Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bridge Tips When "Stuck" at Home, Part II

Now that we've had over a week without going to the bridge clubs, many of us have taken to online bridge at bridgebase.com. I have never been a huge fan of online bridge and haven't played in online tournaments for years, but am becoming reacquainted.  I prefer being physically "at the table" with the opponents as I'm able to pick up a lot of information during the bidding and play. On the other hand, playing online in the quiet of your home eliminates the noise and chaos of the clubs.  I had a great hand yesterday which I'll share in a moment.

Here are some additional bridge resources if you have extra time for reading.

1. There are some great bridge blogs out there.  Many of the top bridge writers have compiled rich resources:  Larry Cohen (larryco.com), Richard Pavlicek (rpbridge.net), Eddie Kantar (kantarbridge.com), to name a few.

I also enjoy checking out the material at the Bridge World website: bridgeworld.com.

2. Need some new bridge books (or other bridge supplies)?  I received an email from Baron Barclay this morning that they are offering Free Shipping on books! They agree that "It's the perfect time to stock up on new reading material." (baronbarclay.com)

3. Play exercises:  The quintessential Bridge Master play program is now available for free at the bridgebase site. (It used to cost a pretty penny to purchase.) You can find it under the sign-in page of bridgebase.com and play hands without signing in.  I love to practice playing tough hands before a big tournament.  Bridge World has some great exercises on their site as well--on play, bidding and defense.

OK--back to my amazing hand from my first online outing at the Daily "Support Your Club" ACBL Black Point Games at bridgebase.com.  There are 3 daily games for $5 each, with $4 going to your own bridge club.

Tracy Bauer and I were having a decent matchpoint game when I picked up this hand:


As I sat there admiring this dramatic hand, my partner opened a surprising 2NT!

Wow--what to do?  Even though my initial thought was getting to 6, I took the typical meandering route. I started with 3, puppet stayman, in case there was a spade fit.

Partner, not unexpectedly, bid 3, showing a 5-card heart suit (and no help).

Without a lot of agreements or exotic conventions to fall back on,  I then bid 4--hopefully natural and forcing!

4 from partner.  I had been hoping to maneuver the auction into a position where I could ask for aces or key cards, but hadn't found a way. Unwilling to risk a bidding accident by making an obscure bid, I simply jumped to 6.

Let's see.  The K was led and the dummy looked good.



I won the A, pitched my losing club on the A and led a diamond off the board.  The J came up on my right and I was in good shape as I won the A and LHO followed.

I left the high trump outstanding and returned to the board to pitch losing spades on the high hearts.  "Nice bid" said partner, and it did, indeed, feel like a good score.

When the next round started the scores appeared and we got a 100% board--a nice feat with over 400 pairs!

Hope to see you online!  My user name is Jenn.

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