Hayling Island Bridge Club
Release 2.19n

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Contributed by Graham Broadbent

Why You Lose At Bridge

Arguably the finest Bridge book ever written was S. J. Simon’s “Why You Lose At Bridge”. One of his tenets is that the average player overbids strong hands and underbids weak hands.

There was a nice example of the latter on Board 5 last night. Sitting North as dealer you pick up a pretty feeble looking ♠J754A53 none ♣1097532. To your surprise, instead of the depressing 1 diamond you expect, partner opens a strong 2 spades, are you up to the challenge?

North should be thinking, “My Fairy Godmother has transformed these rags into a ball gown, Cinderella is going to the ball!” “Excellent trumps and first round control in both red suits, it’s impossible for my hand to be any better!”

In reality not one North drove on to slam; presumably they all responded with 4 spades, or worse, bid a negative response!

The two hands:











Clearly South can make twelve tricks against any defence, but North has to take control.

Using simple methods a possible auction would be:

2 Spades                                  3 Spades

4 NT                                        5 Diamonds¹

5 Spades²                                6 spades³

¹ One Ace

² If it’s the Diamond Ace I may have two Heart losers.

³ Partner can’t expect three aces, so my hand is good enough to go on.

In fact using cue bids the biggest pitfall is how to stay out of the grand slam! Something like:

2 Spades                                3 Spades

4 Clubs¹                                4 Diamonds²

4 Spades³                              6 spades #

¹ Slam try, Club control

² Diamond control

³ I don’t have a Heart control

# Well I do!