Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bridge Blog 384: Missing the bus

            Here it is, Thursday, and I’ve failed to scratch four days in a row at the Airport Bridge Club. Thursday partner Marietta Kalman and I, at 46%, were one of only two North-Souths in the nine-table game to emerge without points. And these are double points! On Wednesday, Celine Murray and I were the only pair who had better than a 50% game and failed to register.
            Truth is, my partners and I have been missing a few steps. First hand of the day on Thursday, the best player in the room, Jim Mathis, tells me how I could have set his 4 Spade contract and the logic was blindingly simple. I’ve got A-K-x of Diamonds, Mathis started out bidding 1 No Trump. I lead the Ace. Three Diamonds in the dummy. Then I make my mistake. Instead of cashing the King, Mathis says I need to shift to something, anything else, so that Marietta can lead a Diamond back to me. She’s got J-10. Mathis has the Queen. We get three Diamond tricks instead of two, to go with Marietta’s Ace of Clubs. I used that strategy in a different hand later in the game and snagged the extra trick.
            Then there are some things I can’t do anything about. Marietta, encouraged by a 3 Club bid from me, found a 3 No Trump contract. She takes an early Heart trick, crosses to my Clubs – A-K-Q-x-x-x – and runs them as she tosses off Hearts and Spades. Then she leads a Heart to her hand. She has the King. West has the Ace-Queen behind her. Down one. Others make it. Turns out she also has Ace-King of Spades, which she could have cashed immediately.

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