A good hand but awk­ward call

The Hamilton Spectator - - FUN & GAMES -

Brian Tracy, a mo­ti­va­tional pub­lic speaker and self-de­vel­op­ment au­thor, said, “Move out of your com­fort zone. You can only grow if you are will­ing to feel awk­ward and un­com­fort­able when you try some­thing new.”

At the bridge ta­ble, you will oc­ca­sion­ally be in an awk­ward po­si­tion, maybe even one that you have not faced be­fore. Then, how do you de­cide what to do?

Look at to­day’s South hand. It is strong and you are hop­ing to have a lengthy, in­for­ma­tive auc­tion with your part­ner, when an­noy­ingly East opens three spades — yes, spades! What would be your call, given that only your side is vul­ner­a­ble?

It is not ob­vi­ous what to do: pass, dou­ble, three no-trump or some num­ber of di­a­monds. Each could be the win­ner.

At the ta­ble in the 2016 Yeh On­line World Bridge Cup, Shih Juei Yu (South for the Yeh team) over­called three no-trump, which would be a pop­u­lar choice. Then, though, the auc­tion ran out of con­trol. Wang Ping (North) bid four hearts, South cor­rected to five di­a­monds, North con­tin­ued higher with six clubs, and South tried six di­a­monds. West lost pa­tience and dou­bled, even­tu­ally col­lect­ing 800.

At the other ta­ble, East passed as dealer, Agustin Madala (South for Lavazza) opened one spade, West made a de­bat­able take­out dou­ble, Bene­dicte Cronier (North) re­sponded two clubs, East un­wisely ad­vanced with two hearts, South made a take­out dou­ble, and North hap­pily passed. This also went down three, mi­nus 500, giv­ing Lavazza 16 in­ter­na­tional match points en route to the ti­tle.

Mis­fits are mis­er­able.

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