Join Bridge Winners
The Wife and I
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One of the rewards for the hundreds of hours spent studying bridge is the affirmation involved in bridge discussions with those that are still on the path to expertise.

This might involve answering a bidding question, commenting on a specific theme, or perhaps most importantly showing off one's own efforts.

A typical victim of these demonstrations is my wife.

She's had to deal with plenty of:

"Check me out. I'm so cool"

This is the story of our dialogue at a recent bridge tournament ...

North
A87
AKJ43
8
Q642
South
KJ62
Q10
K542
875
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
P
P

Playing in a pair game, I find myself in a delicate 2 contract.   West starts with the A and K, then crosses to the A to get a club ruff with the Q. He now plays a heart.

North
A87
AKJ43
Q
South
KJ62
Q10
K54
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
P
P

What is your plan?

North
A87
AKJ43
Q
South
KJ62
Q10
K54
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
P
P

Winning the heart, I cashed the A to confirm the 5-1 split. 

East's likely shape appeared to be 5-1-3-4.

I continued with the Q discarding a diamond (perhaps a heart is better).

Next came the 8 and East split.

I won in hand, cashed the K and ruffed a diamond to reach this position:

North
KJ4
South
K6
Q
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
P
P

When a heart was played next, East ruffed but he was trump-endplayed out of his 93 under my K6

Later that evening as I triumphantly displayed my +110, Sophie gave the response:

"They led the A but switched to a heart. I got to essentially the same position but had not suffered a club ruff. So I made nine tricks for +140"

Fair enough.

The next day....

South
864
AJ876
K4
AK9
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
?

We were off a keycard and the queen of trumps.

The presence of the J made the probability of the heart suit running at slightly above 50 percent.

Usually, these would not be good enough odds to bid a slam in the style I like.

Would you pass or bid? 

 

 

South
864
AJ876
K4
AK9
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
?

Bidding a slam felt better than marginal even odds because:

  • The keycard we were missing might be the K which would increase the likelihood of making significantly
  • There might be 12 tricks even if hearts don't run

In order to use the second vigorish above, I chose to bid 6NT.  

This foregoes the club ruff in dummy or the possibility of setting up diamonds via a ruff in hand.  

However, the possibility of additional high-cards in partner's hand and the likelihood of a good diamond suit was heightened by their actions so far.  

Dummy was a disappointment.

North
AK53
K1032
QJ1065
South
864
AJ876
K4
AK9
W
N
E
S
6NT
?
 

If partner had the Q and the same hand, 6NT would have been an awesome contract.

I won the J lead discarding a spade to knock out the A.  

West won and played another club.  

North
AK5
K1032
QJ106
South
864
AJ876
4
K9
W
N
E
S
6NT
?
 

What do you discard from dummy? 

North
AK5
K1032
QJ106
South
864
AJ876
4
K9
W
N
E
S
6NT
?
 

I chose to discard a heart.

My plan was to either play for the hearts to be 2-2, enjoy the benefits of a squeeze, or finesse through East if the play so indicated.

As it was, West turned up with three hearts. There was no squeeze and -200 was a sad outcome for an imaginative bid. 

Ruing my luck, no spade queen in dummy, no heart queen in the east hand, I offered a philosophical :

"Life is not fair. Look what happened to my careful orchestration"

And got the response.... 

North
AK53
K1032
QJ1065
South
864
AJ876
K4
AK9
W
N
E
S
6
?
 

"It was easy for me. I had noticed that West had been covering every honour led by declarer until this point in the match. I won the club lead and continued with A and J. When West covered, as expected, it was time for the next hand."

Damn!

Aced again.

The next day ....

North
AQ53
AKQ6
KJ543
South
74
1032
Q9
AQ8762
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

My partner, South, had to choose between bidding his hand and bidding like me.

He chose the latter and declared 3NT.

Faced with the 10 lead, he ducked.

The 9 is continued.

What would you do? 

West
10962
97
A1087
K103
North
AQ53
AKQ6
KJ543
East
KJ8
J854
62
J954
South
74
1032
Q9
AQ8762
W
N
E
S
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Dave elected to play the Q at trick two. 

The defence cleared spades and he had no shot at the hand.

Lamenting partner's bad luck and questionable 1NT bid, I brought up the hand to my wife and...

"It was easy for me as I declared as North. I won the spade lead to drive out the A. When they continued with a spade, I ducked one round to win the next. Then I tried diamonds. This was the position:

North
3
AKQ6
54
South
1032
AQ82
W
N
E
S
3NT

Since I was cold if hearts were 3-3, I cashed the A and K before exiting a diamond.

West was endplayed into giving me access to dummy's clubs"

So much for me and my so-called expertise!

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