Bridge Views and News

Expert thinking

October 29, 2018

Have you heard tell that a bridge expert thinks in a different way to a competent player? Do you like to challenge your everyday play? Then this hand is for you. It was dealt to me yesterday during the knockout stages of a competition I am playing in with my regular team from Pisa. The way I thought through this hand generated 10 IMPs for our side.
East-West are silent as you bid straightforwardly to 3 NT. First let us scrutinise what goes through your mind as you cogitate your dummy play. On the lead of the four of hearts, partner tables the following:


10 9 3
Q J 8
A 3 2
A 9 8 4
N
WE
S
A K Q 2
K 9
Q 10 7 5
Q 6 2
Counting three spades, two hearts, one diamond and one club with three suits offering possibilities for a fourth what are you considering? What do you play to trick one?

If you called for one of your heart honours you played just as I did. If I tell you now that, when faced with three possible sources (suits), the expert looks ahead from the very first card. So consider what is the best possible end position to maximise your chances for turning any one suit into two more tricks.

Here's the ending you want to reach:


Q
A 3 2
9



N


S

2
Q 10 7 5

Let me share the thinking. The key is to win the lead in dummy and lead a club towards the queen. This gives you your best chance. When East goes up with the king and returns a heart ducked by West you know the hearts are 5-3 and clubs probably 2-4. Now cash your black suit winners ending in dummy and you reach this position:


Q
A 3 2
9
A 10
K 8
J
N
WE
S
J
5
J 9 6
2
Q 10 7 5

Playing on diamonds on the second round, does not allow you to reach a winning ending even if you guess correctly, because you'll be in the wrong hand at the crucial moment.

Here is the full deal: (if you click play you can try all the possibilities for yourself)

 

Rosenblum 2018 - the bridge continues

October 22, 2018

Right now I am headed to a site visit - it's a promising spot for a future championship. But there’s still one stanza remaining in the Rosenblum final, so hopefully I will find some time today to report on the last 16 deals of this Zimmerman Lavazza showdown - so much blood has been spilled it’s a wonder anyone’s still standing. Fatigue, and the bridge gods have been playing havoc with minds and hearts – but for once the cards have not been bouncing us readers and commentators from p...

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Rosenblum 2018 Final - there's always time for great bridge!

October 15, 2018
Professional duties kept me very busy during the 15th World Bridge Series which took place this September in Orlando USA, but it is a joy to watch great matches - and this year's final did not disappoint - we must always find time to witness great bridge played by the world's finest players.


Here is my report (click the grey arrow to read full sized) on the first session of this impressive match - and more to follow - I'll let you know when it's ready.



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Martin Hoffman 1929 -2018

May 22, 2018
Came across this in the course of translating Forquet's article this week. I thought I would post it as a wee tribute to Martin, a popular player from England who was buried yesterday. I wish condolences to his family.

Making a bridge name for himself since he took up the game at the age of 35, here's another couple of Martin articles from great bridge personalities - Zia in 2011 and Janet de Botton in 2016
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