|MONTHLY HAND||JAN 2000|
THIS MONTH'S TOPICS:
The Stayman Convention
Dumping losers on winners
Trumping losers in Dummy
We evaluate a suit contract in terms of
How many; and how do we get rid of them.
|South with 16 High Card Points (HCP) and
a balanced hand
opens the bidding with 1 No Trump. If North/South's No Trump
range is 16 - 18, then North with 10 points knows that the combined
point count is definitely in the Game Zone of 26 points. 10 + 16 =
North can bid game directly which is 3 No Trump. Or North can also investigate further to find a Spade fit.
This is done by North bidding 2 which is the Stayman Convention. This bid of 2 by North asks South to bid a 4 card Major. Note: the 2 bid is artificial and does not necessarily show a Club suit. South, with a 4 card Spade suit, responds 2 .
South would bid 2 if lacking a 4 card Major; or 2 with a 4 card Heart suit. (In either case North would make the game bid of 3 No Trump.)
Having found a Spade fit however, North now carries on to game with a bid of 4 .
|The best lead, both attacking and safe,
is from the top of a sequence.
West puts the K
on the table. Dummy plays a small card; East the J ;
and Declarer wins the trick with the A .
Even though West did not win the trick, the lead of the K created a potential winner in the Q . This is why leading the top card of a sequence is so important. Even if the card led does not win the trick, by forcing the opponent to play a higher card to win the trick, it sets up the next card in the sequence as a potential winner.
A common beginner error is to lead the A . This is because a person wants to take a quick trick. (Where's the rush?) Leading a high honor which is not at the top of a sequence, allows your opponent's high card in that suit to become a winner.
Unless it's at the top of a sequence, save your Ace to capture Kings and Queens later on in the play of the hand.
|Dummy comes down. Count losers before playing
that small Diamond. A good plan is based on counting, and in a suit contract
Declarer counts losers. So let's do it:
1 Spade; 0 Hearts; 2 Diamonds; and 2 Club. That is 5 losers; two too many to make the hand. What to do? Leave the room? No. Let's examine the losers.
PLAN; Losing a trick to the opponent's Ace of trumps is unavoidable. ( A Nobel Prize in Bridge to some one who can find a way not to lose this trick.) The Club suit has 2 cards in Dummy and 4 in Declarer's hand. An imbalance. So one of the two Club losers can be TRUMPED in Dummy. This still leaves 4 losers: 1 Spade, 2 Diamonds and 1 Club. But what about Diamonds?
Notice the imbalance in Hearts: 3 in Dummy opposite 2 in the hand. So a losing Diamond can be DUMPED on a Heart winner. Now the losers are: 1 Spade; 0 Hearts; 1 Diamond; and 1 Club which adds up to 3. Great! The contract is made.
PLAY: Win the opening lead with the
A . In most suit contracts Declarer should pull trump as soon as possible. But in this hand, if trump were to be played at the second trick the defense would win with the A and cash 2 Diamond tricks. So the Diamond loser must be gotten rid of before a trump is played. The Diamond loser is a Quick Loser and must be gotten rid of quickly.
Now it's time to DUMP & TRUMP.
DUMP: Declarer plays the A winning the trick; then the 2 to Dummy's K . Now for the coup de dump. Dummy plays the Q allowing Declarer to DUMP a losing Diamond on this winner.
TRUMP: Now play Clubs; eventually TRUMPING the one Club loser in Dummy. South can counter any defensive play, by trumping Clubs (even a winning Club) in Dummy.
By eliminating one Diamond loser and one Club loser, the contract of 4 is made.
QUESTION: Why not
play trump after DUMPING the losing Diamond on the
|The Defense is pretty straight forward. West can hold up one round with the A . This makes it harder for Declarer to get to the hand in order to trump a Club. But with the way the cards lie, nothing will prevent Declarer from trumping a Club loser in Dummy.|
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