Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah

In southern Utah, there is a desert where the sand is all coral.

How can the sand be uniformly coral? How is it that there are no pebbles of other colors?

Because the wind chooses them. Yes!

In search of grains, the wind ignores all the other grains, collecting only coral ones. Blowing back in its desert, the wind will drop coral grains and carry away all other grains. Amazing, is not it?

What are the functions of the sand and the wind in the desert?

Cover everything, absolutely everything that tries to go beyond the surface.

Are there any plants that still grow in this desert? Yes.

Some plants have developed a growth mode quite appropriate in the circumstances: they try to grow faster than the sand takes to recover them. Fascinating!

At bridge, in a doubled contract, declarer is like a plant trying to grow in the desert. The two defenders are the wind, unifying their efforts to submerge declarer with sand. They must choose their actions like the wind chooses the sand pebbles: they have to ignore those who are too heavy, let pass those who are too light and take only the ones who will drown the overbidders.

You have:

Partner's delayed double says: Opening hand with diamonds, short in spades. Do you pass for penalty? The pebble is too heavy, no? Your spades are not strong enough to flood declarer. So, with discipline, you bid 2. But... help is on the way. People really don't like to pass.

The wind is blowing harder now. What do you do ? First, you have to decide if you make 2. Most probably. So, you are entitled to +110 or +140. Declarer is vulnerable, down one not doubled is only +100. So you have to double to collect +200, the Kiss of Death at bridge. Opponents have decided to settle in the middle of the desert, in spite of warnings from your partner. He told them: nothing breaks, all the points are behind opener. But people don't listen. So you double. Declarer should not survive in these conditions.

What is your lead ? Your singleton, or a heart ? You decide to lead a heart to force declarer.

Declarer wins the Ace in dummy and plays back a heart.

Partner takes the King and, for lack of a better return, plays the ♠9. Declarer plays small. Do you take this grain of sand ? Is it the right color ? You decide it is not. Why not duck and let declarer play?

Declarer wins the Queen in dummy and plays a club.

Partner puts the ♣10, declarer wins the ♣A and plays a diamond. You play your singleton. Partner wins the diamond and plays back a second spade. Declarer plays the ♠J.

Do you win this second pebble? No. What will you play after ? By ducking, you keep control of trumps. Very important.

Declarer, almost engulfed now under the sand, replays a diamond. You pitch a heart and partner wins the King. He then plays the diamond Ace and another diamond for you to ruff. You finally play the Ace of spades. There are no more spades in dummy, so you can play a heart.

Declarer will still lose a club for +500 and a top.

In Coral Pink Sand Dunes, everything is back to normal. The wind and the sand have recovered everything.

The four hands:

No comments:

Post a Comment