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Bridge Club - October 5, 2005

A Balancing Bid

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This interesting hand recently came up in a game at the club and it illustrates another of the duplicate bridge bidding treatments used to compete for the privilege of playing the hand. After west's opening bid was passed around to him, my partner, Craig Jones, bid 1 notrump in the south. Note that he holds a balanced 14 points, less than the requirement to make that call as opening bidder. The bid he made is called a balancing bid, keeping the auction open in case north has had to pass a good hand, and showing a balanced hand of 12 to 14 points. When east passed his partner's opening bid, Craig knew that the north hand held at least some values and that is should be safe to compete.

The north hand in this case held only 6 points, and Craig found himself playing 1 notrump with only half the points in the deck, but with the advantage of knowing that west had to hold the majority of the other side's honors. Craig played the hand in his usual stylish way, taking the heart lead in his hand and immediately finessing clubs. The lucky fall of the 10 and 9 of clubs allowed him to take five tricks in that suit, and when he finessed the spade 9, that suit also behaved for 2 tricks. Poor west was endplayed early, and Craig ended up with 9 tricks and a top matchpoint score. He was lucky in the fall of the cards, but was expert enough to play for the fortunate placement of the cards, as well, and deserved his good result.

In the next couple of columns, we will report winners from the tournament to be held at the Elks Club in Caldwell. There is still time for you to get in on the action if you would like to play. Call us at 327-0166 and we will make sure you participate.

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