By Val Rhead
THE SACRIFICE BID – YOU CAN WIN BY LOSING
PART ONE: CONSIDER VULNERABILITY
In the game of Bridge, sometimes you make a deliberate bid you normally might not make. You believe your opponents can make a game, or worse, a slam. You make a “Sacrifice Bid”; you expect not to make your contract. However, you think that the score your opponents can make putting you down will be less than the score they would make in their own contract.
Recently I was playing against a man who made a Sacrifice Bid against me. He had the right idea. He had a long suit with a singleton although not many points. However, he did miss one important criteria for a successful sacrifice. He didn’t consider the vulnerability of both pairs. When making a Sacrifice Bid, be aware of both your and opponent’s vulnerability status. You have favourable vulnerability when you are not vulnerable but the opponent is vulnerable. Unfavourable vulnerability is the reverse: you are vulnerable and your opponent isn’t. Of course, sometimes you have equal vulnerability.
In this case, I had bid a vulnerable Four Hearts and he bid a sacrifice Four Spades and went down three tricks. If he were not vulnerable and not doubled, our score would be 150. This is much better for him than letting me make a 620 vulnerable game. However, I doubled him. If he were not vulnerable, our score now is 500, still good for him because it is less than our 620 game. However, he was vulnerable, so his down three doubled gave us a score of 800, better for us than the 620 for our own game!
If you are vulnerable and they are not, this is considered unfavourable vulnerability. You can make a Sacrifice Bid but you must have a stronger hand because you can afford to go down only one trick if doubled. Down two tricks vulnerable and doubled would be 500 for them when their not vulnerable game contract was worth only 420.
Something to watch out for when making a Sacrifice Bid is to be fairly certain that your opponent can make their game bid. If you sacrifice, it is of no benefit if the opponents could not make their bid anyway. This misjudgement is called a “Phantom Save” or “Phantom Sacrifice”.
If on the other hand you sacrifice successfully: go down, they get 500, but they could make a vulnerable game of 620, you are laughing all the way to the bank!
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games at the Huntsville Club are Tuesday, 1pm start, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For partners and information call Jan Roberts 705 635-2522 or email [email protected]
REMINDER: The game was cancelled December 26. The game resumes with the Winter Season afternoon schedule of 1pm on Tuesday, Jan 2. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
The following winners are for Tuesday, Dec 19 with 9 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 2. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen; 3. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 4. Fay MacDonald and Yvonne Cox; 5. Liz Graham and Dorothy Russell
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
REMINDER: The game is cancelled Dec 25 and Jan 1 and resumes Jan 8.
The following winners are from Monday, Dec 18 with 13 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 2. Kathy Kent and David Kent; 3. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 4/5. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; 4/5. Frank Vagnoni and Gerry Lawrence; 6. Gerry Flaherty and Ralph Hair
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