Archive for July, 2009

Dick on Defence I continued

Surfer’s Teams
Dealer North
EW Vul

NORTH

s10973
h1KQ963
d1AQJ2
c

WEST

sAQ642
h18
d1K74
c8653

EAST

sK
h142
d110965
cAKJ974

SOUTH

sJ85
h1AJ1075
d183
cQ102

Dick: ‘Marston decided to swing the ace of spades, hitting the jackpot. This was the complete deal. The defenders took the first three tricks, two top spades and a ruff. Down one, plus 100 to EW. Note that on any other lead declarer can make the contract by finessing twice in diamonds. A spade loser disappears on the third round of diamonds. At the other table, North and South judged the auction better than their counterparts:’

West….North….East….South
………..Borewicz……..Richman
………..1H……..2C……2H
2S…….4H……..Pass…Pass
5C…….Pass….Pass…Dble
All Pass

Dick: ‘The defence was sparkling. Richman hit on the excellent lead, the eight of diamonds. North’s jack won the trick. Borewicz continued with the ace and then the two of diamonds. Richman ruffed and got out, coolly, with the five of hearts. This went to the queen. A fourth round of diamonds from Borewicz promoted another trump trick for his partner – 800 to NS, thank you very much.’

I wonder if the point is that partner doesn’t have much and maybe a shortage is likely and that does make you look at the spade suit.

Well, I’m off to a party tonight, can’t imagine being able to blog before Monday (!) …see you then!

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July 31, 2009 at 7:54 am 2 comments

Dick on Defence I

Cummings introduced this hand thus: ‘One qualifying hand from the swiss of the Surfer’s Teams is a splendid example of team-work, a useful quality for doing well at teams. First of all, try it as a lead problem for Paul Marston, sitting West. You, West, hold:’

sAQ642
h18
d1K74
c8653

West….North….East….South
………..2D*……3C……3H
5C…….5H……..Pass….Pass
Dble…..All Pass

2D is Flannery with an opening hand.

I don’t think these days anybody would double, would they? Still, you are Marston, that’s what you did, and now it’s your lead.

July 30, 2009 at 9:22 am 10 comments

Dick on Defence

Years ago when I lived in Sydney Dick Cummings asked me to organise his bridge writings into book form. The obvious start, it seemed to me, was something on defence as this was really Dick’s special subject. In his youth, touring Europe and the UK in the late 1950s (if memory serves me correctly) one hand in particular stood out where Dick broke up a squeeze in defence.

It might not sound special now, but defence was still a primitive business. Almost nothing had been written on it. I’m not suggesting that he was the first person to do this, but the articulation of it was new at the time. He did it on purpose, no doubt after one of those deep thinks Dick was famous for. Maybe I reproduced the hand in my history of Australian bridge? I don’t have a copy about, so I can’t check.

At the time nothing came of the book. Noticing the material is still with me, I thought I’d present some of this hands here. Please come back tomorrow for the first one.

July 29, 2009 at 9:10 am 1 comment

History made at the Interstate

Last year the big news from the Interstate was the complete absence of the Northern Territory. Maybe this was partly political, but it costs the representatives a lot financially to compete and even though they have slowly been improving over the years, is playing worth that cost?

For the rest of us at the Interstate it is a great disappointment when the NT doesn’t turn up, not only because it feels like the community is incomplete, but because we all miss a couple of matches that are always interesting. In 1991 I was playing on the NSW Open Interstate team and we made history by being the first NSW team to lose to the Northern Territory. That we nonetheless won the event maybe reflects the fact that even then NT was not to be sneezed at. I can’t recall the details, unfortunately, but Cathy Warthold played a fabulous false-card against me on one deal – and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Cathy’s played on many Open Interstate teams with 4 different partners and on several women’s teams as well. Lately she’s figured that adding her weight to the women’s may have more value for the NT than playing in the Open where the team is still far from being able to qualify for the finals.

How right was this assessment as the NT women’s team became the first NT team to reach an Interstate final. It was a fabulous result by Jodi Tutty-Therese Demarco, Cathy Warthold-Rosemary Mooney, Pam Nunn-Alison Maynard, who were a convincing qualifier ahead of an experienced NSW team running third.

ANC OPEN TEAMS RR2 2009
Session 5
Board Number 12
Average Score : 130

NS Vul
Dealer West

NORTH

sQ1053
h1AK1098
d1J762
c

WEST

s76
h1Q7
d1AQ85
cA8754

EAST

sA92
h16543
d14
cQ10632

SOUTH

sKJ84
h1J2
d1K1093
cKJ9

The NS game is excellent, despite the slim and partly wasted values. Yet it goes down to a straightforward defence. Does that mean EW were wrong, when they did, to bid on to 5C which is not a cheap save at -500? In the Open 2 EW pairs bid to 5C, while 2 sold out to 4S. In the Women’s it was pretty much the same, 2 playing 5C, 2 playing 4S. NT was on the right side of this in their match, Warthold-Tutty collecting 500 while it was passed in at the other table.

In the women’s, however, there was one very curious result. In the match Victoria vs Tasmania, Kaplan-Tishler for Victoria bid and made 4S for +620, no doubt expecting a nice swing. However, in the other room the Tasmanian pair Little-Tyson bid the NS cards to 3NT which makes easily, so the net gain to Victoria was all of one IMP.

July 23, 2009 at 9:43 am 8 comments

From the Interstate

Sitting East you pick up:

A92
6532
4
Q10632

Your side is not vul vs vul and the auction begins:

West….North….East….South
1C……..Dble…..1H…….Dble
2C……..Pass…..?

What do you bid now? And what are you doing over 4S, since it will come down to that. Suppose, for example, South jumps to 4S over whatever you do next and that’s passed around to you.

July 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm 5 comments

Back soon…

Sorry, I think while the Interstate’s on I’m having a bit of a break. Back soon.

July 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

Are there choices here? Continued

The problem presented yesterday, from our last match against Cayne was this:

WEST

sKQ108
h19432
d110972
cJ

SOUTH

sJ6532
h1K6
d1Q5
cKQ62

You are West, sitting over dummy after this auction:

West….North….East….South
Pass…..1D…….Pass…..1S
Pass…..2C…….Pass…..3C
Pass…..3NT

Partner leads the S7 to your ten. What should you do now?

I’m both surprised and relieved that nobody came up with the answer:

NORTH

s4
h1AQ107
d1AJ64
cA973

WEST

sKQ108
h19432
d110972
cJ

EAST

sA97
h1J85
d1K83
c10854

SOUTH

sJ6532
h1K6
d1Q5
cKQ62

I continued a spade on the basis that if declarer had nine minor tricks and partner had the heart ace, we need to cash out now. In fact, what you have to do is shift to a diamond, which was my other thought. Maybe this is just odds: it’s more likely that partner has both minors stopped than the heart ace? Continuing with a spade meant that declarer got to keep playing spades with a view to squeezing partner.

Shifting to a heart is no good. When declarer continues with a spade, if you win it your side has only three spade tricks so declarer can develop diamonds. If partner wins it, then he has nothing effective to do. He exits, declarer plays another spade and that is the end of that.

Is there a useful clue in the opening lead? With four hearts partner might well have led one. Maybe that affords the presumption that declarer is 1444, and now the diamond shift is obvious as declarer can’t be cashing out in the minors.

July 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm 5 comments

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