Monday, January 13, 2014


Do you know what is transubstantiation? Am I taking you too far back? It is the story they told us, when we were young, that, bread and wine became the flesh and the blood of Christ.

Is there transubstantiation at bridge? Look at this hand. I hope I am not offending anyone.

Only 11 points, but you open 1♣ obviously. Your partner bids 1♠. Your spade Ace is a nice card, but you still have only 11 points. You rebid 2♣ and LHO comes to life with 2. Your partner competes with 3♣. Do you still have only 11 points?

If you believe so, you don't know transubstantiation. More matter of fact, if you still think you have only 11 points, you simply don't know how to add.

Watch carefully: your 11 points are now transformed into... 8 tricks! That is really transubstantiation, and at bridge, you make contracts with tricks, not with points.

So wake up!!! How do you continue?

Here, a cue-bid would be of good taste. What would be 3? Forcing. As long as you don't bid a pathetic and unimaginative 4♣.

Over 3, your partner bids 3♠, no heart stopper, but something good in spades. Otherwise, he would bid 4♣.

So partner has the spade king. With 3NT out of the picture, you retreat to 4♣, waiting for partner's next move.

He bids 4, cue. Quite happy with that, you cue-bid 4. Partner then invokes RKCB. Your bid shows 0-3. Partner concludes with 6♣ and you await dummy with heart pounding, as always when you reach slam.

The lead is Ace of hearts.

Lead A, you ruff the second heart and play 2 trumps. Then spade Ace, spade to the King. The Queen falls graciously and you claim. 12 tricks with 20 points (heart Queen doesn't count).

So you see: all those stories that you heard when you were young are true. Transposed in the world of bridge: with a fit, points become tricks.

It is called transubstantiation.

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