Interesting Bridge Hands The Only Chance >>

Introduction

First, let me make the disclaimer: I am not a bridge expert.
This is a collection of hands I found interesting or entertaining. Some of them are elementary, some of them are quite complicated. There is only one artificial hand in this collection. All of the rest are "real hands" in the sense that they were shuffled (perhaps by a computer) and played in some event somewhere.
There are two themes which run through most of these examples. They are:
  1. Squeezes for overtricks. At matchpoints, people often take finesses which risk their contracts in order to make overtricks. Often, squeezes are available at no risk.
  2. Defenders giving up information, either in the bidding or in mannerisms. On many of these hands, unusual lines are taken because an opponent has told declarer enough about his hand. In one of the cases, the proper line was found simply because a defender considered doubling.
I didn't choose these themes deliberately, they are just the themes that interest me which crop up consistently.
You might guess, from my attitude about people who bid too much, that I'm a curmudgeon just irritated with young folks who interfere a lot in the auction. In fact, I am someone who interferes a lot in auctions, and believes in aggressive preempts. My complaint is with people who fail to conceive of the results of their action. They fail to ask themselves "why am I overcalling?", "why am I raising?" And when their actions fail, they often fails in subtle ways - the opponents buy the contract and take all the right finesses, execute a tricky squeeze, or are warned away from a NT contract because of the lack of stoppers.
When we pass, and it works out, we rarely think of the "pass" as being the winning action. We look at the traveler at the end of the match and think, "How did people make 4 ? It looked like it had no play." It had play at other tables because the other tables got more information.
And I haven't even started to cover the positive effect passing has on your other auctions. Playing Roth-Stone with a friend on OKbridge, we get quite a few good results simply by doubling the opponents in partscores, after we have made an overcall.

Formatting

I have finished converting these articles to conform with Richard Pavlicek's Bridge Writing Style Guide. I'm using a combination of XML/XSL/CSS to generate the (static) HTML files. If you are interested in how it is done, you can read my XML Test Pages, which have sample inputs adjacent to generated outputs. XML lets you write articles without worrying about the formatting, which is done later. This allows the formatting to be more uniform.
There might be some glitches I missed during the change. If you see any flaws, either in layout, grammar, or analysis, please feel free to point them out. Also, let me know if this is unreadable on some browser - I'm guessing it won't work with browsers older than IE 5.0 or Netscape 6.0, but I could be wrong.
Send comments to bridge@thomasoandrews.com.
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1995-2009.
The Only Chance >>
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