club honours divided.” Not being pleased with the injustice to my dummy I explained to him that if he had read the chapter on “Discovery, Assumption and Concealment” in “The Expert Game” the rubber would have been won. The choice of spade finesse at trick 2 should not be a guess. The Jack is the correct card to play because if the club honours are divided the declarer is likely to make the contract whatever South’s spade holding; but if both club honours are wrong and North also holds AK of hearts (as indicated by the opening lead) then South must hold the Ace of spades to justify his bid. If South holds both spade honours then it matters not which spade is played from dummy at trick 2.

The principle governing this play is explained thus in “The Expert Game”:

“When a contract depends on the position of two or three key cards it often helps to make a definite assumption about one of them. If You can afford it to be wrong, assume that it is wrong, if you must have it right, assume that it is right and build up your picture of the opposing hands on that basis.”

In the above hand once North is assumed to have AK of hearts and KQ of clubs it becomes a simple matter to place South with the Ace of spades. If it eventually turned out that North, in fact, had the Ace of spades then declarer could be confident that at least one club honour was on his right.

After I had explained this to my partner the next hand lost us the rubber and left me with this thought:

Perhaps a bridge book is a good investment. Anybody who had learnt the lessons in “The Expert Game” sitting in the West position on the above hand would have won a 7-point rubber instead of losing a 7-point rubber and the book would have been paid for leaving a little over towards a book on bidding.

The full hand was:

 Q 6
 A K 10 9
 9 8 6 5
 Q 2
 5 2
 8
 K Q 10 2
 A 10 9 8 7 5
 K J 10 3
 Q 5 4 3 2
 A J
 J 6
 A 9 8 7 4
 J 7 6
 7 4 3
 4 3

 

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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