Duplicate bridge has returned to the Vineyard after a two-year absence owing to Covid. Games are now scheduled through Labor Day for Thursdays at 1:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m., both in the Vineyard Haven Senior Center. Please check the attached box for reservation requirements.

We began the season on June 30,with six tables ably directed by Eric Stricoff. As is the case in every bridge game, there was much to talk about in the play.
On Board 24 West was dealing, with no one vulnerable:

                        NORTH
                       ♠️ 9
                       ♥️ A 7 5 2
                       ♦️ A J 4 2
                       ♣️ A 8 5 3

WEST                                            EAST
♠️ J 10                                         ♠️ Q 7 4 2
♥️ K Q 8 3                                  ♥️ J 10 3
♦️ 8                                             ♦️ 10 7 6 5 3
♣️ J 10 9 7 4 2                             ♣️ Q


                      SOUTH
                     ♠️ A K 8 5
                     ♥️ 9 6 4
                     ♦️ K Q 9
                     ♣️ K J 10

The bidding proceeded as follows:


West          North          East          South
Pass           1♦️            Pass          1♠️
Pass           2♣️            Pass          3♦️
All Pass

Opening lead: ♠️A

North-South made 3♦️ for +110, but other declarers bid and made 3NT. How to get there?

Virtually any time an opener sits opposite an opener, players want to reach game. With 16 HCP, South longed for game but couldn’t bid 3NT without a heart stopper. Instead South bid a non-forcing 3♦️.

Enter “fourth-suit forcing.” By bidding an artificial and game-forcing 2♥️, South wouldn’t show hearts but would ask for more information from North. With ace-fourth in  hearts, North would have bid 2NT, raised to 3NT by South. So a proper auction would proceed as follows:

West            North          East          South
Pass             1♦️            Pass          1♠️
Pass             2♣️            Pass          2♥️
Pass             2NT            Pass          3NT  
All Pass

It was great to be playing again at the senior center, not only for the bridge but also for the chance to renew old friendships and make new friends.