Archive of Previous Poor Bridge

In the Zone

By John Portwood

Bridge enthusiasts can find online bridge games of interest either with Ebuonline or through one of several other internet sites. Microsoft has for a long time offered bridge online at www.zone.com where players can play against their ‘bots’, have a friendly game or more serious competition. However poor bridge abounds.

The ‘bots’ are pretty incompetent and can virtually just follow suit, play Stayman and on occasion take a finesse. In particular they have a bug in that if two passes follow an overcall then the opening hands always re-open with a double. The following happened.

As South you pick up a nice hand.

Q4
AQJ10
AQ954
A10

And hear the bot on your right bid ‘One Diamond’ (which may be a short suit) as per SAYC. Knowing the bug in the programme you overcall 1 Heart. Two passes follow and true to form the bot on your right doubles. You redouble (of course) and a Diamond is led.

Partner goes down with quite a suitable hand

S 95
H 8653
D –
C KJ98743

The opening diamond lead allows the two spades to be thrown, you ruff a spade, take the heart finesse (which holds), ruff a second spade, take the heart finesse and cash the Ace and Queen of Hearts. The bot on your right discards a CLUB.

You now play the AC and the Queen falls so you end up making all 13 tricks vulnerable for a score of +3120.