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For bridge hands of interest

Smart competition

Every year since 2004, the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute has organised a Bridge for Brain Research Challenge. Held in the first week of May, the challenge has the twofold purpose of raising funds for Alzheimer’s and dementia research, and highlighting the benefits of bridge and other mental activities in maintaining a healthy brain. Today’s deals are both taken from one of these Challenges, and illustrate an important modern principle of competition.

After your side finds a fit (say 1H : 2H), but an opponent then calls over you (say 2S), what would a bid of 3H mean?

Read more: Smart competition

Re-assessing losers

How good is this North hand below? Some would describe it as a “four loser” hand (it has two diamond losers and is missing one of the top three honours in each major).

AKJT85
AKJ82
65
 —

What if South opens 1H?

Read more: Re-assessing losers

The 3NT curse continues

A recent challenge featured two 3NT contracts from Sydney events that led to massive swings. Here are two more – this time from past Bermuda Bowl World Championships.  

Bermuda Bowl, New York, 1981. Nil vul.

          NORTH
          2
          T8
          AKQT852
          642
WEST                EAST
 Q987               J54
 AQ964              J32
 6                  J3
 K97                AQJ53
          SOUTH
          
 AKT63
          
 K75
          
 974
          
 T8   

WEST   NORTH  EAST   SOUTH
1H     3H*    Double 3NT
Pass   Pass   Double Pass
Pass   Redble  All pass

North, Meckstroth, jumped to three of the enemy suit to ask partner to bid 3NT with the suit stopped, a popular treatment over a major opening. His subsequent redouble, however, expressed doubt about 3NT. South, Rodwell, decided to take his chances anyway.

Read more: The 3NT curse continues

The curse of leading against 3NT

Like me, you’ve probably encountered some funny bridge hands, but the kind of funny that is accompanied more by tears than chuckles. Here is an offering from a past Trumps teams congress:

A9
AT75432
6
T43

Your partner, West, passes. North opens 1D. You are not vulnerable against vulnerable opponents, and preempt 3H. South outbids you with 3S, and after your partner passes, North ventures 3NT. This is passed around to your partner, who doubles, concluding the auction. What do you lead?

Read more: The curse of leading against 3NT

Far out deals in the Far East

The Yeh Bros Cup is one of the world’s big money bridge competitions. These dramatic deals are from a past match between Italy and the USA:

Dealer South, both vul.

          NORTH
          ♠ 63
          ♥ 9
          ♦ KQ842
          ♣ KQJ86
WEST                EAST
♠ 52                ♠ 9
 AT86               QJ5432
 AJ975              T63
 54                 932
          SOUTH
          ♠ AKQJT874
          ♥ K7
          ♦ —
          ♣ AT7   

Read more: Far out deals in the Far East

Voyage of discovery

How strong is the following hand, and what is your strategy for bidding it? You are dealer, not vulnerable against vulnerable opponents.

8
3
AKJT86
AKT92

Read more: Voyage of discovery

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