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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Refreshing Fridays…for those new to the table.

Bid to game and  take a finesse.

There is no such thing as a “simple” bridge hand when you start playing. They are all tough. At this time of year, many new players are emerging from their classes into their clubs. They are probably not tuned to looking at bridge hands on this website.
So, we ask you, the more experienced players, to tell the “newbies” that for a while deals on a Friday will focus on very basic principles, the ones they have been shown in their classes. Hopefully, these hands will cement these principles.
Maybe teachers would like to use them as examples. They either are or are based on real deals.

Try this one:

South Deals
None Vul

A Q 2

10 2

J 10 2

A 10 8 4 3

J 10 9 6

K 9 8 5 4

9 7 3









K 8 5 4 3

A 7 6

K 8 6 4




Q J 3

A Q 5

K Q J 9 5 2










1 ♣


3 ♣


5 ♣

All pass







The Bidding

South opens their longest suit. North’s 3Club-small bid shows 10-12 high card points, 4+ clubs and denies 4 + hearts or 4 + spades. South has15 high card points. As we need, normally, a minimum 25 hcps between the 2 hands for game, South jumps to 5Club-small. (15+ 10 = 25).

The Opening Lead

A top of a sequence is often a great lead for the defence. So, here, West leads Spade-smallJ.

The Declarer Play

South should always pause when they see dummy. Their first job is to thank their partner and then plan if they can see how they can make the required number of tricks, here 11. They can look at each suit in turn. Here:

  • No losers in spades as North has the ace and South only 1 spade.
  •  No losers in clubs because North/South have all the high clubs
  •  Missing Heart-smallAK. 2 losing tricks in hearts.

               We have all the high honours in diamonds except the king. With two losing tricks in hearts, can we avoid losing a trick to the Diamond-smallK?

 First, though, a golden rule:

If you do not need dummy’s trumps for any other purpose, and you do not in this deal, draw the opponents’ trumps. Play Club-smallA and they will have none left.

keeping count.jpgCan you keep count of their trumps?

The Finesse

Back to the diamond suit. If we lead the Diamond-smallJ from dummy, we could be in luck not to lose a trick in that suit.
If East plays a low card, we play Diamond-small5 and, fingers crossed, we hope to win the trick.

(note: we had to lead the diamond from dummy. Had we just played Diamond-smallA, the Diamond-smallK would score a trick on the next round.)

Yes, we do win the trick! So let’s try Diamond-small2 and again if the king does not appear, we play Diamond-smallQ. Had they played Diamond-smallK, we play the ace.

So, no losers in diamonds or spades or clubs. We just lose 2 heart tricks and make 11 tricks.  Finesse successful: contract made.  

sunshine 3.jpg

A nice feeling and a warm glow as you hear a “well played” from your partner, even perhaps from your opponents. A bit of stress there, but if you played the contract as stated, you have done really well.

“Next board, please.” Next Friday.

Richard Solomon


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