News archive

Play, Defence even Bidding for Newer Players

BUT THEY BID HEARTS!

Bridge is full of good pieces of advice … and we know that sometimes we find reasons to break the advice. However, such tips are there for a purpose. At least one player paid the price when they did not follow a very handy piece of advice on the following recent deal:

South Deals
Both Vul
   
Q J
6
J 7 3 2
Q J 10 7 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K 3 2
9 2
A Q 9
A 9 8 6
West North East South
      Pass
Pass 3  Pass 4 
5  All pass    

 

The Problem

North opened the bidding with a pre-empt, a 7 card suit, in the 6-10 high card point range. Your partner made a take-out double and South decided to be a nuisance by raising to 4Heart-small. Since South was a passed hand, it was very unlikely that North-South could make 4Heart-small. Your problem was whether you could make game E/W. If “yes”, then you want to bid 5Club-small. If “no”, then you want to defend 4Heart-small, perhaps doubled.

It’s a hard decision but let’s say you did bid 5Club-small which was passed out. North led the Diamond-small4. Over to you now. “Plan the play”.

Dummy looked quite reasonable. No more than one loser in hearts, none in spades and at worst one in each minor. Well, if you lost three tricks, that’s one down. No good! Bad decision. You can hardly blame your partner this time (not that you ever would!). So, come on, they are still waiting for you to play to trick one. Our declarer could have done better. They failed by two tricks! Hopefully, you did better and were writing down +600.

The Play

If you played low at trick one, you would soon regret that decision as these were the four hands:

South Deals
Both Vul
10 7 5 4
K Q J 10 7 5 3
4
2
Q J
6
J 7 3 2
Q J 10 7 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K 3 2
9 2
A Q 9
A 9 8 6
 
9 8 6
A 8 4
K 10 8 6 5
K 4
West North East South
      Pass
Pass 3  Pass 4 
5  All pass    

 

The good piece of advice is that when a pre-emptor does not lead their own suit against a suit contract, then they are leading a singleton.

Only three losers in 5Club-small but down 2!

Our West played low and lost to the Diamond-smallK. Back came a diamond for North to ruff and cash the Heart-smallK. There was still a trump to lose…down 2.

If West had followed the guideline, they would have risen with the Diamond-smallA because with the Diamond-smallAQJ between the two hands, they would still only lose one diamond.

Time, though, to break another piece of advice. The advice is that normally when you have 10 cards in a suit and are missing the king, you should take a first round finesse.

break the rules.pngThere are three reasons here not to follow that advice:

  1. You think North has a singleton diamond. Say you took the club finesse and lost to the singleton king, North would still get a diamond ruff….a horrible thought!
  2. South is more likely to hold the Club-smallK because North pre-empted (not a certainty but more likely).
  3. You have a very legitimate line to make as long as South has at least one club.

So, win the Diamond-smallA and play the Club-smallA (if the king drops, you can make an overtrick!). If no king appears, play three rounds of spades discarding your heart on the third round. Remember, North has a singleton diamond. Surely they have at least two spades!

smile happiness  not cry

Thus,above, your only losers are the Club-smallK and Diamond-smallK. +600. Bet now you are glad you bid 5Club-small . The best you can achieve from 4Heart-smallx is two down, + 500. (Shh, luckily they did not lead a heart as 5Club-small has then to be one down.)

So, one good piece of advice to follow…and another to ignore.Such a logical game is Bridge!

Richard Solomon

 

 

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • Babich
  • Cock and Bull
  • NZB Foundation
  • Distinction Hotel
  • BridgeNZ logo.jpg
  • JLT Logo.jpg
  • pianola-logo-330-205.png