Town&Style

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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