Mining the Ether
An undergraduate from Yale, Matthew Clegg, wrote a program that
allows bridge play over the internet. Four people from anywhere
on the globe can sit down and play bridge against each other.
The program stores hands and allows for comparisons, so pairs can
play in a seeming IMP or Matchpoint pair game. Kudos to Matt for
building something that worked out so well.
Marty Seligman and Paul Soloway challenged some members of the
US Junior team to repeated 26-board matches via computer. For the
first time, the Juniors won a match. This time, they were Sam
Dinkin, John (Bear) Fout and, for three hands, Erik (Toucan) Secan.
The Juniors won by just under ten
IMPs. Significant contributions were made by two well-played
North/South is vulnerable.
| A |
| QJ10842 |
| K75 |
| 963 |
The bidding was filled with close decisions. Secan's decision to
pass in first seat is very close. With a singleton spade and bad
suit to open, his pass was a good choice. 1NT showed 15-17. Soloway
decided not to overcall his six-card suit, hoping to get another
chance in order to suggest a weak hand with a decent suit. 2
was a transfer to hearts; the 2 bid showed three hearts.
The club bids were natural and 4 was a cue-bid. Going past
game was very dangerous, but Secan knew of the double fit. Still,
with bad hearts and a probable 5-3 fit only in hearts, slam is fairly
unlikely, and he had already described his hand. Dinkin should really
have played him for 6-5 and a spade void, but since they were not a
regular partnership, discretion took the better part of valor and they
stopped only a little too high. At least Secan's actions were consistent,
trying for slam from the very beginning. A better idea, once the
opponents' spade fit had been uncovered, would to be to focus on what
to do if they save in 4. A 4 bid instead of 3
would convey to partner: I have a two-suiter in the rounds with game
values. If they saved over 4, then, hopefully, partner would
know when to go on. But, the play's the thing.
Soloway led the 7. The choice was a good one. Even though
spades rated to be stronger, he knew that his side had too many spades
for them to cash any. Dinkin won the first trick, cashed the trump Ace
and crossed to the board with a spade. Not having second sight, he lost
a trump finesse to the Queen. The defense continued with two rounds of
diamonds, declarer pitching a club from dummy while Soloway shed a spade.
The hand now depends on finding the Q. Since the scoring was IMPs,
declarer judged well to embark on a voyage of discovery to try to find
out the distribution of the hand. To this end, he ruffed a spade, drew
the last trump, and ruffed his last spade.
Now he could claim. Seligman had shown up with three spades, three hearts,
and six diamonds, so he could have at most one club. Dinkin cashed the
K and took the marked finesse against the Q to make his
contract. Nicely played.
Copyright © 1993 Jeff Goldsmith