Welcome to Basement Bridge

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

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


 Lieutenant Worf was consulting Counsellor Troi. 
"I made a foolish mistake, counsellor, and I wish to resolve the issue of my failure."
"Lieutenant: although at the moment you feel you have disgraced yourself, I can assure you the problem you present is not really to do with bridge at all."
"Is this supposed to comfort me, counsellor?"
"Not at all. I simply wish to focus you on to the problem at hand. Show me the deal."
The cards displayed brightly on the luminous holo desk as the main light dimmed around them. Only the N/S cards were visible:


"I'm afraid the auction got a little out of hand, counsellor, but it was a Teams match and we needed to score games:
1C - 1D - 1N - 3N. Not a classic auction I'll admit but it was tense. When dummy went down I was overcome with a mixture of anger and disappointment. Both I and partner appeared to have over valued our assets. I was cross with both myself and partner and that we had both let our side down. I felt ashamed. A Club was led, I took the Ace, led a low Diamond, but all was hopeless. We were way off. To make matters even worse, when we scored up we saw the opponents had been in the same contract on the same lead and actually made it! How can I stop myself from making these appalling errors of judgement, Counsellor?"
"The error you have made is not a bridge error, Lieutenant. And it is easily within your power to rectify the problem. You said - and I believe you - that when you first saw dummy you were angry and disappointed. You were under pressure in a tight situation. The problem, Worf, is that you let that pressure affect you and your judgmental processes."
"I agree. But what can I do?"
"The first task is to rid oneself of unnecessary tension. You must actively relax. When dummy goes down you are allowed One Minute's thinking time. Use it. Relax your feet; your knees; your solar plexus; your shoulders; un-frown your forehead. Breathe slowly and calmly. Now think about the hand and the problem you face. Ignore the opponents. Focus. As you can see, in order to have even the slightest chance of making this edgy contract the Diamond suit must behave. Once established, you can only get to it with the Ace of Clubs. Therefore, whatever else you do you must NOT play it at trick one. Win in hand with the King, run the J of Diamonds. There is no other legitimate chance. The Ace wins and a Club is returned. Winning with the A you now must play the DK. As luck would have it the Q falls!! You now have 6 D tricks, 2 C's and the A of Spades = 9 tricks."
"That's very lucky, though isn't it, Counsellor?"
"Maybe so, Lieutenant. Play the lucky contracts well and the standard contracts will look after themselves.”


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