• 6S, made 10
    W lead: C3

    ENTRY FLEXIBILITY

    An interesting small lesson here.

    I left myself unable to get over to the winning clubs, sitting there being killed by the hearts. At first, I was thinking that I must look further ahead, which is true.

    But, really, all I needed to do here was keep the flexibility that was easily available. All I had…

  • Joan, I am not sure what you mean by “what technique is needed.” Are you referring to a finesse?

    It looked like all the finesse cards we needed to be in West (HK-Q, and CK) were likely to be in East. My plan was to try the heart finesse twice, and if it failed twice, the H9 should be good for the 9th trick.

    It looks like the odds might be…

  • 3NT, 10 tricks
    E led H7

    It was so boring, to just take the obvious tricks. Yet if there are enough of them to make your contract I guess you have to do just that. In this case, you couldn’t very well try an unneeded finesse when killer hearts were lurking out there. I wonder if there was a safe way to get another trick.

    Afterwards, when I saw…

  • EW 3D
    They made their 9 tricks
    My opening lead: HK

    I am not 100% clear why we want to bid 1S in the first place. I know we can overcall here but do we want to? Partner has already passed, we have only 11 HCP plus 1 length point. We have a five-card spade suit headed by the SK, but that is not a “good” suit, as I understand it. Doesn’t a “good”…

  • @bajir

    Thanks so much for going to the trouble to respond. Positive feedback is very nice to get. I remembered that story from a library book, and was glad I could find the passage online.

    As this point in the learning process, I think I enjoy posting more than playing, as I am still trying to get comfortable with a framework for looking at…

  • 3NT, 10 tricks first time, 12 second time
    W led D4

    I had a terrible time the first time through. What a nightmare! Figuring and figuring, worrying about splits, entries, etc., etc. (Not that I am against the figuring. The assumption, of course, is that by slogging through it now, it will become much easier later.)

    But I did much better the…

  • 4H, made 10
    E led D7

    This is not the first time I have gotten screwed up by trying to ruff something in the short hand before drawing trumps. Here, to ruff the DJ, I tried to get to North with clubs and tried the finesse at the same time, which lost. Then E led back a club (her second of a doubleton), which I took with North’s CA. I carried on…

  • Many helpful things, from all quarters.

    1. From the video: lots of suggestions, clarifications, and food for thought on valuation and bidding. I will be listening to it a few times over.

    Right off the bat, this early exchange clarifies responder’s initial choices tremendously for me:

    Tina: “Now, I could bid 4S, but I think I%u2019m a little…

  • It sure is helpful to make an effort on the unseen cards, as our valiant teachers have been encouraging us to do. I think I have made one small step forward.

    I always start with, like today, the 9-5-7-5 opponent count, but usually I leave it there and just struggle to try to remember it and hopefully clock the cards as they appear.

    Last…

  • 4S, made 12 tricks
    East lead: H5

    Is it worth highlighting that for those of us who got the H5 lead from East, this is a GREAT AND SIMPLE example of the use of the Rule of Eleven?

    (Below I have used some wording from the description written by @banksia9 for the January 3, 2017 hand #10.)

    If East’s H5 is her 4th highest, the Rule of…

  • 3H, made 9 tricks (though trying for 10)
    W led S2

    I got close, but fell off the rails again. It is amazing how a brain can so easily get befuddled. But I feel that I am getting better, so these silly mistakes just have to be endured.

    After playing the DA-K, I took the first diamond ruff. To ruff again we would need to lose the lead to get back…

  • Hi @cresswell

    There seem to be two ways to get 12 — more or less by accident.

    1) After drawing spades, I played the HT, which E took with the Ace. E then played a club, which S took with the K. Now being in S, I played a low diamond, and W held on to the A. The other diamond was later ruffed.

    2) Following @terrypause suggestion, if you…

  • I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all, and I probably should not take it so seriously, but this really makes me crazy.

    I can’t find the actual probability, but when you have half the points in the deck in one hand, we all know there’s a very good chance partner has zilch — and will pass a one-of-a-suit bid. I gather that all bidding systems…

  • P.S. I just realized that this is one of @Bajir ‘s basic questions, “Is there something that needs to be ruffed in the short hand before drawing trumps?” I usually ask it, too, but for some reason I didn’t this time.

  • 3S, made 8 tricks
    W led H3

    Arrrrrrgh!!! So near yet so far. So easy yet so difficult. What tripped me up was not recognizing soon enough — i.e., before it stepped up and hit me in the face — that I needed to get rid of that club in North’s hand. (I now think the key was doing this before drawing trumps so South’s second club could be ruffed in…

  • 3NT, made 12 tricks
    W led H5

    I counted 11 sure tricks, and realized that making 12 depended on the DJ. I thought we would need a 3-4 split with the Jack being one the 3. Then I thought it might help if I gave EW the opportunity to throw off something precious — which they did! W threw off the D7 on a club trick.

    BUT different play…

  • OK, thanks @ennasarp I see what you are saying: E could take out South’s last trump after taking just one club trick. Then when she gets the lead back with the remaining high club, she could take the remaining diamonds.

  • 4H, made 8 tricks first time, eventually 10.
    E lead: DJ, Then S4

    As we know, it is not only whether we could make our contract, but whether the problems or path could be foreseen. For me, it often takes losing, and having the problems hit me in the face, before I see them. And then I often have to play through the hand multiple times before it…

  • I incorporated a couple of small but very helpful things in playing this hand.

    A-K-J TENACE
    I have a better understanding of the often-encountered A-K-J tenace. As we know, this is the subject of the “eight ever, nine never” slogan. So I have learned that the standard approach with 8 cards — without extra info or constraints — is to take the A…

  • Hey @ron1945

    Thanks very much for explaining how you made 11. I replayed it, and EW did indeed throw off spades and make my last spade good — after I gave them a spade trick.

    I am afraid that type of creativity is totally missing from my play, and it is very helpful to see an example of it. The kind of bridge I am playing (still struggling…

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