##### At the Bridge Table: Oct. 9
Jim Kaplan

I call it “grandslamitis.” It means the inability of many players to contract for 13 tricks despite overwhelming strength in the partnership.

##### At the Bridge Table: Sept. Oct. 2
Jim Kaplan

What should you think when you pick up a hand with a solid, long running minor suit and opening values? No trump!

##### At the Bridge Table: Sept. 25
Jim Kaplan

Because of the pandemic, there’s currently little club play that I know of, at least not in person.

##### At the Bridge Table: Sept. 18
Jim Kaplan

Here are some decisions that arose from casual and Internet play.

##### At the Bridge Table: Sept. 11
Jim Kaplan

Here’s an object lesson on the merits of pre-empting aggressively and fighting through pre-empts. South was dealing, with no one vulnerable:

##### At the Bridge Table: Sept. 4
Jim Kaplan

Here’s a bidding guide for deciding whether to double an opponent’s contract. It’s called the Rule of Nine. It works as follows. Start with the number of cards you hold in opponent’s suit. Add any honors you hold in the suit. Finally, add the level of the contract. If the total is nine or higher, double to your heart’s content.

I was reminded about the rule when I made an inauspicious double in  a contract that looked beatable. I was sitting North and dealing, with no one vulnerable:

##### At the Bridge Table: August 28
Jim Kaplan

• Don’t take a finesse for your opponents. Here you have the lead early in a 4♠ contract:

Dummy: ♠ A J 10 5

You: ♠ 9 8 7

Whatever you do, don’t play spades, hoping partner has the king. Here are the other hands:

Partner: ♠ Q 2

Declarer: ♠ K 6 4 3

Do you see what happens? If you’d let well enough alone, declarer probably would take the spade finesse through dummy, losing to the queen. By leading spades yourself, you give declarer an extra trick.

##### At the Bridge Table: August 21
Jim Kaplan

Have you heard about the Rule of One? I hadn’t either, until my playing partner Paul Laliberte showed me.

##### At the Bridge Table: August 14
Jim Kaplan

Pre-empts can be fun for bidders and hellish for opponents. Here’s perhaps the most satisfying interference bid I’ve seen. In an OK Bridge game I played with Paul Laliberte, East -West were vulnerable and South was dealing:

NORTH (Kaplan)
♠️ 4
♥️ J 8 7 6
♦️ 9 6 5
♣️ K J 9 7 3