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SUNDAR RAM’S COLUMN

 

Date: Monday, June 10, 2002

 

INTO THE MIND

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAYERS AT DIFFERENT LEVELS IS NOT SO MUCH IN HOW

WELL THEY DO SOMETHING, BE IT A COMPOUND SQUEEZE OR A SAFETY PLAY. IT IS IN

WHAT THOUGHTS THEY THINK. FOR EXAMPLE, SOME PLAYERS WOULD BE IN" PLANNING"

MODE, THINKING OF HOW TO SEQUENCE THE REQUISITE NUMBER OF TRICKS TO MAKE OR

BREAK A CONTRACT. SOME PLAYERS ARE PERMANENTLY IN "TECHNIQUE" MODE,

SEARCHING FOR SQUEEZES AND SAFETY PLAYS.

   BUT AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS, THE THOUGHT THAT  PREDOMINANTLY OCCUPIES A

PLAYER'S MIND IS-"WHAT IS OCCUPYING MY OPPONENT'S MIND?" .TO GIVE YOU AN

EXAMPLE: THE SETTING IS THE INDIAN SELECTION TRIALS,2002 & YOU HOLD-

ª JXXX

© XXX

¨ XX

§ JXXX

THIS IS NOT A JOKE, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO

BEAT A SLAM IN DIAMONDS.

AFTER DECLARER HAS SHOWN DIAMONDS & HEARTS, OPPONENTS REACH 6 DIAMONDS &

DUMMY DESCENDS:

ª AXXXX

© XX

¨ 10X

§ AXXX

,

& PARTNER LEADS ©Q.

DECLARER WINS HK, CASHES SPADE KING, & HEART ACE, RUFFS A HEART, CASHES

SPADE ACE SHEDDING A CLUB, CASHES CLUB ACE & RUFFS A CLUB - ALL THIS WHILE

YOU HAVE LITTLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROCEEDINGS. DECLARER NOW RUFFS A HEART

WITH THE DIAMOND TEN, DUMMY HOLDING-

ª XXX

© --

ª10

§ XX.

 

YOU HOLD

           

ª JX

© -

¨ XX

§ JX

.

HAS YOUR MOMENT IN THE LIMELIGHT ARRIVED?

 TO BEAT THE SLAM, DECLARER  MUST HAVE KQJXX IN DIAMONDS LEFT( ANY OTHER

HOLDING IS IMMATERIAL). NOW, WHAT IF YOU HAD HELD- ª JXXX © XXX ¨ AX § JXXX,

& NOT YOUR ACTUAL HAND? YOU WOULD IN FACT, BE SQUEEZED, BECAUSE YOUR PLAN IS TO

DISCARD, WIN THE  KING OF DIAMONDS WITH THE ACE & PUSH THROUGH A BLACK CARD

TO PROMOTE PARTNER'S DIAMOND 9. HOWEVER, IF YOU DISCARD A BLACK SUIT(SAY A

SPADE), DECLARER CAN RUFF A SPADE TO HAND, & PLAY THE DIAMOND. NOW YOU WILL

NOT HAVE A SPADE TO PLAY , SO THERE WILL BE NO TRUMP PROMOTION. WHAT ABOUT

DISCARDING A DIAMOND, IE UNDERRUFFING? THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOUR ACE BECOMES

BARE, & IF DECLARER GUESSES TO LEAD LOW, IT DROPS. DOES THIS GIVE YOU AN

IDEA?

   WITH YOUR ACTUAL HAND, WHY NOT "PRETEND" TO BE SQUEEZED, & UNDERRUFF?

WELL, IF DECLARER IS SMART ENOUGH TO READ YOUR MIND, HE MAY PLAY

DIAMOND KING, REGARDLESS.YES?

WELL, THE ACTUAL HAND THAT CAME UP IN THE TRIALS WAS-

ª JXXX

© XXX

¨ AX

§ JXXX

.

THE DEFENDER DID NOT UNDER RUFF, BUT DISCARDED A BLACK SUIT. DECLARER RUFFED

THAT SUIT, KNOCKED OUT THE DIAMOND ACE & CLAIMED.

 

 THIS GAME OF BLUFF & DOUBLE-BLUFF COULD HAVE SWUNG 26 IMPS.