bridge

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Mind Games - PaulMarston

WALES has won the Com­mon­wealth Na­tions Bridge Cham­pi­onship, played in Glas­gow from Septem­ber 8–14, with the sil­ver and bronze medals go­ing to Eng­land and In­dia. The Aus­tralian open team (Adam Edgt­ton, Andy Hung, Ish Del’Monte, Liam Milne, Nye Grif­fiths, Peter Hol­lands) was beaten in the round of eight. The Aus­tralian women’s team (Bar­bara Travis, Candice Gins­berg, Sue Lusk, Mar­garet Bourke) nar­rowly missed the round of eight. Twenty-eight teams took part rep­re­sent­ing 18 coun­tries.

A few other Aus­tralians took part, in­clud­ing Rose Moore and Jonathon Free of Perth. Their match against Eng­land 2 ended up in a draw but not be­fore both sides had landed some heavy blows. On deal one Free-Moore gave West the sort of thrill that only a bridge player can un­der­stand.

Just pic­ture your­self as West for a mo­ment. You have quite a promis­ing hand but things go in­stantly bad when your part­ner opens five di­a­monds, the bid you least wanted to hear. By now you are feel­ing gloomy so you are hardly sur­prised when North dou­bles. But you soon ex­pe­ri­ence a dra­matic mood swing when South emerges with a to­tally un­ex­pected five hearts. You dou­ble and lead the jack of clubs. De­clarer did well to play the ace and drop the king but you still have him four down for a penalty of 1100.

On deal two West leads the jack of spades against three notrumps and you have to de­cide how to play.

The trou­ble is that West will hold up his ace of di­a­monds un­til the third round, cut­ting you off from dummy. This will re­strict you to just two tricks in di­a­monds and a to­tal of eight. The only pos­si­bil­ity for the ex­tra trick is in clubs. This will be quite easy if the clubs break 3-3. You win the spade lead and play the king of di­a­monds and a di­a­mond when West plays low, as he must. Now you sim­ply con­cede two club tricks to es­tab­lish a club trick and land your game.

But what if the clubs break 4-2, as they do in the di­a­gram? This play will not work. Now you have to take one small ex­tra step. Upon win­ning the open­ing spade lead, duck a club at trick two. They can win and lead a sec­ond spade but you win and cash the ace of clubs, drop­ping the queen, be­fore play­ing on di­a­monds. You play the king of di­a­monds and a di­a­mond to dummy, which West must again duck. Now you play a club from dummy and East, who holds C K10, can­not stop you mak­ing your vi­tal ex­tra trick with your C J6.

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