Welcome to Basement Bridge

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

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Eeyore was beside himself with rage. Not that you'd have noticed. He stood silently alone in the sun-dappled clearing, his head droopt, his tail slightly swishing. It was this swishing that alerted a passing Christopher Robin to the fact Eeyore was disconsolate. After the usual pleasantries, the boy enquired of the donkey the reason for his anger.
"Everybody was in 4S making 10 tricks. Only I, Christopher Robin, I, Eeyore, made 11 tricks!"
"But Eeyore that's brilliant! How clever of you!"
"Yes, I found a rare inverted Double Squeeze operated at trick 11, after they failed to attack dummy's entry to the Menace at trick 3." Eeyore intoned morosely.
"Really?" said Christopher Robin, seriously none the wiser. "But didn't that overtrick give you a Top?"
"It would have done, it would have done." Agreed the donkey solemnly. "Were it not for one vital fact you have overlooked Christopher Robin."
The boy scratched his head. "And, er, what was that?"
Eeyore fixed Christopher Robin with a baleful glare - "We were only in 2 Spades!!!" The boy sank to the ground, crossed his legs and said comfortingly: "Ok, tell me what happened."
"I opened 1NT, Owl transferred with 2H, I bid 2S and then he passed, quite reasonably, with this:

I had 14 HCP and 4S with him, no wasted H values and the game is cold for 10 tricks. What did we do wrong?"
"Well, nothing really, I suppose. But there is something to be considered. When - and ONLY when - you, as the NT bidder have 14HCP and 4 card support, instead of lamely bidding 2S, you can BREAK THE TRANSFER by bidding 3S! Now partner can re-value their hand in the light of this important information and bid on if it's right to do so."
"But what if partner has a pile of rubbish and was only transferring to get out of 1NT? Aren't we now too high?"
"Possibly. But rest assured that if partner does have rubbish, then the opponents have something on; and, whatever it is, they're going to find it mighty difficult to either double you or suddenly bid a minor at the 4 level out of nowhere. Yes, maybe 5 times out of a 100 it'll go Paridiae up, but that's nothing."
"Well, very interesting. I must remember that in future. Oh, and - Christopher Robin - thanks for pointing out it was all my fault. I do feel sooo much better now. When you start in the depths of despair how good to plummet further. Do you know a tall cliff nearby? Maybe I could toss myself off..."

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