Monday, June 15, 2020

Accidental Genius

Bridge can be rewarding, frustrating and even quite amusing!  I have been playing a lot of IMP games with the BBO robots because I can fit in a quick 12-board match almost any time.  These matches are quick because you can frequently claim halfway through the hand. The robots know immediately whether your claim is valid.

Here are a couple of entertaining hands that both turned out to be matchwinners.  On the first one I made an unusual play which worked out great.  On the second hand a card turned out to be in the wrong defensive hand; but what initially looked like a disaster also turned a triumph.  I have decided that these two hands have earned me the title of Accidental Genius!

A normal auction and a normal 4lead.  For some reason I decided to win the J with the A.  Look what happened next.

I counted my tricks and things didn't look too bad, so I played on clubs to drive out the A.  A diamond was returned to the Q and then a funny thing happened.  East shifted to another suit! I happily took my 11 tricks and went on to the next board.  When the scores were posted at the end of the day, it turned that I had won 10.2 IMPs on this board.  I had to look at the hand to see what happened.

As you can see, my winning the opening lead with the A blocked the diamond suit!  Now West can't get in and cash the diamond tricks.  What a play!

2. In another BBO IMP match, on a different day, I found myself in what appeared to be a hopeless contract, with some "creative" bidding by my robot partner.

Check out the N-S hands and the bidding.

Strange bidding, to say the least.  I guess I need to exercise restraint with my lead directing doubles.  After the 3 bid by North, I had nowhere to go, so I tried 3NT. So here I am in a seemingly impossible game. The declarer was technically North, but the humans always play the hand.  East led a club and I won the K with the A.  

I expect East to have spades and a minor after the delayed Michael's bid.  Even if I can manage 5 heart tricks (unlikely) I can only count 8 tricks.  Well let's see what happens.

I decided to lead a spade from the board.  When East played low, I figured that West must have a spade honor so I went up with the A which dropped the J. Now I played a heart to the 9, in a desperate effort to win some heart tricks.  Much to my horror, East won the Q!

Now, East got busy cashing tricks.  First came the king and queen of spades which gave me a spade trick.  Next came the Q which gave me a club trick.  I love these tricks are being set up like magic.

Finally East exited with a club which I won in dummy with the J, pitching a diamond from my hand.  Let's cash the K, get to hand with the A and claim! Nine tricks (2 spades, 4 hearts, 1diamond and 2 clubs) plus 600, netted 12.2 IMPs and was another unlikely matchwinner.

Here the accidental genius was losing a trick to the singleton Q! (It was actually quite an effective avoidance play, as bad things happen if West gets the lead and plays clubs.) Then, amazingly, East robotically(!) cashed winners, until finally, Voila! The contract came home!

As I said, bridge can be quite amusing.

See you at the virtual tables!

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