Friday, 24 June 2011

Thursday 23 June

Playing with Adrianne we managed exactly 50%. we got off to a fantastic start and were probably 75% at half way, but managed quite a few zeros in the second half.

Playing against Cathy & Helen I opened 1H 3rd in hand, Cathy bid 2C and Adrianne doubled promising 8+ and 4 spades. Cathy bid 3C, I bid 3S and somehow Adrianne found a 4S bid.

After AC, KC ruffed, spade to King and Ace, Helen played a heart, I took with Ace, drew trumps and then KD, TD finessed and 10 tricks made.

Against Phoebe & Robina wew were the only pair to bid slam. Some were in 4S, some in 3NT, we went for our 6-3 fit.

Playing Benji, without interference our bidding went:

2C - 2D - 2S - 3C - 4C - 5C - 6C

At MPs it is often fatal to play in 5C rather than 3NT, but I had no problem bidding 4C, I can see slam is a distinct possibility and I am not signing of in 3NT.

I got a club lead for a lay down 13, but even after a diamond lead I win, cash 2 top spades discarding diamonds, go over to KH to finesse in clubs and make 13 anyway.

Here is how not to play a hand and get a bottom. Against Paul & Bob I opened 1D which was passed out. Paul led 9C, clearly singleton or doubleton. The smart move is to duck Bob's Queen, but singleton is quite likely so I took the Ace.

Big chance: Play 3 rounds of diamonds, guaranteeing 8 tricks. Nope, I play a spade, Paul pounces with his Ace, 2nd club to King and a club ruff.

Stranded from dummy I can only make 7 tricks.

However, I am never getting a good score, others made 10 tricks!?

Now we have 2 bottoms in a row against Charles & Alec.

Alec opens 1S, I pass and Charles raises to 2S passed back to me and I double. Adrianne bids 3D, passed out. This is a great contract, makes 10 tricks but can't beat the people in NT or even in hearts.

I could have stretched to a first round double and Adrianne could then bid 3NT which makes from her side. Adrianne could have stretched to 3NT over my protective double, but it is cruel to get a zero for being in the best contract, especially when 2H (yuck!) scored 140.

On the next hand Charles and Alec bid without interference:

1D - 1S - 2H - 3C - 3D - 4N - 5D - 6D

Adrianne leads AC to my encouraging 9, but no avail, the heart finesse brings 12 tricks home.

Nobody else ventured that high.

We did get one back on them on the next board. Charles opens 1D, passed round to me and I bid 1H. Adrianne bids 2NT, I tried 3S on the way and Adrianne bids 4S.

Nothing in the play. I lose the obvious diamond, club and heart for 10 tricks, some pairs defend 3C and somebody managed to go down in 4S. The only problem I would have is if Charles plays a small club after winning KH, but I had already decided to go up with King, there's no other play. Anyway at match points you can't afford to try that.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Thursday 2nd June

Playing N/S with Adrianne we came 2nd with 55%, some way behind the winners.

On this board my RHO opened 1D. we play weak jumps here so my bid is 1H, but I don't like that a) it lets the opponents immediately find what could be a 9 card spade fit and I'll never be sure how high to compete, b) Adrianne could have just the right cards but with a doubleton heart will let it pass out (as here).
Anyway, never the shrinking violet I just bid 4H. A diamond was led, won by the Ace. I forwarded JC from dummy, covered by Queen, 12 tricks made.

Against Bob and Paul, Bob on my right opened 1NT, I bid 2S and Paul went through Lebensohl to 3H where he played making the obvious 9 as he can't see my doubleton QD.
The trouble is at most tables the E/W bidding is
1S - 1NT - 2D - passed out, so -140 was a very bad score for us.

Against Cathy & Helen, Cathy opens 3H (obviously taking advantage of the weak opposition). Helen raises to 4H and Adrianne lays down AD. Disaster, Cathy ruffs, AH, KD, discard a spade and just 2 hearts and a spade to lose.

Complete bottom

This was a tricky 4H to play against Issy & Rhona. Most were in it and most made it. Issy led KD and I took the Ace. There are 4 tricks outside of trumps so you need to find QH and get 2 ruffs for 10 tricks. I decided though to test the spades first, so at trick 2 I ducked a spade to Rhona's Ten. Rhona cashed JD and led her third which I ruffed. I cashed AS and Issy's QS fell. Looks like 3-3 or Issy has 2, so I led a third spade, Issy discarded a club and I ruffed.

I now cashed my club winners, ruffed a club, ruffed a spade, led a diamond and ruffed with the Jack. Issy over-ruffed and I had K & A of hearts for 10 tricks

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wednesday 1st June

Playing E/W with Cathy Ferguson for the first time, we did not shine especially as I got us a few bad scores.

On this board against Nat & Paul, Paul is declaring 6D after 1D - 1S - 3D - 6D. Now Nat will not be looking at two top losers in any non-trump suit, so has AS and probably AQ. I tried leading TS to maybe give declarer a losing option.

Now most declarers would count 7 trumps, 2 hearts and a ruff and AS & AC for 12 tricks, but Paul was too canny to just go up with the Ace, reasoning that other declarers not getting a spade lead will take the finesse, so hoping it was not a singleton he let it run and made the same 13 as everyone else.

Unlucky, would have worked against most.

Paul passed as North and our bidding went 1S - 2C - 2H - 4S.

Cathy obviously thinks I am a talented Declarer, I was about to prove her wrong.

To preserve his heart winners, Nat naturally led a trump. However I cannot ruff hearts as I would end up losing trump tricks. A reverse dummy ruffing diamonds could bring me in 10 tricks, but I need club entries for that, so it is simpler to just set up clubs for my contract.

I won the spade in hand and led TC. Nat rose with the Ace and led another trump. Now if you have AQ of clubs, you always go up with the Ace here. All I have to do is come to hand with a diamond and finesse JC. Why then did I play to ruff out QC?? I cashed KC, ruffed a club but was now up a gum tree and lucky to get away with 1 off.

This was actually our first board of the night against Ileen & Mike. Ileen opens a Lucas 2S which comes round to me. Now double is out of the question so 3H is the obvious bid, but a rush of blood to the head tells me we'll miss game with that wimpish bid, so 4H comes out. Mike had no trouble doubling this.

Ileen led a small club to Jack and Ace. I tried KH, taken by Mike who played a spade to my Ace. I finessed TC, ruffed a diamond, took KC, ruffed a diamond played the winning 9C discarding a spade from dummy, Mike ruffs and plays a heart. I ruff a spade and so get 9 tricks for a bottom.

Four others were in 2H, making 7 or 8 tricks.

This one is against Charles and Vi. Our bidding goes:

1S - 1NT - x - 4Da - x - P - P - 4H - x - P - P

Yes that was a 15-17 NT by Charles.

Cathy led AK of clubs on which I played the 4 and the 2, but unfortunately played a third. However, clever Cathy now makes 2 heart tricks so 3 off is the best we can ever do.

I don't think we would have found 6C.

Against Mike & Raymond, Mike opened 1NT, I doubled and raymond bids 2C (either clubs or the start of a wriggle). Cathy & Mike pass and I think we might get our best score here so also pass.

Cathy leads 7H ducked to the Jack. Raymond plays a spade to the King which I duck, then he leads a club. I take the Ace, then:

AS, spade ruff, heart to Ace, heart ruff, AD, diamond ruff, and I still had two top clubs. Four off for a top.

Our last board and a nice way to finish.