Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't rush me

One of the things I like about online bridge is that it moves pretty fast. When I play at the local club, it seems like it drags on forever. Sometimes, however, you have to stop and think.

The opponents bid to four hearts on this auction (I was West - partner, East, overcalled 1):

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

I led the 2 (third and low) and saw the North hand as dummy.

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

How do you like the 3bid? I don't think it's worth that -- South is allowed to respond in a four-card suit. The singleton ace isn't worth full value because you only have three trumps.

Declarer won the A and led a low heart. Partner followed with the queen, declarer the ace and I played low. South then led a low heart, I played the 7 and she ducked. I guess she hoped pard had K-Q. Partner discarded the 3, encouraging in our methods.

How would you continue?

I thought for at least 30 seconds -- an eternity for online bridge. If partner had the K Q, I could cash a high heart and lead a second round of diamonds. The declarer finally said something in the chat box to try and speed me up.

I thought some more and then I saw a better defense -- I shifted to a high spade.

Partner won the king and led the K to make dummy ruff with its 10, setting up two more trump tricks for me. Yes! Here are all four hands (rotated):

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

When I later used Deep Finesse to analyze the deal, I was surprised to see that a spade at trick four is necessary to defeat the game. Good thing I didn't let the opponent push me into making a hasty decision.

Setting 4 was worth 4.61 IMPs. Allowing the contract to make would have been minus 7.58 IMPs.

You can see all the results if you click here.


  1. Reading through this post I decided I'm too old to learn would involve learning a whole new language plus!

    Glad you're enjoying nice spring weather. Nothing like it!

  2. Nice. I like hands where the best approach is not what might appear best from your hand but that which includes the extra snippet partner gave you; here in spades.