Thursday, April 16, 2009

Partner, wake up!

I don't subscribe to a newspaper anymore. I get that type content online like most people these days. If I do pick up a paper, however, I always look at the bridge column.

My favorite thing to do is to just look at all four hands before reading it, and see if I can guess what the theme of the column is. Most of the time I can tell whether the piece is about an endplay, a tough defensive problem or whatever.

Let's take a look at the column (NEA Bridge syndicate of United Media) that was in the paper on Tuesday, Apr. 14:

J 3
J 10
Q J 10
A K J 9 8 7
Q 4 2
8 5 A K Q 7 6 4 3
K 9 8 6 4 3 A 7 5
10 5 2 6 4
A K 10 9 8 7 6 5
9 2
Q 3
West North East South
1 4 4
All Pass

West led the 8 and East cashed two rounds of the suit. Next, East laid down the A.

West can see that he can set the contract if East leads another round of hearts -- that promotes his Q as the setting trick. The newspaper analysis says, therefore, that on this trick, West should play the 3 (playing standard signals, apparently) to discourage the diamond continuation.

What's wrong with this picture?

Sometimes, partner is snoozing and you need to make what is called an "alarm clock" play. On the A, play the king! That will get partner's attention and ensure the heart continuation which you can see is right.

This from the Bridge World's site:
Alarm clock
(noun) a call or defensive play intended to alert partner to an unusual situation.


  1. Hi,

    Got to your blog from a link in Justin Lall's blog.

    You write some interesting stuff and I have bookmarked your blog.

  2. Hey, thanks for the comment. Enjoy.