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For bridge hands of interest

Michaels ready or not...

While a bid of the enemy suit in most auctions is used to show a strong hand, the immediate bid of the enemy suit is used differently, as a Michaels Cue Bid showing a weak 5-5 hand including any unbid major. What would you do with the following hand after an opponent opens 1C or 3C?

S JT9754
H KQJ643
D —

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Down 16 on one deal

How can you make 16 tricks less than you bid for, all on one deal? The answer to this conundrum for the new year starts with a question: after your partner opens a Weak 2D and next player overcalls 3C, what do you bid with the following hand at favourable vulnerability?

S 843
H J9543
D 64
C T97

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Coping with preempts

The main reason the opponents preempt 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 preempt gives you information that helps you with the play.

Dealer East, EW vul.

          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
          S A2
          H AQT9
          D 9832
          C QJ3

How do you bid after East opens 2S?

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Tough world wide hands

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

Board 26. Dealer East, both vul.

          ♠ K4
WEST                EAST
 AJ8652             QT973
 QT                 A532
 AKQ                T72
 75                 9

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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.

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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?

♣ 53

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