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Reminiscences of fun hands

In the middle of each year the NSW Bridge Association conducts its annual “Teams of three” congress, where three players draw an expert captain, sometimes even a top Australian international. It is quite a task for the convenor to get the numbers right and when, some years ago, they found they had 46 teams but only 45 captains, I received a panicked call to come in and make up the numbers.

This is a fun and friendly event, with lots of champagne and knick-knacks given out as novelty prizes. For example, there was a prize for the first person to win the last trick of a hand with the D7, known as the “beer card” because that is the prize traditionally awarded (at least amongst youth players). The player who won this prize had earlier been about to use the D7 from dummy. Luckily her captain played the D8 from dummy instead at that stage, winking to the opponents and saying “same value”, and sure enough the D7 won the last trick.

Another time, it was announced: “there will be a prize for the partner of the next captain to go down in a contract”. Regrettably that was the only prize I won for my team.

Read more: Reminiscences of fun hands

Sacrifices not just a stab in the dark, or The dark art of sacrificing

Bidding in the expectation of going down to prevent the opponents making a contract is, to many, a dark art, shrouded in mystery. What would you do with the following hand, after your left hand opponent opens 1H, partner doubles, and right hand opponent raises to 4H?

Q98764
9
J432
♣ 53

Read more: Sacrifices not just a stab in the dark, or The...

Redoubles?

What does a redouble mean in modern bidding and how can it be used?

Here was a hand at a past Trumps congress that caused some discussion:

Read more: Redoubles?

Grand day for slams

Many pairs play that, in reply to a 1H or 1S opening, a game-forcing raise is shown by a response of 2NT “Jacoby”.

If playing Jacoby, the immediate response of 2NT to a major opening shows 13+ points and, ideally, at least 4-card support. Opener may then show a shortage (singleton or void) if the hand has one by bidding the short suit at the 3-level. Here is a good example of Jacoby in action

Read more: Grand day for slams

The Jacoby two-step

Many pairs play that, in reply to a 1H or 1S opening, a game-forcing raise is shown by a response of 2NT “Jacoby”.

If playing Jacoby, the immediate response of 2NT to a major opening shows 13+ points and, ideally, at least 4-card support. Opener may then show a shortage (singleton or void) if the hand has one by bidding the short suit at the 3-level. Here is a good example of Jacoby in action:

WEST            EAST
6             
 A542
A9872         
 K6543
A65           
 K2
A765          
 K3   

WEST     EAST
1H       2NT   (Jacoby)
3S ?

Read more: The Jacoby two-step

Display finesse – by avoiding one

Finessing is one of most important plays in bridge. But what do you do when the cards are likely offside and your finesses are therefore slated to lose?

          NORTH
          ♠ Q86
          J63
          762
           AQ54
WEST                EAST
 42                 97
 AQ82               T975
 KJ4                T985
 KT92               J76
          SOUTH
          
 AKJT53
          
 K4
          
 AQ3
          
 83

WEST  NORTH  EAST  SOUTH
1C    Pass   Pass  Dble
Pass  1NT    Pass  4S
All pass

Read more: Display finesse – by avoiding one

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