Editorial by Marti Ronemus
The Summer-Time Blahs
Are you suffering from the Summer-Time Blahs? Is that free-floating angst swimming around you? Are you plagued with ennui and boredom? Are you feeling the mild down of weltschmerz? You’re not alone. I’ve been watching Dr. Oz and he says mid-summer is often a time of emotional lows, felt by millions. Is it the noon-day sun? Is it all that healthy food? All those tan, trim people exercising all around you? Does it matter what causes it?
No, because whatever the cause, we’ve got the cure. What could be more exciting and boredom-smashing than all these exciting slam hands.
By now, you’ve noticed the underlying theme of all our collectios: We pound on the basics, over and over. We believe if you “get” the techniques, understand the underlying concepts, you’re prepared for almost any hand. And this issue is no different.
We start with two series of hands from Matthias Huberschwiller, our expert from France. His first series is all about the concept of dummy entries. We need to plan in advance to ensure our ability to move freely from hand to hand.
He includes: An Ace presenting an entry problem, the use of the “repeated finesse”, deducing who has what card by what they didn’t lead, losing a trick to gain two, and how to give a trick when we want to give it.
His second series is more of a potpourri of techniques to master: Picking which direction to finesse, some “rules” for finessing based on number of cards outstanding to take advantage of splits, and how to play a hand down to find cards.
Then I’ve got six hands for you. As a teacher, I’ve been collecting hands for never-mind-how-many years, and I’ve got them stored in The Belly of the Beast (that’s my computer) categorized many ways. By far, my biggest file is my collection of hands I played badly.
I dug out six slams where I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory for you. Played the right way, you’ll see: How to count distribution to find a card without guessing, a nice Strip and End Play, how to prepare for the worst with a duck, and how to place the cards, based on lead. You’ll also see how I managed to play them wrong. Do as I say, not as I do.
We’ve also got two quizzes from Matthias, one on bidding accurately with a fit, and the second, how to effectively reach a slam with your bidding.
So, enjoy, improve, play these over and over till you get it right, and stay in touch. We love to hear from you.
Don't forget: if you like Marti's style, have a go with her Bridge Boot Camps. Click here to ask Marti about the schedule...