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Theory vs Practice (Le Bridgeur Magazine No. 923)

2017 World Vice-Champion Jérôme Rombaut writes a column in the French magazine “Le Bridgeur” every two months.


In the article below, published in issue 923 of the magazine (September / October 2019), here is a very interesting deal from a DN1 (national division) match scored by matchpoints.

Final of the Excellence Mixed Four

When it comes to how to play the cards of a suit, there is a difference between theory and practice. Should you opt for the best chance from a technical point of view or wait for your opponents to make a mistake, especially when it is hard to defend?

S 8 6 3
H 10 6 5
D R 8 6 2
C  A D 3
orientation
S A R 9
H D 8 4 3
D A D V 3
C  7 5
SudOuestNordEst
PASS 

You get the lead of the ♣J to the Queen which takes the trick (East following with the 2 and Clubs split 5-3). You will find the missing trick in Hearts.

But how will you play the cards of that suit?

You have to take a trick but give the lead back to West only once. You hope that the Ace and King are in RHO’s hand but before playing the Queen, you should theoretically duck a trick in the suit in case a bare honour is in LHO’s hand.

With AJ92 or a similar distribution, East will have to play the Ace and continue in Clubs to beat the contract.

If he follows with the 9 to your Queen and the King without thinking, he makes life harder for West who will be obliged to counterattack in Spades after the ♣10 is ducked to defeat the contract.

In real life, some of the top French players came out best precisely by taking advantage of this defensive mistake. Take a look at the four hands. After the ♥5 to the 2, the Queen and King, the ♣10 that is let run and the continuation in Clubs, they took their ninth trick by returning Hearts to the 10, playing a heart in dummy and miraculously establishing their 8 in three steps.

S 8 6 3
H 10 6 5
D R 8 6 2
C  A D 3
S  D 7 5 4
H  R 9
D  10 9
C  R V 10 9 8
orientationS V 10 2
H A V 7 2
D 7 5 4
C  6 4 2
S A R 9
H D 8 4 3
D A D V 3
C  7 5

If you are looking for ways to improve your play, I highly recommend you to join Funbridge.

The most hardened competitors will find a game mode called “Face the Elites” whereas beginners can try “Easy tournaments” to learn and progress at their own pace.

Visit our “Let’s talk about bridge” section if you want to read more deals analysis.

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