Bridge World Extra! Newsletter


by Norman Roshel

Throughout my bridge career, I have believed that study of the literature of the game would improve my scores. Read what the experts do, Remember what the experts do, Reproduce what the experts do--those three R's became my motto. I was always eager to inform my partners of this.

I recently held,

S K x H Q x D A Q J 10 x x C Q x x

I opened one diamond, and heard the bidding go: pass by LHO, one spade by partner, four hearts by RHO. I passed, and the auction ended. I led the spade king; dummy tabled:

S J x x H J x x D K x x C A K x x

In response to partner's high spade spot, I continued with a spade to his queen; he played the spade ace, and declarer followed.

Now I recognized the deal. It had appeared most recently, almost card for card, in the August 1987 ACBL Bulletin. No expert, or keen student, would miss this one. Discard the ace of diamonds! This compels partner to continue spades, promoting the queen of hearts for the setting trick. My study of the literature made this one almost too easy.

Unfortunately, my partner had been studying too. In the April 1985 Bridge World, he had read that seven experts in the Master Solvers' Club responded one spade to an opening bid of one diamond holding:

S Q 9 3 H 4 D A Q 6 C 8 6 5 4 3 2

The bid even received a score of 60 points out of 100. Thus, the full deal reveals that the ace of diamonds was not the right card to play:

S J x x
H J x x
D K x x
C A K x x
S K x
H Q x
D A Q J 10 x x
C Q x x
S A Q x
H x
D x x x
C J x x x x x
S 10 9 x x x
H A K 10 9 x x x
D x
C --

My partner had the last word. He said, "I have a new motto for you. Read what the experts do, Remember what the experts do, but Retain the setting trick."


Many techniques of play could be carried over successfully from auction bridge to contract. Thus, for many years the skill level in play in contract far exceeded that in bidding. For example, even though contract bridge was about 13 years old when the December 1938 issue of The Bridge World was published, a feature article by Alfred P. Sheinwold discusses at length why a double of one notrump should not be considered as a takeout request. In contrast, check out this "routine" deal, from an article on ducking techniques by Dick Frey:

S A 4
H K Q J 10 9 4
D 7 4 2
C A 8
S 9 8 7
H 7 5
D K Q 10 6
C K J 10 6
S 6 2
H A 8 6 3 2
D J 8 3
C Q 9 5
S K Q J 10 5 3
H --
D A 9 5
C 7 4 3 2

North-South overbid a bit to six spades. Declarer, South, won the king-of-diamonds lead with the ace, cashed the king-ace of spades (West echoing to show a third trump), then led heart honors from the dummy. East ducked his ace three times to defeat the contract.