Thursday, August 28, 2008

Making do

When you declare a contract at bridge, the minimum number of trumps in the combined hands is generally recommended to be eight. Sometimes you have to get by on fewer.

A 4-3 fit is called a Moysian, named after Alphonse Moyse. He was an editor of the Bridge World magazine and advocated them in certain situations. A decent explanation is available here. Richard Pavlicek shows a good example of a Moysian on his web site here.

Two friends of mine (Xwing and Kelstac) found a Moysian fit playing online at OKbridge. Often you have a singleton in one hand (making notrump undesirable) and you want to ruff that with the three-card suit. This deal was unique, however, as they ruffed with the four-card suit (hands rotated):

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

West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 4
All Pass

North-South were playing two-way Reverse Drury and so South couldn't bid her diamond suit over 1. North made the "expert" call of 2 at her first rebid and eventually the pair landed in 4.

West led the 3. Declarer won the ace and ducked a spade. The defense switched to the K and another. Declarer ruffed and played the A K. When that suit split, she was able to run diamonds and claim 10 tricks via six diamonds, two hearts and two spades. Making plus 420 was a 5.47 IMP pickup.

So, what if the defense started with a club at trick one? Deep Finesse says the contract can still be made. Declarer ruffs the second club, ducks a spade, ruffs a third club in her hand, cashes the K, leads to dummy and draws the last trump.

You can see what all the pairs did if you click here.

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