Thursday, 9 November 2017

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Playing N/S we just scraped an above average 51%.
We play Lucas Twos and are rather generous in the definition.  This worked well for us on one hand and badly on another.
A Lucas Two is a 5 card major with a 4 card minor (5 if vulnerable), 6 - 10 points and points mainly in the suits.  We use the definition as 'advisory'.

We open a multi two diamond with a weak two in the majors, Gerry decided to get both suits into the picture and opened a Lucas 2S.  Charles doubled and I had an easy 4S bid.  This went round to Charles who doubled again and Vi decided to pass.
 There was nothing in the play, the defence got their two heart tricks and that was it for a top for us.  One of those unusaul hands where both N/S and E/W can make 11 tricks.










Here again Gerry decided to open a Lucas 2H, well he is 5-4 and points are in the suits. Dot doubled and I passed waiting to see what happens (probably a mistake, better to bid a 2NT enquiry).  Jim bid 2S and Dot raised to 3S.
I was worried that now 3NT would be to play, 4C might be construed to play as well (why not bid 2NT earlier). There were a likely three losers, however just two loser was quite possible as well.  I put on my rose coloured glasses and bid 4NT.  Gerry bid 5D and did very well to make 10 tricks.
However we scored quite well as more than half the field sold out to 3S which makes 10 tricks.






Friday, 21 April 2017

Thursday 20 April

Playing in a Howell with Gerry, came third with 52%.  I had a few howlers which I shall not reveal here, should have been at least in the high 50s.

Gerry got us a top on this one.  He opened South's minimum 12 count 1NT and I raised to 3NT with my maximum 12 count.

George led 2S and Gerry chose the QS which held. He now led a small diamond off the table and Gerry made an error by going in with the King.  Gerald came back 9S, Gerry went up with the Ace and another spade created 3 spade tricks to go with the 3 diamonds.
A club back now but too late, a heart from table gives the 9th trick.






Again Gerry got us a top against Willie's 3NT. 
6D lead by Gerry made me think a little with the North hand.  In the end I have no sure idea what the lead is from but must play JD.
Willie takes Ace and plays AK and another club.  Gerry now plays 9D which is allowed to run and holds.  Another diamond to my Queen and I exit with 9S giving Willie no winning option, He rose with Ace and cashed 8 tricks.

Double dummy there is a great way of making this contract.  Win AD and play a spade towards Jack.  It does not matter what South does, lets say he takes KS and plays 9D as before then diamond to my Queen and now a club back.
Win AC, cash the spades and hearts and South is squeezed in diamonds and clubs. He has to come down to singleton KD, now exit from Dummy with a diamond and end played in clubs.  Very neat but is a simple club finesse not more obvious!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Thursday 13 April

Playing in a Howell with Gerry came third with 54%, usual ups and downs.  We did find two good slams via the same route that had a different meaning each time.


Gerry opened South 1C and I bid 1H, Gerry raised to 3H, I cued 3S, Gerry 4C and then I bid 5H.  After suit agreement this flags poor hearts and really asks for two top honours opposite.  Ever the optimist, Gerry likes his T9 and bids 6H.

JS lead to my Ace, I have to find QH onside so I play small to the 9 which holds.  I ruff a spade back and lead a small heart again, the Queen appears and that was that.  Nat won the Ace, returned a spade to Dummy's King, I drew the last trump and claimed.










I opened West 1S and Gerry bid 2D, I bid 3H and Gerry bid 5S.  Here after no prior suit agreement and bidding the other suits, the raise to 5 asks for slam if I don't have two losers in the unbid suit.  I bid 6S

AC and another, ruff, two rounds of spades then AH, KH and a heart ruffed high.  Back to hand with a club ruff, draw last trump and claim.









I had an interesting choice here, I opened West 1S, North bid 1NT back to me.  Instinct tells you to bid 2S, but I thought about this and reckoned I am likely to go one down (it'll be -2 on best defence).  I also reckoned I have good chances of defeating 1NT, the worry would be 5 club tricks against me.  However partner is likely to have just one or two spades and surely some clubs.
Next I wondered if I should double at Match Points but that is just a gamble, I decided to defend 1NT and passed.
Gerry led 9S which I overtook and drove out AS. Declarer led a club to Dummy's Ace and then QH which I covered.  Declarer took AH and JH, KC and exited with a club to Gerry's Queen. Gerry can cash TH and that was one down.

Of course 7 can be made via running the club, but you wouldn't relish losing to the Queen and then having to find 3 discards on the spades

Friday, 10 March 2017

Stirling Match 9 March

Playing N/S at table 2 with Gerry for St Mungo against Stirling (Bob McPaul & Tony Wilkinson) we had a good first half, our opponents had a great second half.  Overall we lost 10-6.

Nothing we could have done about the second half, they were the only ones to bid an unbeatable 4S and they avoided bidding an unmakeable slam.

A good board for us in the first half was this 5C.


After two passes I opened North 1D and the bidding went:

  P  -  P  -  1D  -  1H
  x  -  P  -  2C  -  2H
3C -  P  -  3S   -   P
5C  -  AP

The key bid was 3S, showing a decent hand and bidding out my shape.  This greatly improving Gerry's hand, so he can now make a well reasoned 5C bid.  Tables 3 & 4 stopped short, Sam Punch & Stephen Peterkin also bid to 5C and Robert Clow switched to 10S after AH.
Now because of our bidding, I would have certainly suspected that to be a singleton, good opponents wouldn't be opening up our secondary fit.  Also, being the 10, you are now guaranteed 3 spade tricks, heart ruff, two diamonds and 5 clubs if you find the Lady.
Anyway Sam let the 10 run and quickly suffered a ruff for one down.
I had an easier ride, AH, KH, ruffed, AC, draw trumps ending in hand, lead a small spade,10 appears, cover with Jack, lose to King and claim.

Russell and Alan had a poor first half score because Harry & Ronan bid a 6NT with AK of diamonds cashing for the defence.  Unfortunately Alan wasn't for leading away from KD into a 2NT hand and they got away with it.
However they made up for it in the second half with an excellent score helped by being the only pair to bid this slam.

At our table Gerry opened 1C, I bid 1H and Gerry raised to 2H. I bid 3NT, a good description of my hand and caters for Gerry raising on 3 card support.  Gerry obviously just bids 4H.
Bob led a trump and when Dummy went down I thought about how I would be playing 6H.  I won in Dummy, took a second round and when Alex showed out decided not to take any chances with clubs and just drew trumps and a losing spade finesse for 11 tricks.
6H is always there, win opening lead in hand, lead a club, you don't have to put in the 10.  Win the King, back with a trump, club to Ace, win trump return, ruff a club, over to QD, draw last trump and claim.

At Russell and Alan's table I do not know the exact bidding, I think 1NT by South, 2C Stayman and a double by East (there was a club double at some point).  Anyway it ended 6NT by South and although a spade lead defeats this, West has to lead a club which goes to the  to the Ace and Russell finessed against JC the next time to set up 12 tricks without touching spades.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Thursday 23 February

Playing with Gerry came 3rd with 56% in a Howell.  Had the usual ups and downs.

Had a bit of luck for a top here, but at least we were in the game, I'm West

 After two passes I opened 1H and Joyce overcalled 2C, Gerry bid 2H and Bobby doubled (club support).
I bid 4H, I like my hand, if Gerry just an honour in each red suit I have play for game.  Even so, if I made a game try, Gerry with his max points would have bid 4H anyway.
Joyce tabled AC and Gerry's dummy was a pleasant surprise, looks like just 3 losers though club forces might be a problem.
I played small from dummy and Bobby dropped the KC.  He was just indicating where the top clubs were but Joyce interpreted it as asking for a spade.
So, luckily for me Joyce switched to QS, I won with AS, a heart to Ace and back to Q and K (there is no finesse unless South has exactly 10 9 doubleton).  Joyce continued with a spade to Bobby's supposed King and a ruff to follow.  However I captured JS with my King, drew final trump and claimed 11 tricks for a top.





We followed that with another top.  Joyce opened 1D, Bobby 1H, Joyce 2C and Bobby 2S.  Joyce now bid 3NT


Gerry could lazily have led a middle spade as I would probably have done, but thinking on the bidding Joyce must be short of hearts, he then found 7H lead.
I won the King and switched to a small spade.  Joyce now makes her obvious 10 tricks, as we get our two black Aces.
However everyone else makes 11 on the spade lead.  You can see why, AS taken by West and a spade back, knock out AC and you have 2 spades, 5 diamonds, 3 clubs and AH







Peter opened 1S and I overcalled 1NT as North.  Steve passed and Gerry transferred with 2D.  Peter bid 2S and I doubled.
Gerry didn't fancy that would get a good score and bid 3C.  Feeling done out of my 500 penalty, I bid 4H.
Steve led Ace and another heart which I took in hand with the 10.
I now led KS, discarding a diamond, Peter won and played KD which I took with Ace and discarded  the last diamond from dummy on QS.
I now cashed the last heart ad played on clubs, disappointed to find I was losing one but that was 10 tricks.
Most defended 2S, only one doubled it for 500, but 620 got the top,








Lucas Twos can be useful but can also be very difficult for responder to judge when they have a good hand.
Gerry opened East 2H, I used 2NT asking bid and Gerry's 2S showed a maximum with diamonds.  Well Gerry is inventive with the second suit, probably four to the 8!  But where are these 8-10 points? If mostly hearts, do I bis 3NT? What are his spades?  Is he 5-5?  I decided in the end that 5D is safer.
Bob led KH to dummy's Ace, I played two rounds of diamonds, then KQ of clubs and led a spade.  Robert rose with the Ace and led another heart which I ruffed.  I then tried AC, ruffed, diamond back and I had 11 tricks.
Wrong bid, 3NT with 11 tricks available (duck one heart), though 10 being more  likely.  So wrong choice, however maybe I should have bid 6D, then if 5D is the wrong choice over 3NT, at least I have a chance of a top score.
Double dummy you make 12 after crossing to a club, ruff a heart, removing South's exit card, not a play I would have found, but if left with a guess between 5D and 3NT, perhaps 6D is the answer!




Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Monday 20 February 2017

Having been very neglectful, this being the first post of the year, thought I should try to make an effort. Unfortunately playing N/S with Adrianne we had a poor score of -19 Butler points.  However I can honestly say we didn't really put a foot wrong, just at the mercy of opponents at our table and what was done at other tables.

For example

Willie opened 1C, I passed, Victor bid 1D, Adrianne bid 1S, Willie 2S, I bid 4S and Victor 5C.

1D??, 2S????, me neither.

Willie made his 11 tricks

Out of 12 tables only one other was in 5C (not surprising) but they couldn't manage to ruff a diamond and set up the 10 and went 1 down.

That was -12 points on one board.





We lost -6 on a number of boards, this was typical:


I opened a Benji 2C, Adrianne bid the inevitable 2D, I bid 2H and partner raised to 4H.
This contract is completely unmakeable, except 4 tables made it.
Everyone got a spade or club lead, I got 6D lead but no difference.

Walter's 6D went to 9 and Ace, I laid down AH and got the bad news, reasonable chances of an end play if they had split 2-1.  I drew two rounds of hearts, cashed AC and exited with a spade.  However Lydia can cash AK of spades and exit with the third trump, I had to lose two more diamonds.






One bright spot was bidding a granny, why we were the only ones I have no idea.

East passed and our bidding went:

1H - 3D - 3H - 3S - 4S - 4N - 5S - 7S

The jump shift is very rare but was advantageous on this hand, Adrianne cannot have 3 small diamonds or she would have supported diamonds immediately especially as I would never jump shift if I had any interest in hearts.
KQ of spades and the ability to ruff a diamond were all I needed.

I won Fudge's club lead in hand and cashed AD, I followed with a low diamond and ruffed with KS.  If diamonds are 4-1 I'll come back to hand with a club and ruff high again and then finesse 8S.
However David followed with JD.  I just need to be careful now, I came back to hand with AS, played 8S to Q, Fudge showing out and finessed a trump on the way back to draw the last and cash all my diamonds.
At least we got 14 points for that.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Thursday 1st December

Playing in the District Pairs Qualifier with Gerry we came first with 63%

Got off to a good start but on these two boards I don't know why we got tops or near tops.




After three passes Gerry opened South 1H, Gerry Sweeney overcalled 2C, I bid 2D and Alistair bid 3C  Gerry bid 3D to complete the bidding.                                                

Club lead to my Ace, club ruff, AH, club ruff, KH, heart ruffed with 8D, Alistair over-ruffed and returned a diamond to Dummy's Ace.  Only one small diamond to come.                                                                            

Ruffed another heart high, drew last trump and led up a spade. Alistair went in with the Ace but no matter, 11 tricks.



On the next board I opened 1D and Gerry bid 2S.  We play this as less that 6 points, 6 card suit.                      

I chanced 4S.                                                            

Gerry Sweeney led a spade, Gerry won in hand and led a diamond, Gerry Sweeney went up with the Ace, KH return won in Dummy, drew last trump and with all those diamonds made 12 tricks for a joint top.



Paul Maiolani had a tricky 4S contract here by East.  Gerry led QC taken by Dummy's Ace.  A diamond was led and I jumped in with the Ace expecting singleton Queen.  Anyway I played another club and Paul then took a very reasonable line, in fact probably the best line by cashing QD, playing KS, AS and then leading a diamond to discard a club.  This works most times as when QS falls doubleton or the player with QS has three diamonds as you discard a club on both diamond winners, they can trump the fourth if they want. Much better than a horrible guess with a two way finesse.
Unlucky, Gerry trumps, cashes a club and AH for a trick in every suit.
Half the field made it presumably by making a lucky guess in spades but superior play is its own reward.