Monday, October 6, 2008

Let me mention this

The term en passant is used in chess. It's also, however, a type of coup in bridge. The Bridge World magazine has a definition on their web site here, but an example might be easier to understand.

My friends, Notzia and Kate, played in the OKbridge mini-tournament tonight, and this deal helped them take first place (hands rotated):

A 5 2
A 7 4
A Q 10 6 5 2
8 K 10 9 6
K 9 3 2 Q 6
J 8 5 2 K 10 7 4 3
K J 9 4 8 3
Q J 7 4 3
J 10 8 5
A 9 6
North South
Kate Notzia
1 1
3 3
3 4

West led the 8. Notzia (real name David, but not me, obviously) played low from dummy and East did too. He probably assumed that if he rose with the king, it would make it easy for declarer to control the play (although Deep Finesse says it can be made whether he does or not). Notzia won the jack and immediately led a club to the queen, which held. Declarer now led the Q to his ace and ruffed a low diamond in dummy. Next he cashed the A and discarded his last diamond.

Declarer led a club from dummy and ruffed with his 3 as East discarded. He continued with the J covered by the king and won with the ace. South led another round of clubs from dummy and ruffed with his 4. This was the position:

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

Notzia had eight tricks in the bank and needed two more. He was pretty sure the K was in the East hand, so he led a trump to dummy's ace and led another club. It does East no good to ruff (either high or low), so he discarded. This allowed declarer to score his Q en passant.

In case you didn't know, the term en passant comes from the French and means "in passing." The next time you're talking bridge with your friends, try and work that into the conversation -- it's sure to impress them.

In passing, let me mention that making 4 was worth 8.88 IMPs (ouch, couldn't resist that one). Six pairs went set two, and 12 pairs went set one in 4 contracts.

Many other pairs played in a partscore in spades and made three or four, and there were other results that were all over the place. You can see all of them when you click here.

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