Thursday, October 16, 2014

Does it matter?

There's a funny story one of our local experts tells about long ago when he was trying to teach his wife to play bridge. The queen of the suit led by our hero was in the dummy. Declarer called for a low card. His wife and partner put up the king. Later, it turned out that she also had the jack. "Why didn't you play the jack when dummy played low?" he asked. "Does it matter?" came her reply.

This same thing has happened, independently, to me and Memphis Mojo, one of my regular readers. It appears to be an epidemic. Here's my example from just a couple of weeks ago (from a random BBO table):

My partner described herself as "intermediate." Perhaps I shouldn't have made such a close double, especially since they could have played in the more normal contract of three hearts which requires decent defense to defeat. But on the auction it seemed to me that they would be going down. We got over the first hurdle when partner didn't pull my double (always a worry in these situations). I led the ♣9 and dummy played low. Clearly, there was a very threatening heart suit in dummy which my partner could do little to stop (although her ten certainly was a good card!). When partner put up the king, I could be fairly sure that she also had the ace. Obviously she wouldn't want there to be any chance of that queen ending up as an entry to the established hearts!

Imagine my surprise when declarer won the trick with the ace. Inconceivable. But more surprises were in store. Partner also had the jack!

Did it matter? Not much. Only 690 points (14 IMPs) worth.

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