Bridge | 22 May 2021

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

We all know the importance of making a viable plan before we play. If a contract is poor and seems to have little chance, we must mentally place the cards where we need them to be and plan the play on that assumption. But if a contract seems solid we should imagine the worst possible layout of the cards and see if we can cope with that.

The second part is harder; partly because we’re thrilled to be in a good (easy) contract and partly because of something which is known in the business as… laziness.

There are no lazy players on Simon Gillis’s team — winners of this year’s online Schapiro Spring Foursomes. Here is Norwegian world champion Boye Brogeland in action.

Boye was South and ended up in 4♠ with West leading a Diamond. Undoubtedly, if I were declarer, I would take a look at dummy and think: ‘This couldn’t be easier; I’m going to lose a maximum of three trumps — but my Hearts will go on dummy’s Clubs. I would play a trump to see if we make four or five. East wins perforce and switches to a Heart. I’d start Clubs, but East will ruff the second one and knock out the second top Heart. He then ruffs the next Club and cashes a Heart for one down.

Unlucky of course, especially that Clubs went 5-1 after a weak 2◆ opening. But it’s no accident that Boye is considered one of the world’s best players and I’m not. He could see there was no need to take that risk, so he just won the lead and started Clubs right away — without touching trumps — and soon had an easy 620 and 13 IMPs.

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