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Do their thinking

Villy Dam ( Denmark )

 

VILLY DAM, from Vejle, Denmark, is now in his fifties. His bridge career started in 1964, since when he has won many national titles and represented Denmark on several occasions. His team won the Danish First Division six times out of seven and he has also won the prestigious Hoechst tournament in the Netherlands . He writes a daily column for one of the biggest newspapers in Denmark and a couple of years ago he won the IBPA prize for the best article of the year on declarer play.

Trained as a school teacher, since 1991 he has been employed by the Danish Bridge Federation; he writes textbooks (that are also adopted in Norway ), organises youth bridge and tournaments for beginners, teaches bridge teachers, and writes articles for the Danish bridge magazine and for Teletext.

He has a particular love of the tactics and psychology of the game, and this has given a lot of flavour to his articles over the years.

 

WHEN you are bidding, playing or defending a hand you do a lot of planning. You work out a strategy from the cards you and your partner hold. This is not always enough. Bridge is not a game between machines, but between human beings. Do not expect the opponents to play perfectly. They cannot look through your cards.

Consider what they know and what they may do. Figure out what they may be induced to do. Do not only your own thinking enter their minds to include their thinking. See it through their eyes.

 

Play this hand with me.

 

  South Dealer K 9 3 2    

 

Love All

 6

 

 

 

 

 K 7 6

 

 

 

 

 A Q J 10 5

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

       

 

 

W                          E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

 A 6 5

 

 

 

 

 Q 9

 

 

 

 

 A 9 8 4

 

 

 

 

 K 8 7 6

 

 

                           

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

1♣

Pass

1♠

Pass

2♠

Pass

4♣

Pass

5♣

 

All Pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West leads the queen of diamonds against Five Clubs. What are your chances? You have a loser in each of the side suits, and odds of a successful elimination and endplay are very slim. Your move?

Let the queen of diamonds hold the first trick! West does not know the position of the ace of diamonds. When you duck smoothly he is destined to continue the suit, 'knowing' his partner has the ace. Just peep into your opponent's mind do their thinking!

Your best chance for the contract is a diamond continuation and a 3-3 break. After drawing trumps you dispose of dummy's singleton heart. East will discourage diamonds, you say? It is really not easy for him, having to choose between the two and three. Furthermore, most Wests will expect partner to give count in a situation like this, where the play to the first trick should tell him the position of the ace. The full deal:

 

 

  South Dealer K 9 3 2    

 

Love All

 6

 

 

 

 

 K 7 6

 

 

 

 

 A Q J 10 5

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

J 8 7     Q 10 4

 K 10 7 4 3

 

W                          E

 A J 8 5 2

 Q J 5

 

 

 10 3 2

 4 3

 

 

 9 2

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

 A 6 5

 

 

 

 

 Q 9

 

 

 

 

 A 9 8 4

 

 

 

 

 K 8 7 6

 

 

                           

 HERE is another example :-

 

 

  West Dealer J 5 3 2    

 

Game All

 Q 9 5

 

 

 

 

 Q 8 6

 

 

 

 

 K 6 4

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

       

 

 

W                          E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

 A 8 7 4

 

 

 

 

 A K J 8 6

 

 

 

 

 J 5

 

 

 

 

 A 9

 

 

                           

W

N

E

S

Pass

Pass

Pass

1

Dbl

1NT

Pass

2♠

Pass

3♠

Pass

4

 

All

Pass

 

 

The opening lead was the three of clubs. Plan your play.

From the double West is known (more or less) to hold four spades. His opening lead makes it unlikely he holds the ace and king of diamonds. Thus East has a singleton spade (quite possibly an honour) and the diamond honours must be divided. Before the opponents come to two spade tricks you must set up a diamond.

There is no legitimate way of doing this, but try the king of clubs, the ace of hearts and then a diamond from your hand. If West has the king of diamonds he may be persuaded that you hold the ace and accordingly play the king.

I was the declarer when the deal came up in the Danish first division many years ago. However, West did not fall for my plan. On my five of diamonds he played the four, and I ...? Wait a moment. Now I knew for sure that West would not hold the ace and king of diamonds. I also knew that it is human not to split the ten-nine, so I took my only chance and inserted the eight. When it forced the king I had a chance.

I took East's queen of spades return with the ace, drew trumps and played the jack of diamonds. The result: ten tricks. Bad play by West? Not really. He was just showing his length in diamonds (reverse signals). The full deal: 

  West Dealer J 5 3 2    

 

Game All

 Q 9 5

 

 

 

 

 Q 8 6

 

 

 

 

 K 6 4

 

 

 

 

 

N

 

 

K 10 9 6     Q

 7

 

W                          E

 10 4 3 2

 A 10 9 4

 

 

 J 7 3 2

 Q 10 8 3

 

 

 J 7 5 2

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

 A 8 7 4

 

 

 

 

 A K J 8 6

 

 

 

 

 J 5

 

 

 

 

 A 9

 

 

                           

My BOLS bridge tip is:

When considering how to play  a poor or no-play contract,

try to enter the opponents' minds and see the problem through their eyes

 

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