Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Making my blog

My profile on OKbridge (which anyone can read by clicking on my avatar/photo) says: "Make a good play and I'll write about it in my blog."

I was playing online bridge last night (Tuesday). After we finished a two-board round, one of my opponents asked me, "Did we do anything to make your blog?"

That struck me as funny, and so I said, "No, not this time, but I'll keep an eye on you." I could feel that if we had been playing face-to-face, she would have laughed and smiled. We were having a good time.

We had a good time (in a different way) on this deal, too. The fourth round, we played board #8:

8 4 3
A K Q 7
10 9
A Q 10 8
A K Q J 9 5 7
4 3 2 5
K 7 6 2 A Q J 8 5
--- 9 7 5 4 3 2
10 6 2
J 10 9 8 6
4 3
K J 6

After two passes, West opened 1, North doubled, East passed and South bid 2. (If you were East, would you bid, and, if so, what?)

West had an awkward rebid problem. He couldn't be sure whether his partner had any useful values or not, and, thus chose to rebid a conservative 2. North competed with an aggressive 3 and South carried on to 4. Both North (Kate) and South (moi) expected (or hoped) the other to be short in spades, unlucky.

The fish West made my blog, but not for the right reason. He led the A and continued with the K and the Q, East discarding the 8, then the 5.

West shifted to a low diamond and East won the A and returned the Q. West let this hold, hoping for a club ruff, but East continued with the J and I took the rest.

Obviously, this was not the optimum defense. West had a club void and wanted a ruff. After the ace and king of spades, he could have led the 5 at trick three. East would have to ruff this (assuming he was not void in hearts) and perhaps that would wake him up. From here, West can ruff a club (East should lead the 2 to say his entry is in diamonds). West can return a low diamond to East to get another club ruff. He can cash the K, or underlead to get a third club ruff.

But wait! When West shifts to a low diamond, East can choose to play him for the K and (if so) put in the J to clarify and eight tricks are easy for the defense for down five.

Would all this fancy defense matter? Well, yes and no. East-West would get a better score, but it wouldn't make up for the game they missed. (We gained 4.29 IMPs.) Playing 4, they have an easy 11 tricks. In fact, if they play diamonds, 12 tricks are trivial!

There were 128 pairs. Out of the 64 who played East-West, two of them actually bid to 6, and you can read about it here.

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