Learning from mistakes.

This post is a bit of an experiment, on a rainy day, to see if I can publish and use hands from recent club nights as a teaching/learning exercise. Fingers crossed! If there is no image of the hand with this text, then it won’t make much sense and I apologise. All the hands from Thursday evening are published with the results.

Board one was the first board we played on Thursday evening. It gave me an early opportunity to make my first mistake of the evening! Terry Atkinson, sitting East, correctly judged that his hand was a fraction too weak to open one heart and so he chose to open two hearts (six hearts and 6 – 10 points).

I was sitting South and chose to bid 2 Spades rather than double as I didn’t think my minor suit Kings had much of a chance. My partner, Bill sitting North, not knowing much about my strength, bid an invitational 3 Spades which was passed round. Without a Heart bid from East, West is unlikely to lead a heart, but John Luckraft was happy to lead his King of Hearts from Kx, knowing his partner had heart strength.

So, how did the play go? Can you see how to make 9 tricks in Spades? If you are a beginner/improver, stop and think about it for a minute or two.

East quite cleverly overtook the King of hearts with his ace just in case the King was a singleton, continued with the Queen and then led the Ten. What do I do? I know that West can over-ruff if I ruff small and, as the cards lie, I have two diamond losers which will leave me one off. This is where I went astray – I chose to ruff high in hand with the ace of Spades. I then drew two rounds of trumps with the King and Queen of Spades. That meant that West was left with a boss trump (the Jack) and I still had two diamond tricks to lose.

Can you see what I should have done? On the third round of hearts I must resist the temptation to ruff and simply ditch a diamond loser instead. What can East do? Nothing. If he continues Hearts then Dummy can over-ruff anything that West plays. Any other suit, I get in and draw trumps in three rounds, leading a Diamond from Dummy to hand thus ensuring that the only other trick I lose is the ace of Diamonds.

All the best! Andy