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The Learning Curve

The Learning Curve

By In 1st IMSA World Masters Championships On 15th May 2019

Do you recall the remark made by bridge legend Benito Garozzo, who pointed out that although he had been playing for more than forty years, he still learnt something new every day. I am always looking for deals that might have something instructive to offer and this one from Round 5 might fit the bill:

Not quite the optimum contract.
What should North do over 3Picche?
My first thought was to jump to 4Picche, which might be enough for South to envisage the possibility of a grand slam (it will require North to hold at most three clubs unless she is void in spades). While discussing the hand with Ron Tacchi I remembered that there was another way to go, North bidding 3NT over 3Picche as a serious slam try. If South then cue bids 4Fiori North can bid 4Picche and once again South might consider bidding 7Cuori.
Bidding 5Cuori over 3Picche is another idea, but the key to the hand is the singleton spade.
How many IMPs would England lose?

South’s decision to play for a penalty was surprising.
North led the Fiori10 and South won with the ace and returned the jack, declarer winning in dummy and playing a spade. South won and cashed two more spades, but declarer had the rest, -200 -not exactly shabby against a possible 7Cuori.
It deserved to be worth more than the 7 IMPs that were garnered. 

About the Author

Mark Horton
Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.