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A Lighter Look

Good Advice.   

It was the start of a Butler Pairs event at the local club…the usual pre-match chatter with at one table some discussion as to what Butler Pairs meant. “Is it one of those forms where you have to bid all your games” a less experienced player asked?

“Sure is” said the expert. “It is nice to make overtricks but bidding and making all your games is a very good idea, much more important. “

A few minutes’ later, play was under way…and our expert picked up on the first board the following:

Spade-small AQ53

Heart-small 983

Diamond-small KJT82

Club-small 8

A nice 10 count and first to speak, vulnerable against non-vulnerable opponents. Time to get in early. The hand almost conforms to the “Rule of 20”… 10 high card points,9 cards in the two longest suits, a decent looking diamond suit, a singleton and potential in the “boss” spade suit…. “1Diamond-small”.

The bidding proceeded briskly:

     
East Deals
E-W Vul
 
N
W   E
S
 
A Q 5 3
9 8 3
K J 10 8 2
8
West North East South
    1  Pass
1  2  2  3 
3  Pass ?  

 

So, how’s your nice looking 10 count looking now? Your partner figures to be short in hearts though 3Heart-small was bid with a feeling that they may not quite have their bid. Should you take that into account? It really all depends whether partner’s side suit honour cards were in clubs or diamonds. Go on. Be brave. Bid the vulnerable game!

“Pass”! That ended the auction. Wimp!

You laid down your dummy as North led the Heart-smallA. Partner played low and South went into an anguished huddle…finally producing Heart-smallK. Declarer followed low. Trick 2 was mildly surprising! Heart-smallJ from North, low hearts from dummy and South with your partner, yes, your partner(!) producing Heart-smallQ! (This board is not one played at any World Championship…just everyday life!)

Are you feeling really wimpish now?! Well you would be when declarer produced a spade to your queen, winning, and Spade-smallA felling North’s king. The remaining trump was drawn and partner produced next… Diamond-smallAQ!

East Deals
E-W Vul
K 4
A J 10 6 5
9 5
K 7 6 3
J 9 7 2
Q 7 2
A Q 7
J 10 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
A Q 5 3
9 8 3
K J 10 8 2
8
 
10 8 6
K 4
6 4 3
A Q 9 5 2
West North East South
    1  Pass
1  2  2  3 
3  All pass    

 

That was only two overtricks!

Now, I want to stop the flood of emails which will tell me that there were any one of a million ways to beat 4Spade-small even after the Heart-smallA lead though I am a little doubtful that a defender who played Heart-smallK at trick 1 (“I guessed you held the Heart-smallQ, partner”) would have found the necessary underlead of Club-smallAQ required to beat the contract had the Heart-smallK been withheld until trick 2.

4Spade-small is as they say a terrible contract requiring a pretty favourable lie of the trump suit, never mind some less than splendid defence. Try making 4Spade-small on a club lead and Heart-smallK switch!

Fine words… but in practice, the game made….if only the expert had taken his own advice!

good advice 1.jpg  let's just substitute "play" for "stay"

Richard Solomon

It would be lovely to make this a weekly feature but to do so, it requires some input from you, the readers. Week in, week out, amusing things happen at the bridge table.

 You experience them, observe them. Share them with me and then we all can enjoy. Either email on Richard.Solomon@nzbridge.co.nz  or phone me and tell me about them on 09 232 8494.

No names need be shown but exposing can be part of the fun!

Thanks.  

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