Tricky maneuvers rule social game

Bridge is a trick-taking, problem-solving, social game. The emphasis should be on both social and game. But, like anything else, there are Rules of the Game.

My director’s book is 122 pages long with more than 90 Laws of Duplicate Bridge. Notice that “rules” have been changed to “laws.” You get the point.

For example, Law 6B says the cards must be dealt face down, one card at a time into four hands of 13 each. That sounds pretty simple, but sure enough someone will deal four cards at a time into five piles, then redistribute the fifth pile back into the other four. While the end result may be the same, the dealing wasn’t proper and must be redone.

A rule that becomes sticky is Law 45, Card Played. Why? Because the rule is different for declarer than it is for the defenders. If declarer detaches a card from his hand and holds it near to the table, on the table or in a manner that seems like he’s going to play it, regardless if anyone else can see it, it’s a played card. The only time the card can go back into his hand is if declarer would be committing a revoke by doing so. Ah, but defender can pull out a card, hover it face down, even put the card in a position that declarer can see it, but put it back into his hand. The defender’s card is played when it is held in a position where it could be possible for his partner to see it. Again, partner doesn’t actually have to see the card, but could he have seen the card if he was looking directly at it? If so, it’s a card played.

UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS: Oct. 10-12 the Anniston club hosts a sectional tournament at the Oxford Friendship Center, south two miles from Exit 188 on I-20. Two weeks later we have our own sectional tournament at Riverchase Presbyterian Church Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1. The Birmingham Bridge Club has its fall sectional tournament Nov. 20-23 at the Vestavia Hills Civic Center.

WINNERS THIS WEEK:

Monday: Jerrie Friar and Liz Milko, Janet Johnson and Judy Chase, Lorette and Clark Ogle, Kris and Bruce Oliver, Judy Converse and Kathryn Howell.

Thursday: John Lusco and Mac LaCasse, Judy Converse and Kathryn Howell, Lorette and Clark Ogle.

Friday: John Lusco and Mac LaCasse, Judy and David Funk, Janet Johnson and Barbara Dawson, Jerrie Friar and Aileen Hill, Judy and Don Hasseld.

Saturday: Judie Fair and Dotsy Kennedy, Jerrie Friar and Aileen Hill.

BRIDGE TIP OF THE WEEK: Try to bid in the same tempo each hand; that is, without undo emphasis, or either too quickly or too slowly. Reaching for the bid box, fluffing the bid cards, then pulling out a pass card is against the proprieties of the game. What does it convey? “Partner I have eleven points and a scattering of nice values but not quite enough for game.” It’s against the rules and the Director should be called.

HAND OF THE WEEK:

What would you do after leading the ace of diamonds facing the queen on the board? Partner dropped the eight, declarer the seven. It’s too risky to play the king. While declarer might be able to dump an extra diamond on hearts, it’s not clear. Play the king and you’re toast! Declarer will draw trumps then get rid of his extra club on the now-established queen of diamonds. I recommend a shift to the nine of clubs, telling partner either I have two higher or its the top of nothing. Declarer has no choice but to go up with the ace, cash the king of spades, back to his hand to draw trumps but eventually has to concede the queen of clubs. Kaplan’s theory on defense is to save your high card to capture the board’s high card, even if it costs you a trick.