Bridge Column: August 18

What was going on here? I was sitting North-South with Paul Laliberte and east was dealing, with East-West vulnerable:

                                   NORTH (me)
                                  ♠️8 4
                                  ♥️ 6 4 3
                                  ♦️ 3
                                  ♣️ A 10 9 8 4 3 2

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Bridge Column: June 23

Bridge players constantly re-evaluate their hands as the bidding progresses. Here’s a example, with South dealing and North-South vulnerable:

                   ♠️ A J 9 4
                   ♥️ A Q 8 3
                  ♦️ A 8 3
                  ♣️ K 6

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

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Bridge Column: June 30

It’s usually unwise to lead an unprotected ace, even if you’ve bid the suit and partner has raised it. You might be setting up an opponent’s king. Trudy Ulmer understood this and made an unusual killing lead at my expense in the weekly 2 p.m. duplicate game at Howes House next to the West Tisbury Library on June 20.

She was sitting West and dealing, with both sides vulnerable:

                        ♠️ K Q 10 3
                        ♥️ A K J 9
                        ♦️ 10 9
                        ♣️ A J 10

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Bridge Column: July 7

Sitting North, you are dealt a motley collection of cards:

♠️ K 2
♥️ K 9 7 5 2
♦️ 8 6 3
♣️ K 3 2

As South, partner opens 1♠️. Faute de mieux, you respond 1NT. Partner rebids 2♦️. More often than not, partner will hold five spades, four diamonds and anywhere from 12 to 18 high-card points.

What to do now? Instead of leaving partner high and dry in 2♦️, you rightly revert to 2♠️. Though you have more diamonds in your hand, this strategy is known as “false preference.”

There are two important reasons for your decision.

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Bridge Column: Sept. 09

Here are some more bidding questions:

Q. 1—Sitting South, with East dealing and no one vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ 6
♥️ 10 7
♦️ A Q J 10 6
♣️ A K Q 3 2

East opens 4♠️. What do you bid?

A.—4NT. This is not an ace-asking bid but one that shows a two-suited hand. Partner should respond in the lowest suit that has at least three-card support. More often than not, 4NT will advertise both minors. Hearts and a minor are not beyond the realm of possibility.

Q. 2—Sitting South, with North dealing and East-West vulnerable, you hold:

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Bridge Column: Sept. 02

Here are some bidding tips:

Q. 1 — Sitting South and dealing, with no one vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ K 8
♥️ A 10 9 4
♦️ A J 6 4 3
♣️ K 4

What do you bid?

A. — 1NT. Many players are reluctant to open 1NT with two doubletons. But look what happens if you open 1♦️ and partner responds 1♠️. You aren’t strong enough (16+ high-card points) to reverse into 2♥️. And rebidding 1NT should show 12-14 HCP; you have 15. An opening bid of 1NT best describes your holding.

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Bridge Column: August 5

It’s one of the worst feelings in bridge. Your partner has opened the bidding, the next player passes, and you have an opening hand yourself. The problem is, you can’t figure a way to game for the life of you.

Take Board Three at the Edgartown Bridge Club on July 28. South was dealing, with East-West vulnerable:

                              ♠️ A K 7 4 3
                              ♥️ K J 8
                              ♦️ J 10 3
                              ♣️ 5 2

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Bridge Column: Week of July 8

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:

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Bridge Column: Oct. 8

This is my last bridge column of the season. Have a great winter and play plenty of bridge!

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Bridge Column: Oct. 1

When opponents give you some information unwisely, make the most of it.

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