Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ely Culbertson on the 1933 match against England

Entitled "300 Contract Bridge Hands THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP for tthe Charles M. Schwab Trophy OFFICIAL RECORD Reviewd and Explained by Ely Culbertson, Captain of the Victorious American Team", the hardcover we published immediately after the end of the match, by Ely's own "The Bridge World Inc.".

Ely, his wife and expert Jo Culbertson, T.Lightner and M.Gottlieb played for the Americans, beating Col. Beasley, Lady Rhodes, Sir Guy Domville, G.Mathieson, G.Morris and P.V.Tabbush.

One interesting fact: In order to scoop the British in publication, Culbertson stayed up for six nights (Jul 17-22, 1933) during the match (until 8 am) analysing the hands, (the games began at 1 pm ended at 11 pm). Thus he had the MS ready for publication in August.

A second interesting fact: Although bidding methods, especially slam conventions were in their infancy (Blackwood was not in vogue), slam bidding was decent. The British were inferior in this department. Occasionally one sees the Americans, then the British overreaching to seven missing an Ace! Something one cannot see today.
Ely was using the 4-5NT convention (his baby), which Mr. Tabbush famously announced after one British debacle that he would adopt. Quite simply, the 4NT was an announcement rather than an interrogation that the bidder possessed a good fit, and two aces and a king of partner's suit (or, rarely, three aces). Five Notrump in response showed possession of the other two aces. After this, a grand slam would be bid if either player felt they had a hand with extra playing power. As you can see, a bit rough and tumble.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A tempo behind on defence.

Declarer in 4Spades, guessed to play off DA first, in other rooms he was going down after playing the overcaller for the DQ. After this, when in with the second round of spades, I correctly attacked clubs, but failed to perservere, perhaps thrown off by partner's discouraging club spot. However, as the sequel showed, we were a tempo behind with the long diamond providing a club parker for declarer. I needed to knock out the CK before partner got in with his trump trick.
An interesting defensive problem.

Finding a 4-4 fit is strictly for the birds.

When I eschewed a One heart bid on my ratty 4 card suit, we failed to find out 4-4 heart fit. Declaring in 3NT, I studied the HJ lead carefully. I concluded it was fromm AJTx or KJTx and that my RHO held a stiff honor. So I ducked. No stiff honor appeared, but it turned out that the HJ was stiff and could not be overtaken safely. Thus, the operation was unscuccessful but the patient survived. For a top board no less.

A cute unblock, as OTs pour in for a top

When LHO bid spades in front of partner's AKQT, pd guided the auction to 3NT rather than defend doubled. Defense never found their three club tricks, and the proper farsighted unblock enabled diamonds to come home when two diamonds were discarded by defence.

A tough bid by partner, 90%

RHO was in the hot seat after the take out double of his weak two bid was passed for penalty, he tried to scramble and partner surprised me by taking me out of my penalty double. Right he was as he scored better than the 500 we would have got.

Winning the battle but losing the war

It was Matchpoints. The field tends to play in 3NT even when not technically the best contract. Which would have made 10 tricks. My inspired bidding to the 11 trick minor contract which was unbeatable got only 35%.

A Moysian fit

Welcome to Ramesh's BRIDGE BLOG

In these pages, I comment on hands from Bridge Base Online ACBL tourneys. I play in these with a variety of partners with different degrees of skill. I might present a hand or two from my collection of bridge books, every now and then. I am more interested in play and defense than in complex bidding systems, but I do follow the cut and thrust of Vanderbilt and World Championship Vugraph and try to keep abreast of expert practice in the obstructive and constructive bidding system department. I may also feature, newspaper-style, famous hands from important matches that I saw on Vugraph.

NOTE: For JUNE, I am experimenting with adding BBO's Handviewers, which make bridge movies embedded. Just
scroll down beyond the few sampled book covers and you arrive at the blogs that play themselves with the NEXT button. THANKS, BBO!!

About Me

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Bridge expert for 20 years. I started blogging about bridge only in 2009. Chess follower. Problem fan. Studied hundreds of composition themes in two-movers, fairy chess, the former from the Good Companion era to the modern style of virtual play. Big collector of chess and bridge rare books. My two game blogs bridge blog, and my chess problem themes blog chess expo

My alter ego, The Hideous Hog

My alter ego, The Hideous Hog