Lifestyle

Hand to encourage thoughts about defence

All quiet down at the Bridge Club as the summer lull gets into full swing. A few players have taken the opportunity to attend the Can-At Regional in Halifax and no doubt another group will be getting ready for the ACBL Summer Nationals which will be held this year in Atlanta between July 26 and August 5.

Iíll bring you news of any good performances at these events ó if you are attending either of these and have a good result, drop me a line.

Todayís hand is a bit of an old chestnut, but I love it for its instructional value in getting players to think about their style and defence instead of just following suit.

Dealer South N/S vulnerable

S632

H965

DAJ1097

C65

SJ954 S Q107

H84 H QJ107

DK52 D Q43

CJ1098 C Q32

SAK8

HAK32

D86

CAK74

Itís not often that every single pair gets to the same contract on a hand, but in this one all nine North-South Pairs ended up in 3NT after South opened a 20-22 2NT and North had an easy raise to 3NT.

The results were interesting ó seven pairs made ten tricks for plus 630, one pair went down one for minus 100 and, most interestingly, one pair went down 3 for minus 300. How can that happen you say when declarer has seven top tricks? Easy, and it happened with both declarer and the defence doing all the right things.

First, letís take a look at the seven pairs who made ten tricks. East usually led the Jack of Clubs and the play went the same way at all seven tables ó declarer won, played a low Diamond to the ten losing to the Queen, won the Club return and repeated the Diamond finesse and made the contract with four Diamond tricks and two tricks in the other three suits ó very normal.

At the eighth table, however, East ducked the first Diamond when declarer put in the 10. Look at what that does ó it kills the Diamond suit. Declarer now had to hope for 3-3 Hearts but when that didnít happen went down to a one-trick defeat, making two tricks in each suit. Great play by East.

Now to the table where the hand went down three. Sitting West was an experienced player who had seen this sort of hand before and at trick two when declarer led a low Diamond he put up the King. Again, look at the effect this has ó declarer knows that taking the Ace will now also kill the Diamond suit and his only hope was that West had played the King from KQ or KQx, so he let the Diamond trick hold hoping for this layout:

S632

H965

DAJ1097

C65

SJ954 SQ107

H84 H QJ107

DKQ2 D543

CJ1098 CQ32

SAK8

HAK32

D86

CAK74

West now continued a Club which declarer won to play another Diamond to the ten. East, however, won the Queen and the rest was not pretty ó declarer made no Diamond tricks on the hand and fell to a three-trick defeat. As I keep saying, is there any other mind game that is so multidimensional? The answer is a flat-out no.

Bridge results (the week of June 25)

Monday afternoon

North/South

1. Tony Saunders/Jean Johnson

2. Alan Douglas/Martha Ferguson

3. Patricia Colmet/Greta Marshall

East/West

1. Jane Clipper/Caroline Svensen

2. Diana Diel/Molly Taussig

3. Linda Abend/David Pickering

Monday evening

1. Alan Douglas/Jane Smith

2. Elizabeth McKee/Rachael Gosling

3. Peter Donnellan/Lynanne Bolton

Tuesday evening

North/South

1. Mike Viotti/Chris Harris

2. Samantha Pickering/Nick Kempe

3. Wenda Krupp/Joanne Edwardsl

East/West

1. Heather Farrugia/Michael Farrugia

2. Mark Stevens/Malcolm Moseley

3. Raymond McDaid/Inger Mesna

Wednesday morning

North/South

1. Louise Rodger/Elizabeth McKee

3. Peter Donnellan/Lynanne Bolton

George Correia/Michael Bickley

East/West

1. Stephanie Kyme/Jane Smith

2. Tony Saunders/Molly Taussig

Greta Marshall/Heather Woolf

Thursday evening

1. Richard Hall/James Fraser

2. Peter Donnellan/Martha Ferguson

3. Rachael Gosling/Simon Giffen

Friday afternoon

North/South

1. Stephanie Kyme/Jean Johnson

2. Janice Trott/Michael Bickley

3. Peter Donnellan/Richard Gray

East/West

1. Patricia Siddle/Julia Beach

2. George Correia/Heather Woolf

3. Elizabeth McKee/Diana Diel