My first Silver Master Point!

Tonight I played bridge with Jim for the first time in about a month. It turns out that this week is the big Aquatennial tournament, so instead of the typical 6-table game, we had a huge 25-table monstrosity that was actually split into two different flights. Some of the tables were downstairs because they ran out of room on the ground floor! Jim and I didn’t have any unusually good plays, but we were consistently above average, and ended the night with a 52% game (5th of the 14 east/west pairs in our flight). This netted us each 0.61 Silver Master Points! All the ones I have previously gotten are Black, though at my rank, color doesn’t affect anything yet (it simply denotes that I got them at a larger tournament which presumably attracted stronger competition). Jim missed bidding two slams at which he instead signed off in game (only one of which I can fault him for; the other one was quite tricky), and I misinterpreted our opponents’ bidding in one hand, overbid, and went down two doubled tricks (this was our only bottom board). Other than that, though, we had no noticeable mistakes or miscommunications! We just had solid bidding and play throughout the evening. Hurrah!

One one hand, I managed to recognize a situation for a squeeze play (this was another Vienna Coup), and executed it correctly. However, it didn’t actually work (it would have worked only if the opponent with the Ace of Spades also held the Queen of Diamonds). Still, I’m proud of myself for recognizing the situation and responding correctly to it.

Also, remember not to hold up your winners too long, even in notrump: I made 12 tricks in a notrump contract because my opponent refused to take her king the first two opportunities she had, and I didn’t give her a third. This was our only top board of the evening, since everyone else made only the 11 tricks to which they were entitled. For the non-bridge enthusiasts who aren’t familiar with this strategy, a hold-up play is when you choose not to take your winner now, and instead take it later. Assuming you are still able to take it later, you don’t lose any tricks. However, this can cut the transportation between your opponents’ hands, so that one hand has remaining winners in the suit but no longer has a way to get to them (and hence cannot cash these winners). This is a particularly useful technique in notrump contracts, where the hand that becomes void in the suit cannot get in with a ruff.

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  1. hmcmodelt says:

    Congratulations on the Silver Masters Points! Or 61% of a point at least. Sounds like a fun night of bridge. And thanks for trying to force me to learn some bridge strategy over the last 2 years. I was talking to a couple high school friends who have gotten into bridge and we decided to play a couple hands. The last time I had played with them (high school) we didn’t have any real strategies. But this time they were using weak 2’s and I understood. And a couple other things they did I recognized as something you told me about once. Thanks! And when do you come back to LA? I’ll be here until August 20.

    • Alan says:

      I’m glad you had fun playing bridge! :-D

      I get into LA the night of August 6, but I’ll be pretty busy the first week getting stuff set up. But we should definitely hang out sometime.

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