This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

You don't do the math

I was intrigued by a new book mention that Fred Gitelman made this week about "Expert Bridge Simplified" here:

I wrote (okay, I emailed) the author Jeff Rubens at the Bridge World magazine, where he is editor and publisher of the world's best bridge magazine. He provided a press release with this 7NT contract, converted here to a two hand, single dummy, problem:

S K653
H A42
D 876542
C ---

H KQ75

LHO leads the spade ten. As the press release states "technique trumps arithmetic", even in a notrump contract. The problem is not really what is more probable, a heart split, or the diamond finesse, but just taking things in the proper order.

As Brad Paisley sings on his latest CD:

It takes the square root of four to make babies
I'm sure of that
I'm Juan, you're won
You do the math
(these lyrics may not be perfect as there was no lyric sheet with the CD)

However as Rubens notes on this problem it's not about "doing the math" as Paisley wants. Instead play off all your clubs, cash three hearts ending in dummy and see if the hearts split.

On the hand they don't, with RHO having started with four. Now cash the spade king, and when RHO keeps his last heart, discard yours. Finally in the two card ending you lead a diamond from dummy towards the AQ, and RHO follows with the jack. Does he have the diamond king?

No, his last card is a heart. Play the diamond ace, drop the king, make seven notrump, and see the Bridge World site (links to the right) to purchase this book.


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