DEC_08_EB_p05 Robson + Engler 13/11/08 4:57 pm Page 5
The Two-minute Interview Sacrificing
Photo: Claire Newman-Williams
SACRIFICING means bidding on to a
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, contract in the full expectation that it will
Kosha Engler moved to London in fail, in the hope of conceding fewer points
2005. She has worked in theatre, film, than defending an opposing making con- The opposing auction to 4♠ is hardly
TV, radio, video games, and print in tract. Typically, we are talking about bidding convincing. East’s 3 ♠ bid was not
the USA and the UK. Most recently she on over an opposing game. The question is: invitational; he may have been bidding it
played Pat Collins opposite Andrew is sacrificing a good idea at pairs? to go down one expecting your 3♣ to
Lincoln as astronaut Michael Collins The answer, in a nutshell, is no. The make. West has broken discipline with his
in Moonshot for ITV and Dangerous reason for my negativity in this area is that 4♠ bid: having already limited his hand,
Films, about the Apollo 11 moon land- a sacrifice only works if all the following he has not been asked to speak again. (If
ing. It will be broadcast in 2009. three factors are the case: East had bid 3♦, not 3♠, it would be a
How did you start playing bridge? (a) The opponents were making their different matter). Not only does this mean
My husband and his Cambridge Foot- game contract. that 4♠ may well fail; it also means that
lights buddies taught me while on a (b) You go down less than the value of ‘the field’ will probably not be bidding
group holiday over New Year 2002. their game contract. East-West’s cards to 4♠.
How often do you play? (c) The field is bidding their game, over You know 5♣ will be cheap against 4♠ :
About once a month. which you are sacrificing. you expect it to go about down two (as it
It is point (c) that many overlook. There is does). But you must not bid it! Minus 300
What does bridge mean to you?
no point in going down two in (say) 5♣ will score poorly whether or not 4♠ is
I grew up playing cards – it’s the way my
doubled (non-vulnerable) if no one is bid- making, as you will be comparing your
family bonds. My uncle taught me the
ding the opposing (say) 4♠ over which score with minus 170s (if ten tricks are
riffle shuffle with a cascade finish when
you are sacrificing. Whether or not the available in spades), or minus 140s (if they
I was 8. Then I worked my way up from
one- to four-player games: solitaire, gin opponents’ 4♠ is making, minus 300 will are not).
rummy, casino, euchre, spades. Bridge be a mouldy score. In short, your only chance for a good
was always the ‘hard game.’ My parents match-point result is to defend (doubling
didn’t play and I felt intimidated by its would be over-egging it, though), and
complexity. But when I finally gave in E/W Game. Dealer East. hope that 4♠ goes down.
and learned to play, a new world opened ♠82 As you see, 4♠ depends on declarer’s
up: the intricacies of the game are exact- ♥ 10 8 3 2 view in trumps, and he may well play you
ly what make it so thrilling. ♦ A 10 9 4 for shortage in the light of your overcall,
♣K96 opting to finesse into your doubleton
If you could change one thing about
♠ K753 ♠ A J 10 9 6 queen. Down one – losing a trick in each
bridge, what would it be? N
♥ Q974 W E
♥AJ6 suit – and 80% of the match-points.
Declarer could have the option of ask- ♦ Q65 S ♦KJ83
ing dummy for advice on any given ♣ 85 ♣7
trick. As a penalty for the advantage, the ♠Q4 Andrew’s Tip: Sacrificing is rarely
trick won with dummy’s advice would ♥K5 right, because all the following
be worth half points, so if trumps are a ♦72 conditions must be met:
major, the trick in question would only ♣ A Q J 10 4 3 2 (a) The opponents are making their
be worth 15 instead of 30 points. game contract.
What are your other hobbies? (b) You go down less than the value
Country walks, reading, writing, travel- West North East South of their game contract.
ling, watching films, looking after our 1♠ 2♣ (c) The field is bidding the game over
two kittens, gardening, knitting, games. 2♠ 3♣ 3♠ 4♣ which you are sacrificing.
4♠ Pass Pass ?
www.ebu.co.uk December 2008 English Bridge 5