Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two hands from BBO

Last night Susie and I were in the mood for some bridge so we rustled up a game on Bridge Base Online. We played 20 boards and things really went our way so we were up about 60 IMPs. It's important to note that on BBO the standard of the field is incredibly variable, so just being dealt mama-papa games is usually enough to win IMPs against the field, and if anything is at all pushy you're often the only ones bidding and making.

Here are two nice deals, both declared by Susie:

Our opponent Ekinci found the good lead of a heart. Displaying good technique, Susie ducked the first trick, won the second, crossed to the cK, and crossed back to the dA. On the cA, East now followed with the cQ.

Susie ruffed her club loser low in dummy as East discarded his last diamond. Susie now had a 100% solution to make 4S regardless of the layout of the opposing cards: she led dummy's last heart, discarding her last diamond. East won in order to return a trump, but Susie won with the s9 in dummy, ruffed a diamond with the sA, ruffed her cA with the sK, and claimed 4S. Well done!

This next one was a real gem.

We bid to 3NT on the auction shown. Ekinci led a low heart, so unless he was on a four-card overcall, Gyettick could be trusted to have a singleton honour. Sure enough, he played the hJ to the first trick and Susie made her first excellent play of letting West hold the first trick. Although this cost a trick in the heart suit, assuming East had an entry it would save him running 4 tricks -- and in any case, he might be endplayed late in the day to give the hK anyway.

Susie's initial plan was to strip the diamond suit and lead toward the clubs, hopefully either finding a friendly club layout or managing to strip Ekinci's hand of non-hearts in order to endplay him. However, when West returned a diamond at trick 2 and then showed out on the second diamond, a change of plans was in order.

West's discard on the 2nd diamond was the c2, playing upside-down attitude. Susie, therefore, had a strong suspicion where the cQ was. In that case, it was surely much better to lead toward the cT, so she won the second diamond in dummy and led to the cT.

When West rose cQ, the hand was all over. He switched to a spade, but Susie won in hand, played the cT (allowed to hold), crossed to the sK, and drove out the cA for 9 tricks. Had West ducked the cQ, Susie would have had to guess the layout, but she can always survive here even if she plays another club (West is forced to exit a spade, at which point she can play cash her spades and diamonds and exit a heart for a ninth trick).

I thought this a really well-played hand. Well done Susie!

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