on the first and last
boards of a session
HERE are some good reasons why you
should concentrate particularly hard on N/S Game. Dealer South.
the first board: ´ 7
™ K 10 7 6 2 and start running trumps, hoping West
i. It is a chance to get things off on the t A K 10 6 must also guard diamonds (quite likely –
right footing. Like a drive out of he had no hearts). This is the position as
´ Q 10 5 4 3 ´ KJ982
bounds off the first tee, or a double you lead the third-last trump from hand:
™ Void N ™ 54
fault (or three) on the tennis court, a t Q973
disaster on Board One can be hard to ® A843 ® J 10 9
recover from, mentally speaking. ´ A6 ´ —
ii. Partner may not be at his best yet; ™ AQJ983 ™ 7
you may need to cover for him. t 85 t A K 10 6
iii. The opponents may not be properly ® K76 ® Q52
´ Q ´ J9
into the session either – be ready to
™ — N ™ —
seize on a slip. Also, you’ll have at W E
t Q973 S t J42
least one other board at their table, so West North East South ® A84 ® J 10 9
try to gain the ascendancy. 1™ ´ —
1´ 3´1 4´2 6™3 ™ J98
Here are some good reasons why you All Pass 4 t 85
should concentrate particularly on the last 1 Splinter raise to 4™ – short spades and ® K76
board: good heart support.
2 Pre-empting to the level of the fit.
i. The opponents may not be concen- 3 I do not generally favour bidding close West cannot afford to throw a diamond –
trating, thinking about getting home slams at pairs. However, I feel partner’s or you can lead ace-king-ruff a diamond
or what drink to order at the bar. You splinter bid has given me a skill-edge (I setting up a long card in dummy with a
may be able to take advantage of a know more of my partner’s hand than lead towards the queen of clubs giving you
slip. many will) which I am keen to exploit. an entry to it. West cannot come down to
ii. Partner may also be tiring; you may Also, a confident jump to 6™ may see two clubs, or you can lead to the queen
need to cover for him. my opponents save in 6´ – then I do not and duck a club back to set up your king.
iii. It will end the session on a high note need to worry whether 6™ is making. So West throws his last spade. You now
– you will sleep better. Finally, the last board may see my oppo- lead your penultimate trump. West has no
iv. You can take your time – there’ll be nents put up a tired let’s-get-home def- good answer – the discard of either minor
no director breathing down your neck ence. Having said which, I’d much rather resulting in the denouement described
to move for the next round. have a third spade – a ruffing trick. above. Twelve tricks and slam made.
v. You are finished afterwards – no need 4 Correctly not saving: the principle at The only problem is that you leave the
to worry about mental exhaustion on pairs is not to sacrifice against an oppos- session on such a high that you don’t get
the next deal. ing slam unless you think it will be cheap much sleep after all. Ah well.
vi. If using Bridgemates, as you are against game.
waiting for the scores (with scores
before the last round already posted), As declarer you win West’s four of spades Andrew’s Tip: The two most
you know you will go up the rank- lead (to East’s king) and reflect that West important boards of a session are the
ings – a nice position to be in. has overcalled on a queen-high suit (East first and the last. They are the two
must have the jack or West would have led most likely boards to be tops – or
Look at our featured deal, your twenty- the queen). West must therefore have the bottoms: make sure they’re tops! r
fourth and last of the evening: ace of clubs. You ruff the second spade,
www.ebu.co.uk February 2011 English Bridge 5