Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Spoof in Louisville

In the round of 16 of the Vanderbilt, Nickell was playing O’Rourke for a spot in the round of 8.

It was a thrilling match and was close all the way. The final score was 108-105, Nickell won by 3.

Segment 4 of 4. Board 50. Dealer East. North-South vulnerable.

Open Room.

Zia-west playing with Hamman-east vs Brink-south with Drijver-north.

Against a seemingly ice cold six spade contract, Zia made a great play and induced declarer to take a losing line.

The lead was ace of hearts, two, Zia dropped the king, looking like a man with a singleton, four. At trick two Hamman played another heart, Drijver ruff with the ace of spades there by promoted Zia’s jack of spades into the setting trick!

Down one for +100 to the Nickell team.




Close Room.

Bates-west with Wold-east vs Meckstroth-north with Rodwell-south.

Here the contract was five spades. The lead was also the ace of hearts, two, six and four. At trick two East switched to the ace of clubs, two, six, North ruff with spade two. Declarer was not tested and soon after made an over trick for +680.

All these added up to 13 imps for the Nickell team.




Jeff LehmanMarch 18th, 2011 at 11:03 am

One matter I would take away from this hand is how beneficial it is for third hand to always take time before playing to Trick 1. The general reason for this is to plan ahead and be able to play in tempo on some foreseeable lines of declarer play and avoid giving Unauthorized Information to other players.

If one is in the habit of taking this time at Trick 1, then perhaps the play of the HK could be made by more of us than superstars such as Zia. Really, the play does not look that difficult once you think about it, right? But if we routinely play quickly at Trick 1 and then pause only when we are thinking about our play to Trick 1 alone, then plays such as a slow HK are less likely to succeed.

I try to routinely take some time at Trick 1 in third hand, assuming declarer has played quickly from dummy, for both the reasons described in the first paragraph and similar reasons that allow partner to think about some subsequent tricks. To me, this seems not only wise but also ethical even if I do have a singleton in the led suit. (But I have had some declarers be accusatory when I think in third hand before playing what turns out to be a singleton: I think the accusation is inappropriate but I have gotten into the habit of always announcing in third hand “I am thinking about the hand as a whole”, just to try to head off an accusation.)

Dustin StoutMarch 18th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

What a fine play by Zia. Though I think 6 Spades is still down as long as Hamman doesn’t cash the A clubs next.

MichaelMarch 18th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Tempo Jeff- I agree with you about taking time before playing to trick 1. We should all take a page out of poker star Chris Ferguson, no matter what cards he holds, he takes the same amount of time to bet.

Eagle eyes Dustin- You are right about not trying to cash the ace of club. We are in agreement that Zia made the sexy play. We also have to give credit to Hamman for the correct defence.

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