If you only where to read one bridge book, my recommendation would be S.J. (Skid) Simons’ “Why You Lose At Bridge”.
It might not do much to your technical skills, but it will without doubt make you a much better bridge player.
Two of my favourite attitudes to bridge are summed up in his “Not the best possible bid, but the best bid possible” as well as “Don’t double a slam because you think it will go down, double because it is the only way to make it go down”.
The last saying was illuminated by this hand from the Online League Match in 2nd Division between Je Vamp and Minty1
♠ A843 ♠ J76
♥ K105 ♥ 972
♦ 10763 ♦ 98
♣ 62 ♣ 108543
West North East South
1♦ pass 1♥
pass 1♠ pass 2♣
pass 2NT pass 6NT
pass(?) Pass pass
The bidding was slightly different at the two tables, but at both tables, South showed a Heart suit and North ended up in 6NT. Without any help from me Janet could not easily find the heart lead so led a club and Alec Smalley soon had 12 tricks.
I placed a question mark after my pass over Barbara’s 6 NT, Why?
You don’t double a slam because you think it’s going down, but because you think it is the only way to make it go down!
In other words, when you make an “out of the blue” double you are telling partner to do something “strange”. What is one of the strangest things to do against a slam? To lead dummies first bid suit!
As we had not discussed this, I put my faith in Alec depending on the heart finesse regardless of lead, but as the hand proves, he didn’t need it and I ended with egg on my face and a push instead of 14 IMP in.
Whatever you do this week - get this wrinkle in your partnership understanding ironed out!
If you see a hand you think is worth mentioning please leave me a note at: Espen