Bridge By The Lake

By Ken Masson

 

juegos-de-cartasThey say that a little learning is a dangerous thing and I found this out to my cost when I played this hand during my summer sojourn in Toronto.

As herself had the day off for good behaviour, I was playing with another partner at Hazel’s, probably the premier bridge club in the Greater Toronto Area. Sitting South as dealer I opened 2 clubs. West passed and North bid 2 diamonds which promised at least a king and forced our partnership to game. East now entered the fray with 2 hearts but that didn’t hinder my planned 2 spades rebid.

West now raised her partner’s hearts to the three level and North jumped to 4 spades. Since we were on a path to game anyway, my partner employed the principle of fast arrival meaning that her jump bid was the weakest it could be consistent with her bidding to date. Despite this warning bell, I felt that virtually any hand with spade support would give me a dummy with at least a fighting chance of making a slam so that is what I bid next.

West led a low heart and partner displayed her dummy showing the absolute minimum consistent with our agreement, so the onus was on me to make the most of the situation. Obviously I had an inevitable heart loser so I turned my attention to the other suits. If the opponents’ spades were divided 3-2 and their clubs 3-3 I could rattle off 12 tricks without breaking a sweat. However, this is where the little learning came in: I knew that the probability of the trumps breaking favourably was about 67% while that of the clubs being 3-3 was only about 35%.

What all this means in practice is that if I drew all the enemy spades and relied on finding the clubs to my liking, I would succeed only about one time in three. So I thought I would improve my chances by only drawing two rounds of trumps and then playing off the top three clubs. If that suit behaved, I could draw the last trump and claim. But if the clubs were divided 4-2, and the player with the long club also had the outstanding spade, I could ruff a losing club before getting back to my hand to draw the last trump.

With this plan in mind, I played a spade to the king and then another back to my ace, only to find West showing out. Now my contract was in tatters as I had no way of picking up East’s trumps even though the clubs had split favorably.

When I later showed the hand to herself she suggested a way in which I could have combined my chances: Start by cashing the spade ace and then play a spade to the king. When West showed out I could have abandoned Plan A, drawn trumps by way of a finesse and hoped for the anti-percentage break in clubs. As you can see, I would have emerged as a hero instead of a goat!

Questions or comments: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

bridge-oct12

 

 

 

Pin It

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Bridge By The Lake  By Ken Masson October 2017 Bridge By The Lake April 2017 Bridge By The Lake March 2017 Bridge
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The great thing about duplicate bridge is that it reduces the luck factor in the game. Every hand in matchpoint
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The Annual Valentine’s Sectional Bridge Tournament in Ajijic was once again a big success this February. 
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   Sometimes, despite holding a wealth of high cards, you will reach a slam and when dummy comes down you will
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals