Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Monday 7th April

We stop in a simple 1NT on board 3 despite a good 15 opposite a good 9 and neither of us shy about bidding. Adrianne judged extremely well to make 9 tricks. West led a heart won in dummy. Adrianne ran the 10C, this is good play, diamonds are the obvious source of tricks for the defence and West didn't lead one, no point in rushing into hand for a spade finesse and then geting a diamond switch. So Adrianne cashed AC, cashed all the hearts, then the clubs and took AS. A top score, 2S -1 or 3NT -1 or -2 are the par scores.

Not so easy on the next board though. I opened a club, East overcalls a diamond, Adrainne bids a heart (this promises 5), so I naturally bid 4H (even I would find a 4D splinter looking for a slam a tad optimistic):Adrianne received the diamond lead and a switch to the 10S taken in hand. She plays a club to King and Ace, another spade to Ace in dummy and Adrianne thinks a spade ruff is coming and plays AH and a small heart, the third spade is played, but clubs cannot now be established. If a club is ruffed before AH then the contract makes. Only one other pair found 4H (3C -1 is the par contract) so we got an average.

Adrianne got us a top on board 11 by making 11 tricks:
Playing 4H a club is led. Adrianne immediately finesses a spade, cashes three top hearts ending in hand for another spade finesse, She now discards her club on AS, ruffs a spade and exits in diamonds. This sets up a diamond ruff in dummy and a fifth spade for 11 tricks. Only two other pairs can manage that.

I managed to overcall in this hand to get us a good score.

West opened a club and I bid 1H, East bid 2C, Adrianne doubled (raise to 3H), west bid 3C and I bid 3H to end the auction.
I received a club lead, took the spade finesse, ruffed a club, Ace and another diamond ruffed, ruffed a club, exited with 9H to King A spade comes back to Ace, exit with a heart, a spade is cashed, but my hand is high now for 10 tricks.
One other pair did the same, nobody else is even in hearts.

On board 18, I managed to get us a top with 11 tricks in hearts.

South opens 1D, I find a heart bid, Adrianne splinters and I bid 4H.
A spade was led which I took in dummy. Now I plan to just try the top two hearts, so obviously start with Ace in dummy as my top hearts are my only entries. Finding the 4 - love break I continue with JH covered by Queen and King. I now exit a club. East tries a small diamond now. I play low and West makes the error by putting up the King. West returns a heart and with a diamond finesse and 3-3 break I make 11.
Defenders make it easy, but I am always making 10 here through 3 spades, a diamond, a club and 5 hearts, even if West finds the correct 9D and returns QS, I still make 10 with a long diamond or a spade finesse. The par scores are either 5H -1 or -2 or 4H -1 or even -2

Finally on board 25 we got into a terrible fankle

I make the mistake of opening 1S on a weak 2S hand. Our bidding goes 1S - 2C - (2H) - 2S - 3D - 3S - passed out.

My 2S over the 2H overcall promises six. Adrianne's 3D is game forcing. I should really bid 4C. Partner has failed to bid 3NT with a game hand, she either has at most 1 spade or slam interest in spades. 4C would be the best bid by me. However, should Adrianne bid 3D? It is game forcing and she passes 3S, so obviously not, especially as that KJ hearts are looking like waste paper. 2NT is probably the best bid, a 12 count and protection for the heart holding. 3C is the other possibility, but you don't like to lose the chance of a game. Anyway, why didn't I open 2S?!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Thursday 3rd April

A lot of swingy hands last night. On board 3 we got a good score:

After 1S – 3C (hearts and clubs), I bid 4S, East bids 5H and Adrianne relieves me of any decision by bidding 5S. East naturally doubles this, but running the 9S brings home the contract for the loss of one heart and one trump.
We are the only ones in 5Sx, others defending or doubling 5H, but one pair is in 4Sx!? West obviously had great trust in their partner.

Hand 7 was a common or garden contract, but gave me the problem I love/hate match points for:

Playing E/W. the obvious sequence went 1D – 1NT – 2NT – P

I received a heart lead won by the Queen and on the heart return my 10 went to King and Ace. I now played the KC taken by North who cleared the hearts. Now I finesse the 10C, South showing out. Now the problem.
I have 8 obvious tricks via 2 hearts, 2 spades and 4 clubs. But I could make anything from 7 to 10 tricks here. If South gains the lead with Ace diamonds then 8 is the limit as he has 2 hearts to cash. Do I finesse the spade and if it loses, end up with 7 tricks? Well at least this is obvious, play a diamond to the King first, worry about the spade later. Luckily North has the Ace, so now I have 9 tricks, but North returns a spade and gives me 10 anyway. ( I think South’s discards on clubs would give away the spade position anyway).
I got a bottom on hand 14 and there was nothing I could realistically do about it, we were just up against two good players.
After Pass-Pass, Adrianne opens 1H (I prefer 1NT here), North passes of course and I bid 1NT, this goes round to North who doubles. I didn’t enquire, though suspect North must have hearts. I could have tried 2D, but with a nice 9 count 1NTx will suit me. Anyway it is passed out after the double is explained as an opening hand with hearts.
South finds the best lead of course of a spade. I take the Ace immediately (no point in holding up – I have 7 tricks on a diamond finesse and if it fails South gets in for the spades anyway). Well diamond finesse does fail and N/S get 4 spades, a diamond and 3 hearts for 2 off doubled. Can’t complain about bottoms from opponent’s good bidding and play – but nearly a top if North had the QD.

However we did well on another swingy board 16

The bidding went 1S - 2NT - 3S - 4H - 4S, passed out. This is 2 off ( a spade, 2 diamonds, a heart and a club) when 6 of a minor makes N/S. Only one N/S bid the slam, unlucky for them they went to 7!
Another swingy board was 18 which I certainly got wrong (we are N/S):

The bidding went: 1C – 3D – P – 3S – 4H(?) – P – P – 5D – P – P – 5H. I stupidly double (where are 3 tricks coming from?) Of course there is no defence. As it happens we are getting a bottom anyway because no one else found the heart fit.

Finally this was not our hand. Our opponents like everyone else bid it to 4H. Is it not possible to reach a slam?

I would open the South hand 2C, partner bids 2D, I bid 2H and partner should say 4D. I think I can see 6H now. Bidding 7 is a bit more difficult.