Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bridge Blog 674: Caught looking

When you’re at bat in baseball, you get only so many pitches worth swinging at. Same goes for bridge hands. At any given session, only a few fat contracts come your way and the good players get home runs off them.
Usha Khurana and I watched a home run pitch go past us late in the session on Thursday at the Airport Bridge Club and we instantly regretted it. Board 17. Nobody vulnerable. I’m sitting North and I’m dealer. Here’s the hand:

Spades: A-7; Hearts: A-K-Q-J-7-5
Diamonds: J-9-4; Clubs: 10-7

I open 1 Heart, Usha bids 2 Clubs, I rebid the Hearts and she offers 3 Diamonds. With six sure tricks in Hearts, an Ace stopper in Spades and my partner covering the minor suits, I had no trouble bidding 3 No Trump. When East led a low spade, I knew we should have swung for the fences as soon as Usha laid down the dummy:

Spades: K-3; Hearts: 2
Diamonds: A-K-8-2; Clubs: A-K-9-8-5-3.

Three sets of Ace-Kings to go with my six Heart tricks. Fool proof as long as the fool bids it. Here are the other two hands.

Spades: 10-6-5-4-2; Hearts: 10-3
Diamonds: Q-5-3; Clubs: J-6-4

Spades: Q-J-9-8; Hearts: 9-8-6-4
Diamonds: 10-7-6; Clubs: Q-2

It wasn’t a bottom board for us, just a little below average. We got 3.5 out a possible 8 match points. Only one North-South bid the slam – at 6 Hearts, yet – and made it. Another bid 6 NT, played from the South, and, unaccountably, went down two. Three pairs who played it at 4 Hearts took all 13 tricks. Two others bid 4 Hearts and took only 12 tricks. One other pair wound up at 3 NT, getting the same result we did.

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