Welcome to Basement Bridge

Weekly updates from Kit Jackson offering hints and tips for the modern Bridge player. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Defend Or Die

“Watson! Over here,” said master sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. His eyes burned with unnatural fire. I edged to the table and saw him peruse thirteen cards spread on rich maroon velvet:

6 4 2
10 9 5 3
Q 3
J 7 5 2

“Familiar, Watson?”
“Erm, er, yes, er, sort of. Yes.” I blustered.
“A hand held by you only yesterday at Madame Fifi’s.”
“Just so. A fine evening, by the way…”
“Possibly. The opponents edged to 3NT. I led a small Diamond, you played the Q, Declarer winning the Ace. Do you recall further events?”
“Indeed I do Holmes…”
“No, Watson – about this hand. Concentrate.”
“Ah. As I now recall, Declarer rattled off winners and actually made 6NT in the end, a pretty bad score for us. A deeply boring little hand I’d say. What’s the purpose of it?”
“The purpose is that, yes, indeed we did attain a bad score, but it was eminently avoidable. Consider the facts: you have a hand of almost no trick-taking potential whatsoever. But this does NOT mean, my dearest friend, you can allow yourself to be diverted from the task in hand; which is: – to make certain Declarer makes only those tricks to which he is, by chance of the deal, entitled to. And no more”
“But Holmes,” I protested feebly, “What was I to do?”
“What you had to do was think, man, think! If you do not hold many cards – where are the other points, eh? Tell me that.”
“They might have been underbid…”
“Do not – ever – take the opposition for fools. No, Watson, if you have not the points then logically I have the outstanding high cards. I therefore am the one of us who is under pressure. I need help. All the assistance I can get so as to determine which of my cards I may dispense with as required. In order to do this I need YOU to carefully and accurately inform me of your various holdings in each suit. They may be of no interest to you, but they are of profound importance to me, and I, Watson am your beloved partner.”
“Oh, I say.”
“You randomly played the lowest card from each suit according to whim and fancy, therefore denying me any small chance of gleaning such information about your hand as I needed. Had you played small from an odd number of cards and Hi-Lo from an even number, I would have been able to imagine the shape of declarer’s hand and so know what not to discard, thereby saving a trick and many Match Points. On top of that, you discarded a low Club at some point, thereby enabling Declarer to make his lowly 10 of Clubs for the 12th trick. Lazy, Watson. Deeply lazy. Just because your hand is bad does not entitle you to park your brain in the stables. We are a partnership. You must do your work in conjunction with mine. Two needless overtricks were frittered away and an average score became a complete and total bottom!”
“Talking of bottoms….”

No comments:

Post a Comment