Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Those Spots make a difference

Here is a safety play for five out of six tricks. Plenty of entries. The play depends on the spot cards.

Problem 1. J6 opposite AQ7432

Problem 2. J6 opposite AQ7532

In problem one and two, all 3-2 breaks give no problem. THe extra chance comes for 4-1 break. In problem 1, the spot cards are so small, that the only extra chance comes from a singleton king. Start with the A. In problem 2, the presence of the 5 allows you to handle KT84 or KT94 onside, and you can run the Jack on the first round if covered all round, on the next round advance the 6 and run it. If he covers with the 8, your 75 are now equals for a builder against T4.

Afterthought, of all the 4 -1 breaks singleton king is 1/5th, 5.6 % For 8 or 9 to be singleton and only to west, you have 2/5 * 1/2 * 4-1 breaks or the same 5.6%. Can Jannersten be overlooking this since you have to commit to a line of play on problem 2? "Play Safe and Win" Jannersten and Wohlin.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A world class challenge

South is in 3NT and West leads the SQ. Plan Play.

Clearly, in isolation the safety play to bring in five tricks in diamonds is to play a small diamond from dummy. So, let us say you win in dummy and play a small diamond. If, according to plan, (to cater to the 4-1) RHO wins the DQ. If diamonds are 4-1, he will attack dummy's heart entry while diamonds are not yet disentangled. He plays a heart. Now you have to try diamonds from the top and you go down whether the diamonds broke x QT9x or T9xx Q

Let us back up to the 4-1 breaks that you can reasonably handle in view of the entry attack. Do you see the farsighted play at trick one and two that is needed on the only layouts you can make?

In addition to 3-2 breaks which land the contract easily, you can only protect against 4-1 breaks with the SINGLETON QUEEN. Indeed, in this case, you preserve the spade and heart entries in dummy, winning the first trick in hand and DUCKING a diamond. No harm if diamonds are 3-2. The gain comes when you have the 4-1 break with the quingleton. The winner can only remove one major suit entry in dummy. You unblock the DJ winner, use the other major suit entry to enjoy 4 more diamonds and the contract.

Credits to Bridge Master, the learning program on Bridge Base . COM

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A brilliant lead in Nickell-Fleischer match by Katz.

In the USA2 finals, a sort of repechage for Nickell who had been defeated in the USA1 trials, Katz for Nickell found a nice underlead of an Ace to defeat a well-bid 5D in a competitive auction. The auction was well-judge by both sides, north doing very well to introduce Diamonds as a playing spot. 5H having no chance.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Play (Kranyak) or Defend (Rosenberg)? Analysis by Shenkin

Here, Rosenberg chose to lead the HA, certainly reasonably. Kranyak ruffed the HJ continuation, drew trump in three rounds, played one more looking at discards, crossed to hand in clubs, ruffed a small heart to find the HK drop, and claimed.

Barnet Shenkin, that great analyst, observed that on most leads, you can make on a trump squeeze. The plan is to win, play a small heart. while trumping one small heart, arrive at the end position with S:Txx H:void D:xx opp H:Qx S:AK On the penultimate trump, North is trump squeezed, being unable to hold on to both two hearts and QJx of spades.

Double dummy the lead to beat the trump squeeze is a high spade. Thus, a patzer will beat the slam but a world champion will not.

Defend 3NT. Killpoint for Kranyak to find.

In the USBC finals 1, Kranyak, playing four-handed had a near insurmountable lead of about 100 IMP over redoubtable Fleischer after five rounds of eight. This board arose when Willenken-Rosenberg bid to 3NT.

BBO vugraph commentator said that Willenken took his time before playing to trick one, always a splendid idea. Here, he played the Q, covered and won with the Ace.

Trick two, Jack of diamonds ducked, trick three, diamond to the Ten, East winning.

Willenken's kill-point arose when East played a middle heart away from the ten. He rose to the occasion, by playing small ( a curious mixed metaphor there!). Put yourself in Kranyak's shoes after he wins HK.

Kranyak, proven to be one of the game's greatest players, having pitched near shutouts of great teams such as Nickell, was at the killpoint here. The threat of course was that declarer's tricks in diamonds and spades were ready, but the lurking danger was that Hearts were already set up for 3 hearts. Counter-intuitive as it is to run three clubs in view of a "guaranteed protected King of clubs", it was the double-dummy play here. When he returned a heart, Willenken put the finishing touches to a well-played hand by crossing to diamonds and taking the spade finesse against the spade bidder and earning nine tricks.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"How The Experts Win At Bridge" - by Burt Hall and Lynn Rose-Hall

Sorry I have not posted for the longest time!

The above book is a pretty unique one in bridge literature. It is perhaps more useful for the aspiring player than tons of books on bidding or play. It focuses on key areas of improvement. Establishes clear thinking plans on defense (when to go active/passive, when to lead trump). Seeing the number of MPs and IMPs I through away through stupid doubles, for me the chastening chapter was When and When not to double. The majority of the book is geared to MP, and a chapter on how to win Team Events. The writing is all about leads, defense and play from a strategic perspective at MPs. When to force declarer from the get-go. The examples are good, and not too pat. The prose is good, and this book deserves to be better known.

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