Friday, October 18, 2013

Jennbridge: Big Club and Losing Trick Count Success

By Bob Klein

Dave Neuman and I recently played in the Santa Rosa Sectional.  Board 7 from the morning session was a solid victory for a big club system combined with losing trick count.  

Dave and I play Precision.  An opening bid of 1 Club shows a hand with at least 16 points if unbalanced or 17 if balanced.  Dave opened 1 Club with 

♠ J3
♥ AK3

The next hand came in with 2 Diamonds.  I held

♠ AQ95
♣ A764

I bid 2 Hearts, game forcing with 5 or more hearts.  Dave jumped to 4 Hearts, showing a minimum big club bid with heart support.  Now I saw a 5-loser hand opposite a big club opening, which is usually a 6-loser or less hand.  Eureka!  No more than 11 combined losers, good fit, void in opponent's suit.  This added up to a likely slam, so I just bid 6 Hearts.   As you can see, it made easily.  All I needed was to draw trumps and not lose a trick to the jack.  12 easy tricks, just lose a spade.  For this result we got 16 matchpoints with 17 top.  

Good luck!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jennbridge: I Love Endplays

I can't help it.  I often think more about a part-score hand involving an endplay than the more dramatic, straightforward hands.  Here is a little gem from the first match of a sectional team game last Sunday.  Our opponents were a team of experts, and I found myself playing 1NT after LHO opened 1♠, partner doubled, RHO passed, and I bid 1NT.



A spade lead went to the ♠K played by RHO who then paused before he exited with the Q.  The play at trick one provided a lot of information. RHO, as expected, has a singleton spade and the QJ. LHO has most, if not all, of the remaining points.

I start playing on diamonds, playing A, K, and a diamond to the 10, which holds, LHO pitching a spade.  I cash the Q and RHO follows with the J while LHO pitches a club.  As it is a team game I am focused on making my contract, and things look fine.  I have 2 hearts, 4 diamonds and should have a club trick quite soon.

Indeed, I lead a club to the ♣K and it holds.  The contract is now made, but let's have some fun.  I lead a spade to the ♠9 and LHO wins.  He exits with a heart, trying to avoid an endplay, but I win and play on spades once again.

He wins the ♠Q with the ♠A and now has to give me my 8th trick in either clubs or spades. As it turned out, he cashed the ♣A before leading to my ♣Q.

Plus 120 wasn't worth any IMPs as there was an unfortunate result at the other table, but executing endplays against experts has its own special satisfaction.

See you at the table!