Saturday, June 21, 2014

Promoting trump tricks

My friend Kate has cut back on her bridge playing, both live and online, and so I've started a new partnership with arenita. Earlier, arenita (note the A is not capitalized) and I played on Bridgebase Online against the robots for practice. Then, last night, we ventured into the BBO 12-board tournament arena, something that is similar to walking through a field of landmines.

The third deal, I held:

J 2 A 9 7 3 Q 10 8 7 2 9 3.

After two passes, my left-hand opponent opened 1 and arenita overcalled 2. RHO raised to 2, What would you do? Hands like mine are why Al Gore invented responsive doubles, so I trotted one out. I don't really have good values, but online opponents seem to always take the push, and it can be a disaster to let them play undisturbed in 2. Okay, Al Gore invented the Internet, but he didn't invent responsive doubles, whatever. Partner bid 3 and, sure enough, the opponents pushed on to 3.

Partner led the Q. Here are all four hands with North as the declarer (on PCs, click to enlarge, escape to return):

We hadn't discussed it, but leading the queen from A-K-Q-x-x-(x) is a good idea when you also lead ace from ace-king. Partner should give count so leader knows how many are cashing. If leader's partner is short in the suit, he or she can often plan their discards.

Partner cashed a second club, then led the 5. I ruffed with the J and declarer was stuck. He struggled with the hand and eventually went down one.

When later I put the deal in Deep Finesse, I was pleased to see that arenita had to lead a low club at trick three to set the contract -- well done! For this we had a 94.2% board, and this helped us finish in fourth place.


  1. arenita and you should be congratulated. Fourth is better than fifth and sixth and seventh, etc. Sounds like a pretty tricky game!

  2. @lowell: good pun (tricky game).