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A Good Board with a Minus Score


One of my themes in these columns is that the scoring in duplicate bridge allows you to get a bad result in rubber or party bridge and a good result in duplicate. On the hand diagram shown, the contract of four hearts by west could be made with a different location of the adversely held heart honor, but with north holding the length and high cards, there is no way to avoid four losers and therefore to go down one. The surprising feature of the hand is that in actual play, going down only one gave us an unexpected top board because every other east-west pair gave away more than 50 points, either by going down more than one or by defending the north-south contract of three clubs. It looks as though there are five losers in that contract, but many times the defender with the club king played it and crashed it under the ace. To expand further on my theme, when you play duplicate, your enjoyment and success in the game are not at the mercy of your card holding. You can pick up hand after hand of cards that would be dull in party bridge but that can give you a good game in duplicate because the determining factor is not the size of the scores you make but the comparison of how you have played your dull cards against the way they have been played by the other players sitting in your direction (north-south or east-west).

The north player is John Cissel, a transplant from Oregon, a recent arrival to the bridge scene in Boise and a very welcome addition to the community. We hope many more friendly and experienced players will join us.

The Boise Unit game held on Canada Day (July 1, in case you didn't know) saw a very high score achieved by Joan Grimm and Charlotte Miller. They almost lapped the field by putting up a 76-plus percent game, one of the highest percentages I have seen. Congratulations!