Potential DangerBy Andy HungThe bidding on this deal should cause you few problems. The play, however, is of a different order.
You will need to watch for potential danger(s) and try to counter them.
Hint: Count your losers!
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Partner opens 1NT (15 to 17) after West Passes as dealer and we have to find a response.
With five Hearts it might be right to play in 4♥, it might be right to play in 3NT – much depends on partner's Heart holding. Our most descriptive bid is 3♥, telling partner we have a five-card suit and game-going values (10 or more points, essentially).
Partner has to choose the resting spot and, with four-card trump support, naturally chooses 4♥ over 3NT.
West leads the ♣Q, the top of a sequence, and we settle down to Count and Plan after dummy is displayed.On this deal, we need to recognize the danger of attempting to draw trumps at trick two. The danger is the player with the ♥A might win the Ace of trumps and lead a Spade, and we may end up losing two top Spades, one top Heart, and a slow Club trick for down one.
[Note: In point of fact, the defense could have beaten us by leading a Spade at trick one, but West (not having second sight) can hardly be blamed for his choice of opening lead].
The solution on this deal is to dump a loser quickly. After winnning the Club opening lead on table we must immediately switch our attention to Diamonds and play three rounds of the suit to discard a losing Spade from the closed hand.This discard reduces our Spade losers to one and, in conjunction with a Heart loser and a Club loser, we will lose at most three tricks. Only after this emergency procedure is it safe to extract the opponents' trumps. This deal is all about appreciating the danger that we are in. How? By counting (it's a familiar theme, no?) Here we count losers and see that we have one too many.
So we need to appreciate the need and the method for ridding ourselves of an excess loser ASAP after the unfortunate opponents have failed to hit us in our weak spot.
There is a Chinese saying:'An image is worth 1000 words!'You may want to take theOnline Player Guided Tour
1 - Bidding: Click the 'Play' button in the middle of the page to display the bidding box.When you are ready, click the 'Start Bidding' button.When a bid is alerted, it is shown on a yellow background. You can then click that bid to display the related alert.When there is a comment or a question about your own bid, you can read it on the bidding box comments pane, and then, click the 'Ok' button to continue bidding.Click 'Close Bidding Box' to proceed to playing the hand.2 - Playing: The lead is automatic if you are declarer, otherwise you'll see the 'It's your lead' warning in the center pane.You will play your cards and dummy's as if you were at a live table.2.1 -Touching cards are considered equivalent! e.g. if you have 876 and you play the 7 while Vu-Bridge expects you to play the 6, then the 7 will blink and the 6 will be played.2.2 -Sometimes there will be a comment or question during the play.You should read it and click the 'Click to continue' button at the top of the comment text.If its a question, there will be a 'Show Answer' button to click at the bottom of the comment panel.2.3 - When a comment bears a 'Finish flag' button, you can click it to reveal hidden hands and continue playing. We use this to explain technical coups like end-plays, squeezes etc.2.4 - You can review the last trick by clicking on the last won or lost trick (back of card) at the bottom of the screen. The last trick will show during 3 seconds and then play will continue.2.5 - You can click the 'Undo last trick' button at the left of the screen in order to redo one or several tricks and review the attached comments.You can review the auction by clicking the 'Auction' tab in the same area.3 - Moving the comment panel:When the mouse hovers the dark green background of the bidding box or the comment panel, you'll see a crosshair cursor and you can drag and move it around the page.The left and right arrows on the top left corner of the comment panel allows you to increase or reduce the width for better readability.4 - When a hand is finished, you can click the 'Board List' at the top of the comment panel, and play other hands From the same Series.To play other Series, visit the Vu-Bridge's home page and click the 'Bridge Hands' button.