Bridge: Yearly migration takes toll on games

November 26, 2017 GMT

The annual winnowing process of duplicate bridge players in our area who retire to more southerly climes for the winter has just about been completed as Thanksgiving nears. Duplicate clubs all over Connecticut and Westchester typically suffer a 20 to 25 percent loss in attendance at this time of year, and will not see an upturn until late April or early May.Here in Greenwich, the weekly game at the YWCA this past week dipped to 11 tables, as compared to an average of 13 or 14 tables per game in September, and the story will be pretty much the same for nearby clubs in Stamford and White Plains if past history is repeated.This trend recently claimed a local victim when the Greenwich Women’s Club, which at one time drew six or seven tables to its year-round monthly game, announced that it will not be holding any more games beginning this month, and is inclined not to renew its sanction for any games next year.Today’s quiz: Here is another in the current series of quizzes on overcalls and takeout doubles. In the following problem, neither side is vulnerable and your left-hand opponent opens with one diamond. Partner overcalls with one spade and your right-hand opponent passes. What action (if any) would you now take with the following hand:S 4 H KQJ963 D 64 C Q1096Answer: Bid two hearts. You have reason to believe that your side will do better in hearts than partner will do in spades, even though you will be one trick higher. Your hand, which should produce about six tricks with hearts as trump, might be close to worthless as dummy.In bidding two hearts, it is important to remember that taking your partner out of his suit into your own is a corrective measure that warns him that your side is in trouble and asks him to leave you in your bid suit. As such, the two-heart bid is not forcing, which would not be the case if partner had opening the bidding with one spade. Even so, if partner has a good hand with fair support for hearts, he can raise or jump to game in hearts with the knowledge that you must have a very strong suit to overrule his overcall.The week’s duplicate results:Greenwich YWCA afternoon open duplicate: North-South, 1. Dave Babson-Nancy Fraser, 2. Jerry Jacobs-Susan Vock, 3. Joanne Kuebler-Hollister Sturges, 4. James Chung-Terry Lubman; East-West, 1. Gordon Mackenzie-Lola Meyers, 2. Melissa Bissell-Linda Gordon, 3. Betsy and Michael Grant, 4. Mary Scarfi-Lois Spagna.Central Greenwich Bridge Club, 11/10: North-South, 1. Bob Driessen-Dean Goss, 2. Sandy and Kurt Schaffir, 3. Christina Powers-Howard Truss; East-West, 1. Dave Babson-Dorothea Bellafiore, 2. Joanne Marr-Wendy Rehberger, 3. Carol and John Febles.