"Takin’ Out the Trash" By Marti Ronemus
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My best friend and her husband recently moved, involving a major downsizing. Every item they possess had to be scrutinized, decisions made on whether to keep or discard it. My goodness! It takes me all day to clean out a junk drawer (Should I keep that third bottle opener? Trash it?) … imagine all those decisions for a house filled with 35 years of living.
And that brings me to the collection of hands we bring you today. Not a bit of trash in the bunch! We’re going to show you how to separate cards that are “keepers” from ones for the dumpster.
We start out with the fabulous David Bird who focuses on No-trump. He guides us on reading card locations from the bidding and lead, and how to use that “read” to our advantage. He tackles that perennial problem of when to hold up, and more importantly, why. And he shows how overtaking Pard’s winner can produce the setting trick.
Next, our favorite Brit, Paul Bowyer. He’s got interesting, useful guidance on the difference between attacking and passive leads. He wants us to avoid setting up the opponent’s hand for them. How about the beauty of a forcing, “tapping” defense (forcing the declarer to ruff in his hand)? Paul will show us how. And he neatly destroys the Granny Myth to never lead away from a king. “Poppycock,” Paul tells us.
Also expanding our world, from France, Matt Huberschwiller offers help on when to cover an honor with an honor. This is very practical advice, and Matt gives us three examples of when it works. All Matt’s hands this issue tackle that Granny Myth, showing how it only makes sense sometimes. How to decide? Play Matt’s hands.
In addition, Matt’s got two quizzes to sharpen our minds.
And finally, I’ve got two hands to play as your warm-up to the main events. We’ll be talking about what cards to toss when “downsizing” our hand. What cards should be discarded, not as trash but as signals, and why. The right discard at the right time can produce the setting tricks.
So enjoy. And see if, by the end of playing your way through this issue, you aren’t better equipped to be the defender who terrifies. Have fun and stay in touch.
* Paul's hands were already published in our early V-Green issues (2012) but the series are so good we think they're worth a "reprint" here.
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