Monday Bridge 21 June 2021

Hi All,

You all did very well today. As you become more familiar with the procedures we will probably be able to complete the rounds. It's more important that you take time if you need it to learn.

We plan to start lesson 2 next Monday, so be prepared. We will not play on Monday, 5 July because of the holiday.

I will try to add some useful comments to the boards. Check back tomorrow and Wednesday to see what I've had to say.

See you then,  Dave

I'm not sure how this went at the various tables, but only one pair got to game. I think West should have opened 1 Club and East should have responded 1 Diamond with his 7 points. West must jump-shift to 2 Spades to show his two suits and 19 or more points. This forces to game and East will raise to 4 Spades with his good support for partner's suit. Margie stole an overtrick at 3 No Trump for the top, but 4 Spades plus 1 beats it and 4 Spades makes a decent score.

East counts 15 HCPs, but, lacking a balanced hand, opens 1 Diamond. South must pass and West considers his response. He lacks the 10 points to respond at the 2 level, so bids 1 Spade. 

North passes and East stops to reevaluate and think. With his great support, he adds 1 for his doubleton and 1 for his 4-card support and rebids 3 Spades to show the fit and 17 points. Now West stops to reevaluate and think. He has 7 HCPs plus 3 for his singleton Ace, so raises to 4 Spades.

It's an aggressive bid and not easy to make, but it illustrates the importance of reevaluation.

East counts 12 HCPs and adds 1 for his doubleton and ponders whether he has a good 13 points to open. He knows that generally Aces and Kings (prime honors) are undervalued and Queens and Jacks (Quacks) are overvalued, so he adds values for having three prime honors and only one Quack. He opens 1 Diamond. 

West counts 15 HCPs and knows that he wants to be in game. He can't bid anything that partner can pass, but doesn't know where to play or if slam is possible. He responds 1 heart to force partner to describe his hand. East considers No Trump, but, since that would deny his 4-card major, rebids 1 Spade. 

West has no more forcing bids and partner has shown no extra values, so he must pick 3 No Trump or 4 Spades. Fortunately both make. They're not easy, but if you want to know how to make the Spades, ask Jane or Bobbie.

South counts 12 HCPs, adds 1 each for the two doubletons, subtracts 1 for no Aces for a total of 13 points. He decides that the 6-card suit certainly makes it a good 13 points and opens 1 Spade. North counts 18 HCPs, adds 1 for the doubleton and knows that he wants to be in 4 Spades and maybe the slam. He can't bid anything that partner might pass, so responds 2 Clubs to force partner to describe his hand.

South can only rebid 2 Spades and North stops to reevaluate and think. He's reasonably sure that partner has 6 Spades and South's good support make partner stronger. He figures partner for at least 16 points and with his 19 is very interested in slam. He's concerned that they might lose 2 quick Diamond tricks, so jumps to 4 No Trump (Blackwood) to ask partner if he has an Ace. South responded 5 Clubs to say that he had either no Aces or all. 

North stops to ponder. In our Slam Lesson, I feature two characters, DSS (Desperately Seeking Slam) and CC (Cautious Cora). DSS would definitely bid the slam, hoping partner had either the King of Diamonds or singleton. I suggested to those who asked to be cautious on the first lesson. DSS would have won this one.

North counts 16 HCPs but doesn't have a balanced hand, so opens 1 Diamond. East must pass and South responds 3 Diamonds to promise 5 Diamonds and 10 or more points. North stops to reevaluate and think. With the great fit he now counts 20 points (adding 1 for the doubleton Heart and 3 for his 6-card suit. He has no forcing bid except Blackwood, so thinks some more. He decides to jump to 4 No Trump (Blackwood). He intends to bid 5 Diamonds if partner bids 5 Clubs to show no Aces, pass if he bids 5 Diamonds to show one Ace and go to 6 Diamonds if he bids 5 Hearts to show two Aces.

When South responds 5 Diamonds, North passes. No one bid or made 6 Diamonds, so Janet got the top by making the game.

North opens 1 Diamond (Too strong for a preempt) and East overcalls 1 Spade to promise 5 or more Spades and 11-16 points. West stops to think. If partner had opened, he would bid Clubs to force partner to describe his hand, but it doesn't work that way over an overcall. That bid would not be forcing and would deny help in Spades. He must show his Spade support so that partner can properly reevaluate his hand. An advance of 2 Spades would invite partner to go to game with 15-16 points, but West has too much for that. He instead invites with 3 Spades which tells partner to go to game with anything extra.

East now counts 14 points with the suit fit and bids 4 Spades. Jane made it and Janet went down, but I strongly feel the bidding was correct. You can't make them all.

Good job! Everyone bid the game and made the overtrick (or two).

Bobbie bid and made 6 No Trump. Should everyone? How should it go?

West counts 12 HCPs and 1 point for each doubleton. She opens 1 Heart and East stops to reevaluate and think. She counts 17 HCPs, but doesn't add distribution points yet because she's not sure they'll find a fit. She responds 2 Diamonds to show 10 or more points and a 5-card suit and force partner to describe her hand. West considers a reverse to 2 hearts to show both suits, but that requires 15 points over partner's 2-level response. The only alternatives are to rebid her 5-card suit or to bid 2 No Trump with the worthless Club doubleton. Yuck! She decides to stretch a point to respond 2 Hearts.

Now East must stop to think. She likes No Trump, but isn't sure how many. She has 17 HCPs, but isn't sure how many HCPs are in partner's 15. She's missing two Aces and has no sure way to find out in No Trump. Three CCs go for the sure game and one DSS goes for the slam. Bobbie was right because she made it for the top, but the CCs were also right because they would have gone down. 

This is a tough board to get right!

East opens 1 Diamond, South must pass and West responds 1 Heart. East stops to reevaluate and think. He counts 17 HCPs and had intended to add 2 Points for the singleton. This would have allowed him to jump-shift to 3 Clubs to force to game. Now he isn't sure of a fit and leans toward No Trump, but 17 HCPs is awkward. A jump to 2 No Trump would promise 18-19 HCPs, 1 No Trump would usually mean 13-16 points as would a rebid of 2 Clubs. None of these feel right.

East likes his hand, and eliminates the too-weak 1 No Trump or 2 Clubs. If he chooses the jump-shift, partner will be forced to choose between 5 Clubs, 5 Diamonds or 3 No Trump. If East instead jumps to 2 No Trump, partner will raise to 3 No Trump. Some good outcomes, some bad. 

Many experienced players would just jump to 3 No Trump and hope for the best. Nancy might well have done that.

North opens 1 Club and South responds 1 Spade. North doesn't have the 17 points to reverse to 2 Hearts, so must rebid 1 No Trump. North lacks the 11 points to invite with 2 No Trump, so passes.

Pass got the top here, but No Trump should make something. East will always lead the Queen of Clubs and North will stop to count and plan. He sees six top tricks; two Spades, one Heart, two Diamonds and one Club (given the lead). Basically, he must set up the Spades before East can run his Clubs. This makes East the danger hand. 

Declarer plays low from dummy. West knows that declarer has the King, so ducks the Ace to induce declarer to play it and clear the suit. Declarer must duck also, hoping West has only a 2- or 3-card suit. East continues with the Jack and this time West must take the Ace or block the suit. He returns his last Club, Declarer wins and leads the 10 of Spades. 

If East covers with the Queen, Declarer wins in dummy and crosses to the Ace of Diamonds to lead another Club. In any case he gives a Spade trick to West, wins any return and claims his 8 tricks.

This is tricky for beginners, but shows the value of making a plan.