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For bridge hands of interest

Coping with pre-empts

The main reason the opponents pre-empt is to use up bidding space and make it hard for us. You need the right tools to counter their pre-empt and reach a sensible contract. Once you achieve that, you may even find that their pre-empt gives you information that helps you with the play.

Dealer East, EW vul.

          NORTH
          S 654
          H 75
          D AKJ5
          C AKT9
WEST                EAST
S 93                S KQJT87
H K642              H J83
D 76                D QT4
C 87642             C 5
          SOUTH
          S A2
          H AQT9
          D 9832
          C QJ3

How do you bid after East opens 2S?

Read more: Coping with pre-empts

Tough world wide hands

Here are some hands from a past World Wide Bridge Contest, with commentary provided by Eric Kokish, in which over 5600 pairs participated.

Board 26. Dealer East, both vul.

          NORTH
          ♠ K4
          KJ74
          J86543
          2
WEST                EAST
 AJ8652             QT973
 QT                 A532
 AKQ                T72
 75                 9
          SOUTH
          
 —
          
 986
          
 9
          
 AKQJT8643

Read more: Tough world wide hands

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

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