You either love rubber bridge or you hate it. Personally I love it: I love the freedom it gives you to play when it suits you. I love the fact that you play with and against different players, which certainly keeps you alert and hones your ‘table presence’. I love the fact that it gives you the opportunity to play with world stars who are passing through (Bob Hamman, for example) and I love the frisson that playing for money brings to the game. Believe me, after you’ve gone for a telephone number a couple of times and written out the cheque, you learn pretty quickly. It’s the best training in the world for Teams playing — and probably the worst for Pairs as overtricks don’t count. Sadly, it’s a diminishing game although TGR’s still provides a variety of exciting games and long may it continue.
Here is a hand that came up recently:
I was sitting North playing with Phil King, who happens to be my team’s coach and a technical wiz. West led ♥King and continued with the Queen, everyone following. At trick three he correctly switched to a trump which Phil won and drew the last trump ending in hand. He has a certain club loser and must avoid conceding a diamond trick as well. Phil’s solution started with a Morton’s Fork. He played a small club towards dummy and West was helpless. If he takes it, declarer can discard a diamond from hand on the ♣Queen so he ducked.
Now the technical wiz ran all his trumps leaving West with ♣Ace and ♦K109. Phil exited with ♣King and poor West was endplayed to lead away from his ♦King. Note that if he keeps two clubs Phil can cash three diamond tricks.
Good job, coach!
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