Losing Trick Count and a ruff in the short hand.

We had 15 tables last night to play our first ever full set of HandyDup, computer generated hands. Many thanks to Tony Tyler and Barry Leverett not only for the preparation but also for printouts and publishing (all 30 hands) on this blog. Your committee have invested both time and money (our time, your money!) in this new facility and are interested in any feedback (positive and/or negative) you may have.

As I was looking at the printout, Hand 15 caught my eye although it was one of the boards that I didn’t play.  Congratulations to Dave and Sally Williams and to Terry Atkinson and Lynda Foster who were the only two pairs to bid the slam.  I wonder how the bidding went?  Maybe something like this:

South                   West                      North                    East

Pass                      1 H                        2 C (I would!)       X

Pass                      3 H (jump)           Pass                      4 NT (rkcb)

Pass                      5 S (2 + QH)         Pass                      6H

West’s jump to 3 Hearts shows better than minimum and a long suit, probably 6 losers (which it has).  East is now interested in slam possibilities because this hand also has 6 (some might say 5) losers. Take combined losers, 12 away from 18, to arrive at the level of the contract, 6, a small slam.  If you are not familiar with Losing Trick Count, Google it, or borrow the club DVD, it is a useful weapon to have in your Bridge Armoury!  Roman Key Card Blackwood would be really useful at this stage because  West can show partner not only the missing Ace of Clubs but also the K and Q of Trumps (Hearts).

As for the play, declarer needs to get a club ruff in the short hand.  Actually, maybe two Club ruffs if Hearts aren’t led.  Ruffing in the short hand is a wonderful way of mining extra tricks!  It is fortunate that the Spades break 3/3 for an overtrick.  I look forward to the successful pairs telling me …  “No, Andy, we didn’t bid/play it that way, we did it this way  …… ”   That is one of the fascinations of Bridge. All the best.  Andy