Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Learning by playing with Kathy

Today I played with Kathy and then we had a long chat about the hands.   We only played fourteen hands but there was so much to talk about.  I realized how much more you learn when you play then you do in the bidding room.  And best of all we had a lot of fun. 

Katie certainly held her own during the session.  We came up with four major points.


1. Count your losers (in a trump contract) and make a plan.  I showed her how to count losers using the same method as the one in Barbara Seagram’s Winning Bridge (going suit by suit and “borrowing” high cards from dummy).  Most experienced players know how to count losers but I know they don’t always stop and make a plan. 

2. Trying to take a finesse by playing an unsupported queen towards the ace doesn’t work, barring a defensive error.  I have seen this frequently with beginners.  Is it because it is similar to this situation




I don’t know.  I know it is obvious to me, but I know it is not obvious to them and I really don’t know how to explain it better than to show them why it doesn’t work.


3. Holding up winners in notrump to reduce communications is often a good idea.  This is such a complex subject that the only way I can think of to boil it down to a rule of thumb is duck unless there is a reason not to when you know that you hold the top honour in a suit declarer needs to establish.

I think I was I was a bit “mealy mouth” with Kathie but saying “consider” ducking which is a pretty useless way to put it.


4. Don’t make a direct takeout double without the right shape (support for the unbid suits) or extra strength.  We all do this for a variety of reasons but this type of action is likely to backfire. 

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