January 10, 2013
Stories this photo appears in:
what would you respond? The first question is: Does your partnership use transfers into the minors? If you do, you should go via that route, perhaps responding two spades. (And then two clubs followed by three clubs would show a four-card major, long clubs and at least enough points for game.)
What does it mean if, after opener begins with one no-trump, responder bids two clubs, Stayman, then rebids three of a minor?
Perhaps one half of the mistakes at the bridge table can be traced to playing too quickly and not taking enough time to think things through.
One guesses that plans might have been drawn first. However, a bridge contract will have more chance of success if declarer has two ways to get home and is able to try them both — as in this deal.
This deal has a few possibilities, which you have probably seen before, but one of them still evades most players.
That is certainly true in soccer, but not in bridge. There is an old saying that runs along these lines: If you watch a beginner play in three no-trump, he wins the first eight tricks and loses the last five. In contrast, an expert loses the first four and wins the last nine.
Robert Bresson, a French film director, said, “Cinema, radio, television, magazines are a school of inattention: People look without seeing, listen without hearing.”
It is only a successful bridge player who listens carefully to the auction and uses the information to guide his defense. In this example, how should West hope to defeat four spades after he leads the club ace?
At the bridge table, we score well when, inter alia, responder rebids well — our theme this week. Look at the North hand. What should North bid on the second round?
Is bidding 10 percent what your partner bids and 90 percent how you respond to it? Not really; it ought to be an equal division of labor.
South might believe he faces a dilemma in this deal. He opens one club, which might be with only a three-card suit. When his partner responds one heart, should he rebid two clubs to confirm that he has a real club suit, or one spade to show his major?
Or if your pet is ill, call in three vets who are good bridge players. Have a look at the North hand in today’s diagram. It has the same distribution as yesterday’s, 3-1-5-4, and the uncontested auction starts the same way: one diamond — one spade.
Bridge players do not need to practice that often — but it would be beneficial if they did.
At the bridge table, if you have the necessary values, sometimes you have to jump. But at least you can do it while staying firmly anchored in your chair.
If you get the maximum of information at the bridge table and use it wisely, you will make the minimum of errors.
At the bridge table, the use of logic should lead to the correct conclusion.
That is a great attitude for up-and-comers in anything, including bridge. But at times there is a need to trump everyone with a trump card. In this deal, South is in four spades. West leads the diamond king. How should East plan the defense?
So far this week, we have been looking at defenses in no-trump contracts aided by placing declarer’s high-card points based on the bidding and play. Suitably assisted, one defender has known which suit to attack to gain sufficient tricks to defeat the contract. Now let’s move to trump contracts.
At the bridge table, be active in counting points and figuring out tricks, both yours and theirs. In this deal, West is trying to defeat three no-trump. He leads the spade queen: five, two, king. South plays on clubs, putting West back in. What should he do next?
At the bridge table, you desire to make or break the contract, using reasoning and various habits — hopefully all good. And sometimes you have to go for any chance that you have.
At the bridge table, you will not always have the perfect hand for a given call. You must play the percentages. If a call will probably win, go with it. But remember that nothing works all of the time. This applies when you are balancing with a weak hand.
It is a sad fact of bridge that it does not matter how great your bidding might be. If you do not make the contract, the opponents get points.
Colin Hay, a Scottish-born musician who came to prominence as lead vocalist of the Australian band Men at Work, said, “I don’t walk off and come back for encores. I figure I can add four weeks to my life that way.” In a bridge column, though, encores can help to reinforce the point being made by the writer.
In bridge you must use your brain to gain the most from each hand you hold. And in this week’s columns, we are looking at balancing, when one player, if he passes, will end the auction.
I suppose that has a parallel in bridge. He that playeth on one suit before he hath some sort of entrance into that hand elsewhere, goeth to destruction and not to success. In this deal, how should South play in three no-trump after West leads a low heart?
At the bridge table, we know how many tricks we need to win. The real difficulty can be knowing how to do that. In this deal, for example, South needs 10 tricks to make four spades.
Gene Mora, who writes the “Graffiti” cartoon, used this line: “If at first you do succeed, try not to look surprised.” If you work out the right line of play in this deal, try not to look surprised! What would you do in three no-trump after West leads his fourth-highest spade?
At the bridge table, a loser usually gives a trick to the opponents. Sometimes, though, taking that trick can be costly. In today’s deal, what should be the
Jack Benny, when talking about comedy, said, “It’s not so much knowing when to speak, as when to pause.” That is so true — timing is everything. And it applies to many bridge deals, not just for declarer but also for the defenders. In today’s deal, who should come out ahead in four hearts after West leads his fourth-highest club?
Robert Orben, who is primarily a comedy writer, said, “There are days when it takes all you’ve got just to keep up with the losers.” He was not thinking about bridge, but he could have been. When you are in a trump contract, you should start by counting your losers. Then, if there are not more than you can afford, you should draw trumps as quickly as possible. But if the loser count is too high, you must calculate how to reduce the number.
In “Peanuts,” Peppermint Patty struggled greatly at school. In one cartoon, she cries, “I know the answer! The answer lies within the heart of all mankind!” There is a pause as the reader moves to the next panel. “The answer is 12? I think I’m in the wrong building.” If you go down in a contract, especially one for 12 tricks that you should have made, you will probably wish you had chosen to visit a different building.
Surrealist painter Salvador Dali said, “At the age of 6, I wanted to be a cook. At 7, I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” If your partner’s ambition in the bidding carries you to heights that your cards do not justify, try to find a line of play that will justify his optimism.
Thank you to everyone who entered my latest Christmas Competition. This was the second-biggest entry ever (behind 2000, the year with the senryu element), with emails and mail being received from around the planet, which was fun. The best entry came from Craig Cordes of Baton Rouge, La.
Groucho Marx said, “A child of 5 would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of 5.” In bridge, it is a “rule” that if you bid a suit on the first round of the auction and partner does not raise your suit, then, if you rebid it in on the second round, you are indicating at least a six-card suit. You do your utmost not to rebid in a five-card suit.
When we are first shown a bridge deal, it is perfect and puts the cards in our hands. Then, usually some mistakes are made — after all, we are only human.
Jim Rohn, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker who died in 2009, said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”