Page 0005

SOME years ago the great Rixi Markus,

that redoubtable native Austrian British

International who escaped the Nazis by

brazenly fleeing through Germany, wrote

a book called Bid Boldly, Play Safe (about

which a wag quipped, 'Rixi bid boldly to

Four Spades, and played safely for down

three'). As a teams (rubber/Chicago)

policy, bidding boldly to game, then

playing as safely as possible to make the

contract, is spot on.

At pairs, things are completely different

- almost the reverse applies in fact. The

game bonus is far less valuable, in that if

you can make one more trick than your

counterparts, you have a good result with

or without the game bonus. You should

not push for close game contracts, but

then play flat out to make the maximum

number of tricks.

Let's look at a real example. You hold,

vulnerable vs not, the hand below:

You open 1´, hear

left-hand opponent

overcall 2™, partner

bid 2´ and righthand

opponent bid

3™. Now it would be

nice for double to be

a game try, but say you don't have that

piece of kit. You must decide between a

competitive (i.e. non-invitational) 3´, or a

jump to 4´. What would you do (a)

playing teams (b) playing pairs, in a large,

but fairly inexperienced field?

Playing teams, vulnerable, you must

shrug your shoulders and bid 4´. The 500

bonus is so material that you cannot

afford to pass up the opportunity. In

general, if you make a little over one

vulnerable game in three attempted, you'll

show a long-term profit at teams. Here I'd

rate your chances as higher than that: (i)

you have a ninth (and possibly even tenth)

trump; (ii) you can deduce partner for

short hearts and (iii) you have fabulous

controls.

At pairs, however, there's much to be

and two aces - and can make two more

fairly easily by ruffing two hearts in the

short trump hand. You win trick one with

the ace of hearts and ruff a heart. You

cross to the ace of clubs, ruff another

heart, cash dummy's remaining high

spade and must come to five more spades

in hand. Ten tricks and game made.

(b) 3´ at pairs

Yes, when you see dummy you wish you'd

bid 4´, but there are plenty of match points

still at stake. After winning trick

one with the ace of hearts, you lead your

diamond. The defence win and (say - it

doesn't matter) switch to a club. You win

with the ace, cross to a trump and ruff a

diamond. You ruff a heart and ruff

another diamond (high), noting the 3-3

split. You could play safe for ten tricks now

by ruffing your remaining heart with

dummy's last trump. Backing the oppo nents'

trumps to be 2-2, you gamble and

cross to a second spade. With both oppo nents

following, you are now able to cash

the three long diamonds discarding your

heart and two club losers and emerge with

twelve tricks.

Making 3´ plus three scored no less

than 88% of the match-points. Hardly any

of the other North-Souths had bid 4´.

The common result was 3´ plus one,

declarer ruffing two hearts in dummy and

not noticing the diamond potential at all.

Good pairs play is not about bidding

close games. It's about bidding within

your self (in the uncontested auction, that

is), but then using all your technique and

flair to wheedle out the extra trick. It's only

a slight over-simplification to say that if

you go to the Brighton Summer Festival,

you'll see the better bidders top the teams

and the better card-players top the pairs. r

5

August 2014 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

by Andrew Robson

Pairs Tactics

Bid Safe, Play Boldly

click

link

said for settling for 3´. If you bid 4´ and

find you can't make it, you'll score very

poorly (going down when your side own

the deal invariably does). Play 3´ well (as

is your wont), making the maximum

number of tricks and you'll likely score

quite well even if 4´ is on.

This is the full deal; (a) How would you

play 4´ at teams? (b) How would you play

3´ at pairs? On both occasions you receive

the king of hearts lead.

N/S Game. Dealer South.

´ K Q J

™ 8

t 9 7 5 4 3 2

® 9 6 2

´ 8 6 ´ 7 5

™ K Q 10 6 3 ™ J 9 5 2

t K J 10 t A Q 8

® K J 8 ® Q 10 7 5

´ A 10 9 4 3 2

™ A 7 4

t 6

® A 4 3

The bidding at teams:

West North East South

2™ 2´ 3™ 4´

All Pass

The bidding at pairs:

West North East South

2™ 2´ 3™ 3´

All Pass

(a) 4´ at teams

Your goal is ten tricks. No more, no less.

You start with eight winners - six spades

N

W E

S

´ A 10 9 4 3 2

™ A 7 4

t 6

® A 4 3

JUNIOR SUCCESS

The team of Basil Letts, Ankush Khandelwal, Kyle Lam and Simon Spencer

put in a strong performance to finish second in the Junior Invitational Teams

at the Midsummer Bridge Tournament in Finland. Report in the next issue.

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064