East west vulnerable

East west vulnerable

The goal is collecting tricks not points

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

Today, I will take a break from the beginner bridge columns and discuss a hand that happened last year in Nelson. Their game is every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the senior’s centre beside the Capitol Theatre.

The bidding: North opens one heart and partner responds one spade showing four or more spades and six plus points. South counts his tricks and realizes he will make game opposite a minimum hand from partner. The four heart bid indicates that North has 18 or more points. Since South has ten high card points and a long good suit, they are close enough to try for a small slam.

Partner thought for  a bit and raised me to six. He then put down a ten-point dummy and I made seven in a hand (a trump was led not a diamond) where, out of the five times, it was played, once in a partial and the rest in game.

One defender looked at dummy and said how can my partner go to slam with ten points opposite my 18. I realized then that I had not even counted my fourteen points because I knew I had enough tricks for game. I certainly had, because opposite ten points, I made seven.

But is dummy 10 points? No, partner also realized that it is tricks that make game and slam, not points. Dummy is a valuable two-suiter with all his points in his long suits. His singleton ended up not being that important because that was my singleton as well.

Thing of note.

Things I liked about my hand were:

– there was not anything I really disliked about my hand

– a long suit to the ace and king. This is hardly worth only seven points or even ten points counting the length points. It is much more. It is probably more than half of the total tricks. Seven tricks is normally the equivalent of 21 points.

– a stiff diamond

– first and third round control in clubs and

– a mild fit for partner which turned out to be a very good fit.

Things partner liked about his hand:

– It is a two-suiter.

– He has no points in his short suits. They are concentrated in his long suits.

– He has two cards (a mild fit) in a suit that I jumped to game opposite a possible five points.

– He has a stiff diamond.

– He has a six-card suit headed by the ace and queen.

– The ace of spades is important opposite a hand with a long heart suit.

– The spade suit is a possible good source of tricks that can either be set up through ruffs or the finesse.

– He has second round control in clubs.

– If I was desperate for a twelfth trick I could also fall back on a club finesse.

This is a perfect example of how it is tricks not points that make a hand valuable.

Result: Six hearts by South making plus one for +1010.

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