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CLUB APPRECIATION GAMES
The ACBL thanks us for playing many club games each year by allowing extra-point Club Appreciation games to be scheduled during October. These earn extra points, yet have no extra sanction fees. Masterpoints awarded are 87.8% of sectionally rated black and team games earn 5% of their masterpoints in gold, the afternoon of Sunday, October 23. Watch for these games next month because you’ll have the opportunity to earn lots of extra points.
Slow Losers vs Fast Losers
By Joyce Penn
How many tricks do you expect to win if one suit that you hold is AKx, opposite three small cards in the dummy? How many tricks to you expect to win if a suit that you hold is KQJ, opposite three small cards in the dummy (xxx)?
In both cases, declarer can expect to win two tricks and lose one. This is where the similarity ends. In the first holding, declarer has a third round loser (slow) which gives declarer time to use another suit to discard that one loser.
In the second holding, declarer has a first round (fast) loser. Declarer would need three discards from another suit to avoid that loser. Declarer cannot afford to lose any tricks in the process, since the loser in the second holding can immediately be grabbed by the defense. It is useful, when declaring, to notice if your losers are fast or slow. When planning the play of a hand, slow losers can be used to your advantage: search other side suits for ways to discard those losers.
A “mirror” distribution refers to the holding where both declarer and dummy have the same length in all four suits. No matter how many high card points are held, declarer may have limited trick taking ability since no suit can provide discards for slow losers.
A Guide to The Limited Games at the Bridge Center
Each Monday and Friday morning, we hold a limited pairs section beside our Open Pairs section, at 11:30 am. Masterpoints awarded are 80% of those in the open game and allow you to compete against other limited pairs. The maximum award is 1.20 masterpoints for a limited game. On Monday, you, or your partner, may not have more than 750 MPs and on Friday, players with up to 1,000 MPs may play in this section.
Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, we hold a handicap open pairs game, in which players with limited masterpoints are given a board handicap, based on their existing masterpoints. Handicap categories begin with the 0-5 masterpoint players, progressing through 5-20 MPs, 20-50 MPs and all the way to 2,000 MPs, at which point, no handicap is given. Masterpoint awards are “split” for these games. There are two categories of winners, raw and handicap. First place in the handicap field is 50 percent of what it would normally be, but players who place in both fields, receive a combination of scores. No negative handicaps are permitted.
Circle your difficult hands each Tuesday and join Joyce, at 3:15 pm, for a discussion of the bidding, play and/or defense, of those tough boards. If a convention is involved, in the bidding, Joyce will review it and consider alternative treatments. She discusses leads and declarer play, to help you improve, from week to week. Each Thursday morning, at 10:15, join Cheryl for regular instruction and hand analysis. Bring your problem hands to discuss and learn Cheryl’s solutions as she discusses each hand, and topic. There is no charge for these sessions.
Joyce’s Tips of the month:
Evaluating Your Partner’s Lead
One of the most important defensive tips ever, is the following: When the dummy is tabled, add declarer’s likely point count to dummy’s known count. Add this total to your point count and subtract from 40, to assess how many points your partner is likely to have. It is essential to do this on each and every hand!
LHO Partner Responder You
1NT Pass 3NT Pass
You: ♠QJ108 ♥10986 ♦J4 ♣876
Partner leads the 2 ♥ and dummy has 10 HCP, with the 7♥ & the 5♥. Assume declarer has 16 HCP (NT range is 15-17), so they have 26 points between them. Add your 4 HCP and subtract this total from the number 40. Your partner has 10 HCP and ostensibly has led his 4th best heart. By subtracting the number on the card, from 11, defender (and declarer) can tell how many cards higher than the card led are in the other three hands.11-2 = 9. You see 4 cards higher than the 2 in your hand, and 2 cards higher than the 2 in the dummy. 9-6 = 3. There are 3 cards higher than the 2, in declarer’s hand. If declarer plays low, you should insert the 6♥. If declarer calls for the 7♥, you should play the 8♥. Play the lowest card you have, in a sequence, when the lead comes into your hand. If and when you gain the lead, return the 10♥, unblocking your suit, for partner.
Passive Defense = “safe.” Leading from three low cards or the top of a sequence. This type of defense is usually indicated unless you see a runnable side-suit in dummy and suspect declarer can throw his losers away.
Aggressive Defense = “attacking.” It is designed to capture tricks quickly, such as leading away from a king or laying down an unsupported ace. Suppose you decide to attack a suit holding K J 2. Which card should you lead? Lead the 2, hoping your partner has the Ace and can come back through declarer, trapping his Q with your K and J. Try to be passive, unless the evidence indicates that declarer can dispose of losers, unless you do become active.
1. The common phrase, “Eight Ever-Nine Never,” refers only to the missing Queen of trump. Therefore, if you are declaring a hand with 8 trumps between you and the dummy, it is probably correct to finesse for the Queen (“ever”). If you are declaring a hand with 9 trumps between you and the dummy, it is probably correct to NOT finesse for the Queen (“never”). That is, with no extraneous information from the bidding, play the Ace of trump, followed by the King of trump, hoping that the Queen falls. 2. An opening lead of a singleton is seldom correct – especially if your partner has never bid. Why? He’s not getting in to give you the ruff you want so badly!