Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday 21st February

Playing with Adrianne N/S with Butler scoring finished just above average.

Could have saved 8 imps on this board. Robert Grubb opened 1H, Adrianne and Celia passed.
It seems to me that partner will have around 13 points and 4 hearts, I could so easily have passed but had to put my oar in with 2H. Of course Robert bids 3H, Adrianne 3S and Celia 4H. Robert loses the obvious heart, spade and one diamond, ruffing the other for 10 tricks.
We might have had 4S on, but it always turns out the opposite way.
These two hands against Alec Cram & Raymond Levitus gained us a few points.
I opened a fairly pathetic 3C and Alec overcalled 3NT, passed out.
Adrianne led a small heart and Alec won QH, finessed a club and cashed his 8 tricks hoping for the best. Adrianne though is not under any pressure and keeps her 5 winners for 1 down

On the next board Alec opened 1C (1NT looks better as 2C is the only rebid), Raymond bid 1S and over Alec's 2C, Raymond bids 2NT. Undaunted Alec tries 3NT.
I led a small heart to Jack and King, QC goes to Adrianne's King and a heart back leaves Raymond high and dry. Another club lets me signal a spade and Adrianne wins and puts me in to cash the hearts for 3 down.
However Raymond immediately notices that he can make if he ducks the first heart and so he probably will (though if Adrianne ducks clubs twice it will be difficult, though still possible).
As usual we all play to quickly to the first trick.
On this pair of boards against David Macdonald and Kate Kearney we both got a good score casncelling each other out.
Our bidding went the obvious:
1S - P - 2H - P
3H - P - 4H - passed out
Adrianne was the only one to make.
David led a club to the Ace, Kate cashed AK of diamonds and exited with a heart.
With one club ruff Adrianne had her 10 tricks. If Kate doesn't cash the diamonds, best exit is a heart and I can't see how Adrianne can make now.

However David made it back on the next board being one of only three to make 4S.
I led AH and switched to JS. David took Ace, crossed in diamonds, ruffed a heart, crossed in diamonds, ruffed a heart. Played a top diamond and discarded the last heart.
I have to ruff and can only cash AC to give David his 10 tricks.

Friday, 18 February 2011

WD Sim Pairs 17 feb

Came first in the club with 66%. Still made a few mistakes, had some luck and got some good scores by just doing the normal thing.

For instance we had two good boards against Eileen Caldwell and Alistair Crawford without anyone doing anything brilliant or defenders making mistakes
On board2 where I am East and Adrianne West it went:
P - P - 1D - P -
1H - P - 2C - P -
3C - P - 5C passed out
11 straight forward tricks, a triple joint top with another 5C and one 3NT. Others in 3N going down or a part score. It surely can't be right to bid 3N with a spade lead advertised. Certainly Adrianne didn't give it a moment's thought.

On the next board Alistair opened 1H (surely 1D better?) and Eileen 2H. Now I thought for a moment about coming in, but just for a moment. Double is out of the question when partner will surely say 3D and I hate the idea of bidding 3C with such limited values. So 2H it was, down 1 and a second top for us (should have been down 2 but I failed to give partner a trump promotion).
Most E/W played in a disastrous club contract or N/S played a part score in NT (presumably 1D - 1NT)

A second top on this board against Ian McIntyre and John Logue (the top was 4S by E/W making 12).
Anyway Adrianne opened 2NT and we play Baron, so 3C by me got 3NT from Adrianne. Match Points or not, I bid 5C which made the obvious 12 tricks. Everyone else was in 3NT down 1 on a heart lead.
On this board, 3 N/S made 9 tricks in 3NT, the rest 12 or 13. We were playing against Bob McKinnon and Paul Maiolani. Adrianne led out the spades and we took the first 5 tricks for a complete top.
However Adrianne started with the Queen and followed with the Ace then Jack. You can see at other tables they started with the 2S and blocked the suit.
Many others didn't lead a spade at all.
I think I would have led the 2, so brilliantly done by Adrianne.

Another complete top here against David Macdonald & Katy Kearney.
The bidding went :
1D - P - 2D - x - P - 3C - P - P - 3D - x - P - 4C
Katy should have bid 3D the first time to make my life more difficult. I paused over doubling 3D, but we have a clear arrangement in this sort of sequence that double just means we have the balance of points. Adrianne didn't fancy that, but I think she should leave it in with only 3 clubs. We could have had a great score for 3Dx, but 4C was what I was in. David led a diamond, I took Ace and exited with a diamond. Katy won and tried a small heart which I took with the King. I now played a club to the ten which seemed right to me, it would only be a singleton Jack that could cost me, even then it just gives a guess about dropping the King or not the next time. Also Katy opened the bidding so is more likely to have the King. Anyway, I didn't lose a club for 11 tricks and a complete top. Everyone else was in clubs but couldn't do better than 10 tricks.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Wednesday 10 February

Playing with Joan we were just average. A few unlucky scores where our opponents seemed to do just the normal thing but got tops for it and of course a few shots in the foot by ourselves.

Playing E/W Joan was only one of two to play in 4H. Bob McKinnon as North passed presumably because of the 4 hearts and Cathie Ferguson opened the South hand 1D.
Playing Michaels as weak or strong Joan overcalled 2C, so the bidding went:

P - P - 1D - 2C -
P - P - 2D - 2H -
2S - P - P - 3H -
P - 4H - passed out

Bidding that way probably Joan should have treated it as strong. After a diamond lead it is straightforward to lose 2 hearts and a spade. A spade lead looks more difficult, but after ruffing 2nd spade and AK hearts, keep playing clubs.

On this board, also against Bob & Cathie the opponents did well to push us to the 3 level in hearts.

Cathie led her singleton club, I thought it better to let Bob win King and give a ruff as it will certainly be unavoidable. He returned the 3C, now Cathie can't be sure where the 2 is and decided to underlead her Ace of diamonds. I just have to play a heart now, Bob wins and leads another club, but Cathie declines to ruff with the Ace and I know the two remaing hearts will fall together, 9 tricks made, (3 hearts and a club lost).

I came a cropper here, aided by Joan's dubious Benji 2C opener.

2C - P - 3C - P -
3S - P - 4NT - P
5D - x -5H - P
6C - P - 7NT - passed out

I just got it into my head that we were playing 30 - 14, but it was 14-30! It looked like 13 tricks if my partner has AKQ to length in spades and AH and AC.
I got the diamond lead as asked for and could run 12 tricks, but Robert Grubb knew which card to keep for 1 off. Amazingly if Celia leads a black card I can make 13. Say I win a club in dummy and run 5 club tricks discarding 3 hearts. I now play all the spades and with QH in dummy and AT diamonds in my hand Robert is squeezed. The diamond lead killed the communications. Though of course a heart lead might have been worse!

Finally on this board we were the only pair to play in 3D. True spades could score better as you can manage 9 tricks (though 8 if defenders get diamond ruff).
Anyway I opened 1D and Joan bid an inverted 3D as otherwise she will have to pass. That made it too difficult for North to come in. Elsewhere most E/W were defending making club contracts.
I got a spade lead and continuation so lost a spade ruff when South took AD. A club comes now, but too late as the loser goes on a spade for 9 tricks.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Wednesday 2nd February

Playing with Joan we finished 5th with 57%, just 5 MPs behind 2nd. Unfortunately on the penultimate round I failed to protect when I really must and got us a bottom. Bidding and getting an average would have gained 6 MPs.

Anyway, N/S on this board Joan is in 3NT and got us a good score as most went off.

A diamond is led, won in dummy and a spade passed to West who now finds the heart switch. The defenders cash Ace and King, Joan wins the third, crosses to a diamond and finesses again in spades. West exits with a club but Joan has 9 tricks (4 diamonds, 2 clubs, 2 spades, 1 heart)

Life is very difficult for defenders. Aggresive or passive defence? To get their 3 hearts West has to play KH then East must duck the second, not a likely play. Alternatively if West just continues a diamond then declarer will struggle though East will be embarrassed with discards on diamonds and spades.

This board against John & Ian produced a surprising good score.

E/W on this board, John as South passed, Joan opened 1NT and Ian bid 2NT, John finished the bidding with 3D.
Joan does extremely well to lead a trump rather than a top spade. John wins the King, AC, club ruff, AH, heart ruff, club ruff and makes 5 diamonds, 2 ruffs, 2 Aces for 9 tricks. Leading AS would have given a 10th trick.

Still we were not expecting a very good score, but of course John's hand was opened 1H or 2H at the other tables and with trumps splitting hearts scored better.

N/S again, our first board of the night. Joan opened 1NT as South, I transferred to Hearts and East was silent. So it went:
1NT - 2D - 2H - 3D - 3H
Now, Joan is thinking this is weak and I'm thinking it is max.
Anyway, it is still quite a push but I can easily see 12 tricks here and couldn't resist 4N. So Joan is playing in 5H but of course finesses correctly and was the only one to make 11 tricks!

Another top here playing N/S the bidding went :

P - 1D - 1S - P -
P - x - Passed out
Joan thought long about passing but decided it was best.
Anyway diamond lead to K and Ace, AC, JH to King, diamond cashed and club off table which I took with King. I played QS which declarer took with Ace. If declarer just plays out the hearts now, ruffing the fourth in dummy with the Jack they make it, but they played another spade. One off. A lot of Easts were in 2S one off, but not doubled.

Another good score by Joan who opened 1NT as West and was doubled by North, passed out. A small diamond was lead, won by the Jack, then South took the second heart with the King and continued diamonds.

Well that was it, 3 hearts, 2 diamonds and 2 spades for 180.

In fact 1NT always makes, as long as you hold up on an initial spade lead.

Nobody else was doubled, so a top.

Playing E/W on this board North opened a heart and non-vul I ventured 2S. South did not know what to do, eventually bid 3C and ended in 3NT.
Joan avoided the spade lead and led a small diamond. Declarer played small from dummy and though I should have given it more thought, I just imagined declarer has the Jack as they did not cover. I therefore played the Queen.
Declarer tried a heart to the King and a club back, ducked by Joan. Another club went to my King and it looks as though we can end play dummy and stop declarer getting her spades. I returned a heart ducked to dummy. Declarer plays the last club from table won by Joan who plays Ace and another heart to end play dummy in diamonds for one off. Declarer made 4 hearts, 3 diamonds and a club. If South had passed my 2S, would North bid 3D or double? I think they have to double.

We got an average on this hand playing N/S, but not quite the conventional way. Russell opens 1NT, Len transfers and I double his 2H. Now I would bid 2S with my hand as take out, but have no agreement with Joan. The double is passed to Joan who bids 3H and I bid 4H.
Len leads a club, Russell takes his Ace and returns small. Joan reads it correctly and plays small as Len ruffs. A diamond comes back and Joan plays Ace, King and ruffs another. Diamonds 3-3, trumps 3-3, spade to the Jack and Ace, contract made! Well played.
Unfortunately 3NT is a better scoring contract, but we beat those not in game.

Only two pairs were in 4S on this hand, but Joan made 11 for a top.

We are E/W, North opens 1NT, South 2NT transfer. Joan passed at this point, North bids 3C, South 3D then Joan 3S. I bid 4S and North leads a diamond which Joan runs to hand to ruff. QS, KS, AS, TS was followed by a heart to King and Ace.
North exits with a spade(?) and so Joan just loses a club and a heart.
A piece of good fortune, but we were getting a joint top anyway. Unfortunately it was on the next board that I let the opponents play in 2C for a bottom for us.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Monday 31 January

Playing E/W with Adrianne finished 4th with a Butler score of 12. Not a lot of excitement in the hands, the worst was our very first board against Rhona & Maurice when I bid 3NT. It was only 5 off. Maurice followed this by bidding 3NT on a combined 23 count and 9 tricks off the top. So we were -13 after the first 2 boards.

Two boards against Steve & Mike are both slams for us, however we missed the first one.
After 3 passes Adrianne opened 1S, I bid 1NT, 3C by Adrianne and 3NT by me.
I got a decent MP score because Mike led a heart and when I advanced QC it was covered so 12 tricks, but -6 on Butler as 5 made the slam.
In 6H, 2 diamonds and 2 clubs go on the spades so as long as you organise a diamond ruff, you don't need the club finesse.
I thought it wouldn't really have cost to bid 3H, if Adrianne is 5-5 then 5C (or 6C) will be a good contract. Adrianne wasn't sure that she would have bid any more than 4H if I had, but I think she can. Next time though the club finesse will be wrong.
The next slam was a flat 6NT with 34 points between us.

Did go for a slam on this hand against Katie & Winnie. Adrianne opened 1S and the bidding went:

1S - 3D - 3H - 3S - 4S - 6S

When Adrianne just says 4S I reckon she is not looking at KD, still a singleton diamond could be enough, if not a finesse so I just bid it.

As the cards lie it can't fail. There were four 6S, two 6D and one incredibly brave 6NT.