One of the fun things about following blogs is you meet new friends, and cyber-friends become real-life friends. I don't remember how I discovered Jennifer Jones blog (see here), but later I met her at one of the North American Bridge Championships. When the NABC came to Memphis, she went out to dinner with Kate and me.
Jenn has offered to do a guest post here in MOJO-land discussing her favorite topic: losing trick count, so here we go:
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I never get tired of writing about losing trick count. Here's a hand I held recently at the club (spot cards approximate). With no one vulnerable, I had: ♠A K Q 8 4 ♥-- ♦A 3 2 ♣8 7 4 3 2. I dealt and opened 1♠.
Left-hand opponent overcalled 2♥ and partner jumped to 3♠. RHO bid 4♥ and it was my bid.
Although partner has shown a weak hand, now that we have a known fit, I can confidently employ losing trick count. This will enable me to properly evaluate my hand in order to decide what to do.
Although my hand has only 13 high-card points, it is a fairly powerful hand with only five losers (four and one-half after adjusting for aces and queens). Partner will have nine or more losers. With eight losers, he would have invited game. All things considered, it looks like 4♠ has a good chance of making, so I bid it.
Curiously, the ♣A was led, followed by a diamond shift. It's a good bet that the ace of clubs was singleton and West is trying for a club ruff. After winning the ♦K, I came to my hand with a spade and pitched a club on the ♦A. I exited with a club (LHO showing out) and RHO won and returned a trump (they were 2-2). I crossruffed and the long club in my hand was my 10th trick (seven trumps, two diamonds and one club).
I was a bit surprised to see that plus 420 was a tie for top. Looking into the matter, I learned that only one-third of the field bid 4♠. The use of losing trick count principles should make bidding the game easy, despite only having 18 high-card points between the two hands.
As Ron Smith points out in his new blog regarding my losing trick count booklets: "I'm glad Jenn is doing what she is doing. Point count has been done forever, but it only works on balanced hands. When you have distributional hands, point count doesn't work. I evaluate using Losing Trick Count in almost every hand." Ron's blog is here.
My blog, with information about the losing trick count booklets is here.
See you at the table!
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Thanks for the deal, Jenn. For readers who don't know, Jenn did a series of articles on LTC for the Bridge Bulletin. Visit her site for more interesting deals.