Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Struggling for Objectivity : Emotion Part 1

In my last post, we started looking at a hand that I misdefended.
The full hand was

On a heart lead, declarer won the Ace to play a club. I won the CA to continue a heart as declarer pitched two diamonds. Now declarer unblocked the club queen from dummy and played a low spade.

Even though the apparent Suicide Point had been passed, Tony was on the ball and rose with the Spade Ace just in time for us to be in control. He continued a heart as declarer ruffed with the SJ (ruffing high does not work either). I overruffed and played a club for down 1. In a pure technical sense Tony's play is not that hard to find. But, at the table, it’s a play that will slip past many.

The reason being that our struggle for objectivity is hampered by emotion. Here, the emotion might be of dejection (at my end) or derision (at Tony’s end) or resignation(at both ends). The Suicide Point is nothing but an excuse for a bridge player letting emotion cloud the need for objective analysis.

There will be more on emotion in another post, including the views of Eric Rodwell.

Meanwhile, another example of this phenomenon occurred in the match between Team Lavazza and Australia-PABF. Sementa as West returned a club at trick three. The play progressed to the same juncture as at our table and Duboin stayed on the ball to hop with the spade Ace. But when he returned a heart, Sementa overruffed and tried to cash the Ace of diamonds.

Makes me look like a legend !


  1. To play the same way as Sementa is normally sufficient, well done for getting it right at the end.

    BTW, the link to Ulf's blog has an extra http in it.

  2. "To play the same way as Sementa...."
    I did conveniently fail to mention that Rodwell at trick 3 accurately cashed the DA and continued a club to beat 4S by two tricks.

  3. Declarer's hypothetical hand with three hearts that Sartaj visualised in the previous post would be quite some 4S bid.

    Also of some interest is that the non-spade opening lead makes the leader more likely to have SQ, making Tony's good SA play more essential.

  4. Speaking of the suicide point, I knew it as the kill point fro this BOLS tip: