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X-Clubs 51

What is one of the first things your bridge teacher taught you about opening leads?

X-Clubs 50

For the next few weeks, I would like to introduce something different. The topic I am about to cover may be relevant to actual X-Clubs deals, in which case I will, as usual, write them up from actual play.

For the rest of the time, as in this issue, I will discuss a bit of theory, on DEFENCE, for any readers who are keen to improve their defence. I will start this issue with some theoretical questions relating to defensive play, and it would be helpful if the readers would participate by giving me their input, with answers to me (Vil) at villyn@xtra.co.nz

[Editor's note - you better Listen Up! Vil is too modest to mention it but he and partner Lynne Bruce were top of 207 pairs in the Tuesday Night session and again top but of 410 pairs in the Friday Daytime in the week (09) just passed. Vil must know what he's talking about, wouldn't you think?]

Why I love Defence

X-Clubs 48

When partner opens the bidding with 1S and a vulnerable right hand opponent leaps to 4H, do you, as North, lick your lips and double for penalties or do you think you have a better option? Those who doubled scored +800 which in the greater scheme of things scored well enough, but surely bidding a slam must score better, given North’s hand. Just take a look at today’s deal.

Board 22 from Tuesday 14/02/23
Dealer East EW Vul

J7
AK8
AQ86
AK64
4
QJT975432
J
T5
86532
T974
QJ32
AKQT9
6
K532
987

X-Clubs 47

Even the most boring hand can be made more interesting when you’re playing a match point game, because just one overtrick can make a big difference to your score. The results on this board at our club were identical, 3NT by East, jack of diamonds lead, making three, at every table but one, where the
declarer made an overtrick for 100% on the board.

Board 20 from Tuesday 7/02/23
Dealer West All Vul

AKJ
9874
642
Q76
Q654
653
K83
AJ9
932
AKQJ
AQ5
KT5
T87
T2
JT97
8432

X-Clubs 46

Board 9 from Monday 30/1/23 online with Real Bridge
Dealer North EW Vul

Q9
AQJ4
82
A8742
K72
T9752
J973
9
AT863
86
AT5
T63
J54
K3
KQ64
KQJ5

X-Clubs 45

Freak deals can produce amazingly interesting and also educational results. Witness the following.

Board 2 from Friday 27/01/23
Dealer East NS Vul

J52
J96
AKQT985
KT976
A762
8732
AQ83
KQ
AKQT4
72
4
JT98543
5
J643

X-Clubs 44

How many bridge players have learnt the art of the finesse but not learnt the art of not finessing?
Board 18 from Tuesday 17/01/23
Dealer East NS Vul

J862
QJ85
7
QJT4
T4
T964
A932
AK7
9753
K
J865
6532
AKQ
A732
KQT4
98

The almost universal contract was 4H by either North or South. The almost universal result was down one or two. In other words, a hopeless contract the way things were. Or was it?

X-Clubs 43

Welcome to the New Year with a very tricky bidding and play problem.

Board 21 from a RealBridge session on Monday 16-Jan
Dealer North NS Vul

KQ
843
K942
AKQ4
765
KT6
QT875
95
T982
J2
J63
T862
AJ43
AQ975
A
J73

X-Clubs 41 - Vil's Xmas Special

Defending low level contracts is something few defenders seem to pay much attention to, despite the fact that there are many match points to be gained in these situations. 1NT is such a case in point, because usually the defenders will have as many, or even more, combined high card points, as declarer.

Defending low level contracts is not just a matter of taking what tricks you can and hoping declarer is not smart enough to take all that can come declarer’s way. An astute partnership on defence can create just as many, or more, tricks as declarer could given the same two hands. That is because the astute defenders can ‘see’ all four hands whereas declarer can see only two!

Board 2 from Tuesday 13/12/22
Dealer East NS Vul

962
KJT
KT54
953
Q84
AQ8
872
T762
K73
532
AJ3
AQJ4
AJT5
9764
Q96
K8

X-Clubs 41

“The art of table talk”

Board 23 from Friday 25/11/22
Dealer South All Vul

AK86
9862
KT3
J5
J3
JT
J6
AQ98743
T75
AKQ3
Q94
KT2
Q942
754
A8752
6

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