Wow! What a hand!

This was board 2 from Thursday evening, January 9th. How often do you pick up a hand (East above) with just one loser (the 3 of diamonds) in it? Once in a lifetime maybe. Sadly, I didn’t get to play it myself. It would have been the next hand I picked up, but the Director (quite rightly) called time and we had to take an average.

What about those pairs who did play it? It is easy to play but far from easy to bid the “optimum” contract of 7 No Trumps. In fact, only one pair, Fred and Jayne, managed to find that perfect contract. Hearty congratulations to them both! It took them just three bids – I wonder if you can figure them out?

Most pairs, quite understandably, settled for the perfectly reasonable contract of 6 Hearts. After all, what use is the ace of spades in dummy if there are no entries to that hand? Without it, we are going to lose that 3 of diamonds aren’t we? Well, maybe not. Fred and, probably, the two pairs who bid and made 7 Hearts, figured that there were three possible ways of getting to dummy.

Firstly you might get a spade lead. You may think that is a one in four chance but given the club and heart cards in the East hand, you are likely to get either a diamond or a spade. So that chance is closer to 50/50.

Secondly, West might hold the Jack of clubs or, as here, have a club entry once the Jack has fallen. A better than one in three chance.

Thirdly, West might hold the 9 of Hearts (she did), or have a heart entry once the 9 has fallen. Again, a better than one in three chance.

I’m not sure if all that computation rattled through Fred’s brain in a couple of milli-seconds but he quickly figured that there was a good chance of 13 tricks, and in No Trumps too, so he bravely bid 7 No Trumps and was rewarded with an outright top! Very well done! Andy

A couple of reminders if you are still reading and haven’t fallen asleep! …..

The next brianbridge trial takes place from 2.00 pm on Tuesday 21st January.

Random Seeded Teams on Sunday 9th Feb. Entries please to Pat Haslam.