The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits


I’ve spent most of the day (well, some) watching the Vanderbilt matches on BBO. The technical play is excellent (as you’d imagine in the semi-finals of one of the premier events in the world) but what’s impressive (to me) as how many points swing on close calls. At this level, nobody goes quietly. The pairs are too good at bidding, so if you give them room, it’s game over. With that in mind, here’s your chance to take a guess.

Both sides vulnerable.

S:6 H:987 C:AT6 C:J87543

Your partner opens 5D vulnerable and your RHO bids 5S.  6D should be a cheap sacrifice, but you might push them into slam.  For that matter, there may be a grand slam. This hand was played four times, with three different auctions (all starting the same way)….

I’ve added BridgeWinners to my blogroll. Excellent articles, and their coverage of the Vanderbilts has been great.

The current hand:

You are in 6S: Dummy has

S:– H:AQT765 D:AQTxx C:Ax

and have


(The auction was 1H-1S;3D-5S;6S. 5S asked for a club control). LHO leads the 2 of clubs. Do you play low, risking a club ruff (if clubs are 4-1), or do you play the Ace, which wins as long as clubs aren’t 5-0 and trumps are 4-3?

To me, whether to play one or the other seems like a guess. There are inferences, but defenders know that you know them, too. Kamil got it wrong. (The opening leader had xxx of clubs, and trumps broke 5-2, so he needed to duck, losing to the K, and then pitch his ace when he drew trumps). At the other table, they had a different auction (playing Precision), and declarer got a heart lead, making easily. So that’s a 14 IMP swing, semi-randomly. Such is bridge…at this level, at least.

Written by taogaming

March 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Bridge

2 Responses

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  1. Hey Brian —

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I encourage you to also post your bridge-related articles to BridgeWinners blog and if of good quality, we may feature it on the front page. (We already have enough material from top players, but we’d like more material from improving players.)

    Eugene Hung

    March 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

  2. Hey Eugene. Mutual Admiration society here. (I must admit, I’m tempted to post some topics related to Polish Club, Systems, and other thoughts. I just went and filled in (more) of my profile yesterday….


    March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

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