Friday, September 19, 2014

Bridge Blog 795: Bottoms 'r us

What a week in the doldrums this has been. I’ve been brain dead, epitomized by my revoke in the first hand I played with Dianne Bloom on Thursday. It’s a sad succession, hitting the depths with 29.95% on Tuesday with Flo Boyd, who was a last-minute substitute for the last-minute cancellation by Barbara Sadkin. Even in St. Catharines today (Friday), hopes faded with a minus 800 and a minus 1,100, both misguided sacrifices inspired by favorable vulnerability.
The minus 1,100 was 5 Diamonds doubled, bid when I believed that the opponents could make 4 Hearts vulnerable, as indeed they can. Unfortunately, we North-Souths can take only six tricks in Diamonds, not eight. Allowing them to make 4 Hearts would have given us 5.5 more game points.
The minus 800 was 5 Hearts doubled on a hand where East-West can make 4 Spades vulnerable. According to the hand records, we can take only seven tricks, which we did. Allowing them to make 4 Spades would have given us an extra 4.5 game points. An extra 10 game points, however, would have only boosted from 13th place to 12th. Clearly, our distress was more widespread than these two hands. Our big problem: An abundance of 30% and 40% boards.

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