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Who makes up those hands?

Feb. 01, 1960
Feb. 01, 1960

Table of Contents
Feb. 1, 1960

Bonuses
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Brave Man
Sugar Ray
Pretty Girls
Food
Track
Sport In Art
Horse Racing
Golf
Fishing
Game Of Driving
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Who makes up those hands?

Almost anybody who has read a report of a tournament wants to know: Who makes up the hands? The answer is nobody. The tournament hands you read about are usually dramatic, either in the way they are played or the way they are bid, but they have not been prearranged.

This is an article from the Feb. 1, 1960 issue Original Layout

In most tournaments, every hand being played for the first time has been dealt at random. The identical hand, of course, is passed on later to other pairs to test their skill with the same cards. This is done even when no player was able to open the bidding at the table where the hand was dealt. The drama in tournaments, therefore, is quite spontaneous. Of course, there are dull hands, too, but you read of exciting hands because these are the ones bridge writers choose to pass on to you.

There are special occasions when the deals are stacked. I use prearranged deals in my seminars for bridge teachers and advanced pupils. A hand from my Teachers' Convention in New York last year will illustrate the kind of deal they play.

South's opening one no-trump bid is a standard maximum for that call—18 points in high cards. North has eight points in high cards, plus a five-card suit amply justifying his raise. No matter what bidding system is used, there is no problem in getting to the right contract—one of the prime considerations in making up the hands to be played in a stacked-deal game, for every deal includes a built-in point in the play. If the wrong contract were to be reached or the opening lead came from the "wrong" side of the table, the whole idea of the deal would be spoiled.

With South the declarer, West's normal opening lead is the heart king. As declarer, how would you play for your three no-trump contract?

If you are blessed with only a little knowledge, you know that there is a standard holdup play when the king is led at no trump and declarer holds ace-jack-small. Declarer ducks the first lead; then if the suit is continued by the player on his left, he has two stoppers in the suit.

But this is a case where a little knowledge is dangerous. If you use the standard holdup in the heart suit, you run the risk that West will shift to diamonds, and a diamond shift will beat you. If you take the first diamond trick, when the club finesse loses, West will have another diamond to return. If, instead, you hold up your ace of diamonds, East will shift back to hearts and West's hearts will be established before you can set up your clubs.

Count your tricks and you find that you don't need to win two in hearts; you have four spades, one heart and one diamond for sure, and you can certainly win three in the club suit without losing the lead to the dangerous hand—which will be East if you take the first heart trick.

So you throw away the standard bridge rules you have learned, win the first heart trick with the ace, and go to dummy with a spade to lead the queen of clubs. The finesse is wrong, but that doesn't matter. The defenders cannot prevent you from winning four club tricks which, added to your six sure tricks in the other suits, brings you a comfortable 10 tricks and an easy game.

EXTRA TRICK
Discover for yourself the reasons you are taught to play according to certain rules. If you know, for instance, why you hold up the ace when you have ace-jack-small, you will readily recognize the occasion when it is necessary to make an exception to the general rule.

PHOTO

Both sides vulnerable East dealer

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

WEST

[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]

EAST

[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[5 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

1 N.T.
3 N.T.

WEST

PASS
PASS

NORTH

2 N.T.
PASS

Opening lead: heart king