This past week I’ve encouraged my readers who have never played duplicate bridge to give it a try.
The American Contract Bridge League fosters the growth of all forms of bridge. It sponsors tournament competition — including local club games — for players at all levels of experience and expertise. The ACBL makes the laws, runs charity and educational programs, and publishes an excellent monthly magazine (for which I have a written a column since 1981). See acbl.org.
Duplicate helps you improve and rewards success with ACBL masterpoints, but most important is the social interaction. You become part of a family of people who share an appreciation for the beauties and intellectual challenge of the game.
At “matchpoint” duplicate, the same deals are played at many tables. The pairs who bid and play the best win. Matchpoints requires skills tailored to that form of scoring.
|Dlr: South||♠ K J 5 3|
|Vul: N-S||♥ J 10 4|
|♦ A 6 4|
|♣ K 6 4|
|♠ 10 8 7 6||♠ Q 9|
|♥ 8 7 6||♥ K 3 2|
|♦ J 9 2||♦ Q 10 8 5|
|♣ J 10 9||♣ 8 7 5 2|
|♠ A 4 2|
|♥ A Q 9 5|
|♦ K 7 3|
|♣ A Q 3|
Opening lead: ♣J
Today’s South plays at 6NT. He wins the first club in dummy and finesses in hearts, winning four heart tricks. What next?
South is sure of 11 tricks and can take 13 if spades break 3-3 and West holds the queen. At a “normal” contract — one that every pair in the room will reach — declarers often take calculated risks for an overtrick. But here, North-South have bid aggressively to 6NT with only 31 points. Most pairs will stop at game, so it is correct to play as safe as possible for just 12 tricks.
South should take the ♠K A, then lead toward dummy’s jack, guarding against Q-x with East.