Bridge with Bland

Bridge with Bland: 9.11.19

The St. Louis Gateway Regionals were held in August. The tournament was well-attended and even attracted some international experts. Many District 8 and Unit 143 players acquitted themselves well. This month’s hand demonstrates the added edge top-level players create for themselves.

vul: None
dealer: South

the bidding:
S W N E
1♥ Pass
2NT Pass
3♣ DBL
3♠
5♣
6♥ Pass Pass Pass

opening lead:  ♣ A
North
♠ A 10 6 3
♥ A K 10 5
♦ 6 4 3
♣ 10 9

West 
♠ 8 4 2
♥ 7
♦ Q J 8 7
♣ A J 6 5 3

East
♠ 9 7 5
♥ 9 3
♦ K 5
♣ K Q 8 7 4 2

South
♠ K Q J
♥ Q J 8 6 4 2
♦ A 10 9 2
♣ Void

the play
1. ♣ Ace by West, North the 10, East the 7, trumped by Declarer.
2. ♥ 4 to Dummy’s Ace, everyone follows.
3. ♦ 3 from Dummy, 5 by East, Declarer the Ace, and West the 8.
4. ♥ 4 from Declarer to Dummy’s King, West the ♣ 6, and East follows with a ♥.
5. The ♣ 9 is trumped by Declarer.
6. Declarer cashes four ♠s and discards a ♦ from hand.
7. With all suits but ♦s eliminated, Declarer led the ♦ 4, taken by East’s King.
8. East had no choice but to lead a ♣ and give Declarer a ruff/sluff for the 12th trick.

Note: East could have played the ♦ King the first time ♦s were played, avoiding the honor doubleton endplay. The difference between the super expert and we mere mortals? The expert led the ♦ to the Ace early. Had he waited until the other suits were eliminated, then played the ♦ Ace, East could have figured out what was going on and discarded the ♦ King, thereby avoiding the endplay.

tip of the day 
An opponent opened a hand ♠ AK10x, ♥s A109x, ♦s xx, ♣s xxx in first seat. Is this an opening bid?
Many experts open any hand with three quick tricks, especially with eight or more cards in the majors.

big games & scores
Aug. 13
Elizabeth Mayer/Matthew Krause
70.14%
Regional Gold Rush Pairs

Aug. 15
Gary Hargrove/Pat Berger
71.29%
Regional Gold Rush Pairs

Aug. 19
Mary Grenwald/Pat McBride
75%
St. Louis Bridge Center

Aug. 20
Linda and Stephen Myers
70%
Jefferson County Bridge Club

Do you have a good bridge tip? Email kennethmbland@yahoo.com.

 

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