When it pays to settle for a ‘birdie’

  • Fig 1: opening position

    Fig 1: opening position

  • Fig 2: position reached

    Fig 2: position reached

  • Fig 3: the full hand

    Fig 3: the full hand

Today sees the two session Mixed Pairs Championship at the Bridge Club, and this is always a competitive affair with most of the top players expected to compete.

Those pairs that already have a regular partnership will go into this with a slight edge, as most of the pairs will not be regulars and will have come together for this event. The edge, however, is not as great as one might expect as often a newer partnership playing a simplified system over two sessions will do well. Full results next week.

I picked up this hand the a while ago and I had to choose between greed and extreme greed in the play of the hand (Fig 1)

Sitting South, I opened a Heart, partner bid a forcing NT, I rebid 2 Clubs showing a balanced hand and partner signed off in two Hearts which usually shows either a doubleton Heart or three card Heart support without any ruffing values, which was what the North hand was.

West led the Ace of Diamonds and on looking at dummy decided to cash the King of Diamonds and play a third one, which I won with the Queen. Since West hadnít bid, the Club Ace was almost certainly with East, so at trick four I led a low Club to my King which held. This was now the position (Fig 2).

I could play the King of Hearts and a Heart to the Jack, and if this held and West had started with Qxx of Hearts, I could actually make 11 tricks ó five Hearts, two Diamonds, three Spades and a Club. That would be lucky, and greedy! If the Heart was wrong the defence would cash their Club and hold me to nine tricks, giving up the great start I had by Westís opening diamond play.

So I decided to take what I had been given and cashed the Heart King and played a Heart to the Ace. When the Queen didnít fall I played the thirteenth Diamond, pitching a Club, and all the defence would now get was the Heart Queen. The full hand is shown in Fig 3.

Ten tricks scored 90 per cent on the board ó another simple example of settling for birdie instead of charging the eagle try six feet past and missing the return putt, if you know what I mean.

When the defence has given you something you must take advantage of it. Without the Diamond play by West, the above play would not be available, and recognising that leads to the right play on the hand.

Results for week of April 1

Monday afternoon


1. Judith Bussell/Diana Diel

2. Gertrude Barker/Marilynn Simmons

3. Gill Gray/Patricia Siddle


1. Edward Betteto/Elizabeth McKee

2. Magda Farag/Sheena Rayner

3. Linda Pollett/Kirsty Pollett

Monday evening


1. Peter Adhemar/Susan Adhemar

2. Inger Mesna/Noula Contibas


1. Kathleen Keane/Richard Keane

2. Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan

Tuesday Novice Pairs Championship

1. Tim Mardon/Charles Griffiths

2. Mark Stevens/Malcolm Moseley

3. Katyna Rabain/Jean Schilling

Wednesday morning

1. Edward Betteto/Alan Douglas

2. Molly Taussig/Desmond Nash

3. Patricia Colmet/Aida Bostelmann

Thursday evening


1. Charles Hall/Peter Donnellan

2. Edward Betteto/Alan Douglas

3. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith


1. David Sykes/Fabian Hupe

2. George Correia/Heather Woolf

3. Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan

Friday afternoon


1. Judith Bussell/Charles Hall

2. William Pollett/Linda Pollett

3. Gertrude Barker/Edward Betteto


1. Colin Moran/Judy King

2. John Glynn/Molly Taussig

3. Harry Kast/Sancia Garrison

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Published Apr 13, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 12, 2019 at 8:03 pm)

When it pays to settle for a ‘birdie’

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