Teams Tactics by Derek Patterson
All Guns Blazing!
IMAGINE THAT you are South with the to create swings, in the hope that these successful finesse might still achieve the
following hand: turn out to be favourable. It is inadvisable, desired swing because, at the other table,
however, to take long-shots as these they would probably play for the drop, or
´ A J 10 8 2 You are the dealer invariably turn a difficult situation into maybe start with the king first. Accordingly,
™ AQJ52 and open 1´, partner one that is insurmountable. the jack of spades was run and when East
t K7 raising to 3´. How The recommended approach is to make showed out, the slam had been brought
® 3 should you proceed? a bid or play that is just slightly against the home – with some panache!
To make slam a cer- odds. In this way, hopefully, the opponents Here is the full deal:
tainty, partner seems to will not make the same decision and there
require the ´K-Q and two aces, or ´K-Q, will still be a reasonable chance (close to
™K and one ace, neither being possible 50%) of success, thereby creating a Game All. Dealer South.
after the limit raise. It is conceivable that positive swing for the trailing side. Contract: 6´. Lead: ™8.
partner has something akin to: How would these circumstances affect ´ K954
´ K 7 5 3 ™ 7 6 3 t A 5 2 ® A 9 2 the decision on our featured deal? When ™ K7
when 6´ would be a reasonable the hand actually occurred, opener recog- t A863
proposition but opposite some respond- nised a perfect opportunity to substan- ® J 10 8
ing hands such as: tially reduce the opponents’ lead and via ´ Q76 ´ 3
´ K 7 5 3 ™ K 7 t 10 9 5 ® K Q 10 4 the auction detailed below, bid up to 6´. ™ 83 N ™ 10 9 6 4
it would be desirable to play in 4´ and no To do this missing two aces would have t J954 S t Q 10 2
higher. On that basis, under normal cir- been reckless but to bid slam missing the ® K652 ® AQ974
cumstances, either opener should bid 4´, queen of trumps and one ace represented ´ A J 10 8 2
or choose a slam-try, such as 4™, thereby a fair shot. On the lead of the ™8, the ™ AQJ52
consulting partner. dummy went down and in order to make t K7
Playing teams, however, there will the slam, declarer had to negotiate the ® 3
be circumstances under which a more following trump suit:
aggressive approach could be condoned.
The point is that teams bridge is played in ´K954 North South
matches, one team against another. In W
certain forms, such as a knock-out S
competition, the sole objective is to win ´ A J 10 8 2 5™1 6´
any given match – the margin of victory Pass
being irrelevant. If, when nearing the end He started with the ace of spades and
of an encounter, one team is a long way continued with the jack of spades, with 1 Showing two key cards, in this case
behind, that team should be prepared to both opponents following (West twice). the ´K and the tA and also denying
take more risks than normal, in order to Normally, with four cards missing, the the ´Q.
make up the lost ground. drop would be preferred although the
For example, if, after twenty-four boards odds between this and taking the finesse South’s bidding and play had been
in a 32-board match, a team found itself are very close. Hence, South identified a designed to create a positive swing for his
40 IMPs behind, then the players of that further chance to create a swing, reasoning side without taking any ridiculous risks.
team should realise that they are unlikely that although the bidding had been opti- The bidding rated to prove successful
to recoup the deficit by utilising normal mistic, the contract was reasonable and quite often (say 40 % of the time) and the
tactics. They must go down fighting and the opponents in the other room might situation demanded some lively action.
the most sensible strategy would be to try have reached the same spot. In that case, a The rationale was that a 40% chance to
greatly reduce the gap was worth taking
when, otherwise, the odds of overcoming
2011-2012 NICKO: Congratulations to Cambridge A (Chris Jagger, such a large deficit were very poor indeed.
Jon Cooke, Jonathan Mestel and Julian Wightwick) who have won the 2011/12 Desperate times call for desperate
National Inter-Club Knockout. They beat Cheltenham B by 43 IMPs in the final. measures.
The chosen line of play was adopted on
16 English Bridge February 2013 www.ebu.co.uk