Feel free to contact Bud Stowe with any suggestions for this new site.
You open 1♠ and your LHO bids 2♦ . Partner bids 2♠ but the opponents end up in 5♦ .
Your partner leads the king of spades and you see the following dummy. You have six different choices to follow to this trick. Which one is best? Decide before reading on.
K♠ lead ♠ AQJ653
Normally in a suit contract when dummy runs out of the suit you attack, you give suit preference. If you wanted partner to lead a club to your ace (the lowest suit) you would play your lowest card, the 3. If you were desperate for a heart shift, you would play the Q. If you had no preference, you would play the 6.
But you don’t want any of this to happen. What you hope is to get a heart trick, and that isn’t going to happen with your partner on lead.
SOLUTION: Overtake the king with the ace and lead the ten of hearts before declarer gets the clubs set up for pitches.
♠ KT87 ♠ AQJ653
♥ K8532 ♥ T64
♦ Q3 ♦ J
♣ 32 ♣ A85
Toby & I won this event holding the N-S cards, and our opponents holding E-W finished 2nd. Had the spade opener's partner made this play, they would have been 1st instead.
Submitted June 8, 2018
At the April 2018 sectional, Toby found himself in this predicament:
♠ - ♠ -
♥ - ♥ -
♦ K4 ♦ Txx
♣ T ♣ -
He needed the last three tricks to make his contract, but was in what should have been a 100% losing situation. His club was not winning, so he needed three tricks out of the diamond suit. He led the jack of diamonds, LHO played small, and the trick held. Now he was able to repeat the diamond finesse to make his contract.
So what went wrong? LHO failed to cover the jack with the king. Let’s step back and think about the situation with some logic:
So from a defensive viewpoint, covering an honor is often necessary. Mandatory in this instance, since you have nothing to lose.
But there are exceptions. Most of the time, covering an honor is the right thing to do and should be nearly automatic, but you need to keep your logic skills at the ready. The remainder of this lesson is to show you when NOT to cover an honor.
When not to cover an honor
♠ T5 ♠ Q96
♥ K9532 ♥ Q876
♦ 863 ♦ K42
♣ K53 ♣ JT92
Suppose the bidding goes 1♠ 2♠ 4♠ by the opponents and partner leads the ♦ 3. Declarer plays the queen, what now? Let’s think logically:
So you duck the diamond and the queen wins. Now you should always get one spade, one heart, and two club tricks. If declarer leads the ♠J make sure you cover (hoping partner has the ten to promote your nine) but the more sensible play here is low to the ♠AK, hoping the queen drops doubleton.
Two important conclusions:
Submitted May 19, 2018
ATTACK OF THE TWO-SUITERS by Rich Newell
One of my best partners during the Minnesota phase of my bridge habit was a Canadian named Scott Martin who sadly died in his mid 40’s. Anyone who knows me knows I crave 70% games (I have had 3 of them). For Scott the dream was being dealt 13 cards in two suits, something I don’t think he ever experienced.
Well this fall 2-suiters have been running amok in my life. On October 21 I was with Toby at a sectional in Omaha and was dealt this hand:
♠ - ♠ J73
♥ AKQ7654 ♥ 9
♦ QJT765 ♦ 984
♣ - ♣ KJT975
Unfortunately the opponents were bold enough to bid to the level of 5♠ which makes, so my 6♥ sacrifice was only due to result in an average board. I got a 4-1 trump split and Toby didn’t provide any assistance with the diamond suit. Even more unfortunate, the shock of the hand caused me to lose track of the trump situation and I went down an extra trick for a near zero.
Then on November 7 I found myself in the Los Angeles area at a seminar. I picked up a partner at the Beverly Hills Bridge Club and this occurred:
♠ - ♠ ??????
♥ - ♥ ??
♦ AJT9xxxx ♦ Kxx
♣ AKJ9x ♣ Qx
The auction started 1♦ by me, 1NT by LHO, 2♠ by partner. Now I bid a timid 3♣ which was about to end the auction until RHO chimed in 3♥ . Now 4♦ by me, 4♥ by LHO, 5♦ by me, and 5♥ by RHO to end the auction. I really didn’t think I had too much defense although I probably should have doubled out of principle since partner made a free bid and RHO procrastinated.
Dummy came down:
I turned to LHO and inquired why she didn’t make a takeout double over 1♦. Well she was clearly a beginner who was not well versed in doubles, so she bid 1NT to show her 15 HCP. Declarer had six hearts and two queens to her name, going down two and scoring a top board. I was quite dumbfounded by the turn of events.
The trifecta just arrived today, November 14. This hand was in a Bridge Base Online (BBO) ACBL matchpoint game and was much kinder to me:
ME BOT (CHO)
♠ AKQJ65 ♠ -
♥ AKJ8753 ♥ Q92
♦ - ♦ JT754
♣ - ♣ QJ985
The bot in front of me opened 1♦ making my task simple enough. I bid 2♦ , partner bid 2♥ , and I raised to 7♥ which scored 86%: 4 people tied this result, 11 weren’t in a grand, and 2 didn’t ruff out a spade and went down.
SO EXACTLY HOW LIKELY IS ALL THIS?
The probability of getting all 13 of your cards from 26 particular cards in the deck is
26C13 / 52C13 = 1 in 61,055
But this would be for a specific situation like hearts and spades. As there are 4C2 = 6 ways to choose which two suits your cards will come from, it becomes
6 x 26C13 / 52C13 = 1 in 10,176.
If you play one game of 26 hands of bridge every week, you would expect to be dealt one 2-suiter every 7 ½ years. It’s quite amazing that I was dealt three of them in less than a month!
Submitted November 14, 2017