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XI No.15 - Sunday December 30 - Saturday January 12, 2013

Around Town
Arts - Entertainment
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Book Review
Bridge in Paradise
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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

A relaxed attitude towards life, exemplified in the phrase “may ben rai” (meaning something like “never mind”) is famously part of Thai culture. However, such an attitude has its disadvantages when it comes to the bridge table, where planning is rather important to success. The next hand is an example.
You are sitting South and are declarer in four spades, with no opposition bidding. The king of hearts is led. You see the North and South hands as below. What is your plan for the contract?

  S: KJ8  
  H: 1086532  
  D: 74  
  C: Q7  
S: ?   S: ?
H: ?   H: ?
D: ?   D: ?
C: ?   C: ?
  S: AQ1095  
  H: A  
  D: A32  
  C: A965  

I watched a “may ben rai” declarer play this at one table. He won the ace of hearts and pulled trumps, ending on board. He then paused to think about the hand, rather belatedly. He led the queen of clubs from board, ducked it in hand and lost to West’s king. The queen of hearts was led back, ruffed by declarer, who then led the ace of clubs and a low club, hoping for good news. No such good luck. In the end, he took only his five trumps and three outside aces, going down two. As I left I heard him complaining about North’s bidding.
At the other table, declarer paused to plan the play right at the beginning. She saw that she needed two more tricks to go with the five trumps and three outside aces. Possibilities were the queen of clubs and club or diamond ruffs on board. To get any ruffs, it was important not to pull trumps too early. The best chance of making the club queen was if the king were with West. So her first lead after winning the ace of hearts was a low club. West went up with the king and led a spade to cut ruffs on board. This was won on board and the queen of clubs cleared. Now a diamond was led to the ace in hand and a low club was ruffed. East showed out, but could not over ruff board and discarded a heart. A diamond was led from board , and won by East. Another trump came back, but it was too late. Declarer won in hand, pulled trumps, took the ace of clubs and ended up losing only one club and two diamonds. Even if the king of clubs had been with East, the result is the same—declarer simply ruffs two low clubs on board instead of just one. Contract made, thanks to careful planning.
This was the full hand, with South dealer and EW vulnerable. Would your plan have made the contract?

  S: KJ8  
  H: 1086532  
  D: 74  
  C: Q7  
S: 62   S: 743
H: KQ   H: J974
D: 10986   D: KQJ5
C: KJ1083   C: 42
  S: AQ1095  
  H: A  
  D: A32  
  C: A965  

I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected] Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the website www.bridgewebs. com/chiangmai.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Bridge in Paradise



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