All News

Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Never in Doubt!

The title of yesterday’s article was “Could Be Worse” and the theme around today’s could be along the lines of “could be a lot better”! Indeed, chances of South bringing home 10 tricks would seem pretty low. Does that mean that you give up? Not if you are keen to do well! A 1% chance of bringing in your contract is worth a try and the odds of making today’s deal must be much greater than that…well, a little greater!

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

North Deals
None Vul
A J 9
Q 10
A K 7 2
K J 9 3
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
Q 7 6 5 3 2
9 4 2
10 6 3
5
West North East South
  1  Pass 2 
Pass 4  All pass  

 

2Spade-small was a weak jump. So, you, South have a challenge of making 4Spade-small here. West started with three rounds of hearts (Heart-smallAK then a small heart, East showing an even number of hearts.) You ruff the third round. What next?

jan cormack 2021  1.jpg
Jan Cormack

 

It’s Jan’s Day: You can do it, partner.

 

" “Doing it” is making 4Spade-small. 2Spade-small was a weak jump and it could not have been much weaker!

There are occasions after your partner has proudly displayed dummy that the success of your contract seems very remote.

Declarer was Pauline Gumby, a member of the Australian Women’s team at the Tokyo Far Eastern Championships in 1979. At the sight of dummy, Pauline must have felt the gods needed to be very favourably disposed for her 4Spade-small contract to have any chance of success.

Pauline had already lost two tricks to the top two hearts. She had a certain club loser, had to play trumps for no losers and even then had to find a resting place for her third diamond (assuming Diamond-smallQJ were not doubleton).

Pauline had to return to her hand to take the trump finesse and in the process had to set up the club suit for one winner to discard that diamond.

So, at trick 3, Pauline made the key play of the Club-smallK:

 
North Deals
None Vul
A J 9
Q 10
A K 7 2
K J 9 3
K 10
A K 8 6
J 8 5 4
Q 7 6
 
N
W   E
S
 
8 4
J 7 5 3
Q 9
A 10 8 4 2
 
Q 7 6 5 3 2
9 4 2
10 6 3
5
West North East South
  1  Pass 2 
Pass 4  All pass  

 

East returned a small club (no other return would have been any better for the defence). Pauline ruffed and led a trump towards dummy inserting Spade-smallJ and then brought down the king under the ace. Next came a second club ruff and a rather nice feeling for Pauline when the Club-smallQ fell from the West hand.

 

The diamond loser could now be discarded on the Club-smallJ and Pauline had her 10 tricks.

Once Pauline had played Club-smallK at trick 4, the defence was completely powerless. Lucky for sure but well played nevertheless.”

 

Pauline, along with regular partner, Warren Lazer, has been a top Australian player for many years and a frequent visitor to our National Bridge Congress. They won the New Zealand Teams in 2018.  

 

It is interesting which of two lines is the best for declarer to take at trick 4. On the above lay-out, Pauline was absolutely correct. However, an alternative is to call for a small club from dummy at trick 4. If East held Club-smallA and not the Club-smallQ, could they be tempted to play it picking declarer held singleton queen? They should not but, as we know many contracts have been made because a defender did what they “should not” do.

Percentage… or Cunning?

cunning fox 3.jpg

Say, East held Club-smallAQ but not Club-smallT. Could East resist inserting the queen?

The subterfuge a desperate declarer can go to (and Pauline was desperate!) is endless…. and defenders can misread such situations.  

 

 

Any rethink? For less experienced players and others.

You are playing Teams. This is your hand and the bidding so far.

     
North Deals
N-S Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
A 10 8 4
K J 8 6 5
A 10 6 3
West North East South
  Pass Pass 1 
1 NT 2  2  Pass
Pass 3  Pass ?

 

1NT shows a strong no trump, 15-18, with a heart hold. The rest of the bidding is natural. Are you content now to pass?

Richard Solomon

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • Tauranga City Council
  • tourismbop.jpeg
  • TECT.jpg
  • Ryman
  • NZB Foundation