Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Monday 27 February

Came first N/S with a Butler score of 35, but there was a 25 IMP swing on our very last board.

On this board we got a good score against Davna and Barbara for little effort.
Davna opened West 1NT and Adrianne overcalled 2S. Barbara bid a natural 2NT and Davna bid 3NT.  when this came round to me I doubled, this demands a spade lead, but I reckoned it was dummy who had the sure spade stop and it wouldn't cost. Anyway, Adrianne led a small spade, Davna won the King in dummy, finessed QC and then ran the JH to my Queen. I led back 7D to the Jack, Adrianne cashed the King and so we goy 4 diamond tricks. I exit with a spade and all declarer can do is cash out for 2 down, 500 points.

Only 3 pairs managed to be in and make 3NT on this board.  Against Moira and Mary I opened 2NT as North. Adrianne went through 5 card Stayman and we end in 3NT.
Moira is stuck for a lead now so tries 9D which runs to my Queen. There are 4 top losers, so no point in trying to set up a long heart. I played a club to Jack and King, a small diamond comes back to my King. QC now to the Ace.  Moira has no diamonds, a heart is fatal, so tries a spade, I played the Ten, Mary the Ace and I drop the King (otherwise a club return stops me getting 2 spades). So that's 9 tricks via 2 spades (finessing the Jack), 3 hearts, 2 diamonds and 2 clubs.

 Now the last board against Russell and Gerry. Russell opened 2C and without interference it went:

2C - 2S - 3H - 3S - 4C - 6S

Long pause by Gerry before deciding on 6S, who can blame him with an almost running 8 card suit.
Even then I have to find the right lead, but with what looks a certain trump trick it is no problem to lead AD, however swap the red Aces and I lead AH!.
So 13 Butler points to us, whereas 6C gets 12 points to E/W.
Probably easier to find 6C if East just opens a wimpish 1H, then :      1H - 1S - 3C - 3S - 4C - 6C

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Monday 20 February

Playing Butler scoring had a very poor score of -29, just a whole set of small minuses rather than any big mistakes.  We are playing N/S

On this board against Jack and Robert I got away with a zero. After two passes at favourable I opened 1NT which was passed out.  Jack led AS then switched to QH which I ducked followed by small heart to King and Ace. Looks like Jack has 11 points in majors (expect JS) so KD will not be an entry to dummy. To bring home the clubs I need doubleton Queen Ten or doubleton Ten on my right. I decide to pin the 10 nd play AC followed by Jack. 6 tricks for 1 off, very lucky, if there had been Queen on my right I could have lost the rest of the tricks.

Missed a game against Bill and Liz that one person bid and was doubled in.  They might have been pushed into it. I opened 1C, Adrianne bid 1NT (8-10 with clubs), I just bid 2C (should have bid 3C, perhaps even 3S). Anyway that is where I played. I took diamond lead in dummy and led QC covered by King. Bad defence, don't cover until you have to. I won Ace, over to JC, finesse heart, over to 10C, finesse heart. Hearts split and dummy's diamond goes away for 12 tricks.

Played this against David and Catherine. Nearly everyone is in 4H, two E/W are in 5C off 2 (only 1 is doubled). Our bidding went : P - P - 1H - 2C - 3H - 4D - 4H - 5C - P - P - poor Adrianne, doesn't know what to make of the diamond fit bid. Personally I place partner's points in spades and just double, but Adrianne bid 5H.  Good decision. Diamond to Ace, AC cashed, diamond back to the King. Can't quite remember the order but Adrianne takes AH, finesses a spade, KH, ruffs a diamond and has 11 tricks.

Next board Adrianne opens 1H as South. Well, better check for Keycards. Response of 5S shows two with. Now there must be 15 tricks here, but is there a club loser? Well I don't know but 7H it is, unbeatable. One third of us bid it.

This board is a bit of a disaster against Bill and Norman. Without interference our bidding goes 1S - 2S - 2NT - 3H - 4H. 2N is 17/18 with four spades. A bit pushy, but not unreasonable at Butler. Anyway, Norman avoids the obvious QD lead and finds a small club. Bill taks Ace, cashes AK spades followed by a third to be ruffed, now QD exit and AH shows up my predicament. In the end 3 off.  Good one for strong No Trump, they get a 2S overcall!

On the next board we found 6H. I opened 1H, Adrianne prevaricates with 2C, I bid 2D and Adrianne tries 4th suit.  I now bid 3NT. Feeling confident I have Ace or King of spades and 14 points, Adrianne bid 6H. Not wishing to lose a possible second spade trick, Norman led a small club, but that allows me to discard my spade loser and so I make 13 tricks. Nearly half of us found this slam.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Thursday 16 February

Playing E/W in the West District Sim Prs came 2nd with just 52%.  A very difficult set of hands.

Board 10 was typical where we did the correct thing but got a poor score. After the 2NT by Adrianne I transferred then bid 3NT and Adrianne despite her 4333 bid 4S which is surely sensible. After a club lead she decided on AK of trump then 3 rounds of heart discarding a diamond. With JC falling that was 11 tricks.  Not good.  Many opted for 3NT and made all 13. After getting away with a non-diamond lead, they have obviously risked the entire contract by taking the spade finesse. South must subsequently have shed a heart to keep diamonds and so all the tricks are made. Still much prefer to be in 4S.

Against Alistair & Eileen we got lucky but felt sorry for Alistair who made the right play. I opened 1H and Alistair opted for 2NT, Eileen bid 3C and then Alistair made a brave bid of 3NT. Adrianne could have led a spade (Alistair must be 5-5 in minors and should be AQ of hearts of something similar), however she opted for a heart.  Alistair won and tried AC to find the loser I violently signalled for a spade. However Alistair can get home with 4 diamond tricks, but only missing 15 points and as I had opened, he righly played me for QD and down he went.  Should he have bid 5C? No, 3NT is a great bid, if partner has just 3 small clubs and not a point in her hand, there can be 9 tricks off the top on a heart lead. Why gamble on 5C where partner must have some good points in diamonds (and not in spades).  Three E/W are playing in 4 or 5S, don't know how you bid like that but they were suitably penalised with a double.

Here we got another good score against Alistair & Eileen, but this time probably not for doing the right thing. After 1H, 1S, 1NT, I passed.  Probably 2S is the better bid ensuring some tricks from my hand which might not materialise in NT.  Anyway, despite the bidding Eileen led a small heart giving away a cheap trick and with the QJ of spades falling that was 9 tricks for 150, better than the 140 for 2S.

On this board against Ronnie and Elizabeth I ended up in 5C (don't ask).  Elizabeth led a small trump and this gave me only one real chance that I could see, set up diamonds. I won QC and led a diamond to the King and returned TD to Ronnie's Ace.  Ronnie cashed AS and played a heart, I tried the Queen but no luck and Elizabeth returned a heart to the Ace. I ruffed a diamond to set up dummy's suit and now if clubs were 2-2 I was home, Ace of clubs and no luck, got what I deserved, 2 down for -200 and a bottom.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Thursday 9 february

Managed to come first N/S with 59% however, did not get get off to an auspicious start against Jim & Nigel.
Adrianne put herself into 6S after I had opened 1NT and broken the spade transfer. This looks not a bad contract, just find one of the two black kings. Nigel led a heart to J, Q and ruff, Adrianne crossed to AD and took the losing spade finesse. Another heart would have killed the contract, but Nigel switched to JD taken by King and Adrianne cleared the trumps. She now played a third diamond and with everyone following, this gives her a second choice rather than a club finesse. She discards a club on 4th diamond, cashes AC and notes Nigel's Ten.  However, having been very slow to bid and explain and also slow in play, feeling under pressure she followed with QC.  Jim had done well to discard hearts rather than two clubs and so won the last trick with the 9C.

Got a good score back though on the 3rd board. Nigel opened 1S, I bid 2D, Adrianne bids 4D and this is passed out. Jim led a heart which I ran to the Queen, cashed 2 rounds of diamonds. So I lose 2 spades and 1 club for a plus score when 4H makes E/W (you can't get a club ruff AND 2 diamond tricks). Would we have bid 5D over 4H, of course we would.
This was a tricky 4S against Sandy and Ralph made easier for me after a diamond lead. I opened the North hand preferring 5431 shape to 4441 and we are soon in 4S with Ralph leading a small diamond to Q, K and Ace. All I have to do now is lose 3 spades without losing a heart. So at trick 2 I led a small spade which Ralph takes perforce and he plays a club.  Another spae from dummy to Jack which I duck.  Sandy plays another club and I lead another spade taken by Sandy with the King. Another club won in hand, I draw last trump and claim with two hearts going on the diamonds. Everyone makes 10 but can't be easy on say a club lead.

Played this in 4H against Sheila and Elizabeth.  Half made it, half didn't. We got there after 1NT and Stayman. Sheila led JD to K and A but Elizabeth returned a small diamond won by my 6. I led QH, not covered, so went up with the Ace and led a heart back to 10 and King. Sheila now led 9S to J, Q and K. I drew last trump, finessed 8S, gave up a diamond and threw a club from dummy on 10D. So I made 3 spades, 3 hearts and a club ruff, 2 diamonds and AC. What happens after AQ diamonds and a ruff? Sheila will exit with a spade and like most of us will always play the 9, so I will make the rest of the tricks via a forced heart finesse and the same finesse of the 8S. The defence in this hand would spell out the difference between good players and we lesser mortals.  Any exit except 9S, including a small club, defeats the contract, why not exit with a heart?, you know your King's dead, but we never do.

Adrianne got a great score in 3NT against Bob and Ian, everyone else is in 4S one off.  I opened 1S, Ian bid 3C and Adrianne bid 3NT passed out. Bob righly eschewed the club lead and tried a small diamond which Adrianne ran to the 10 and played a second diamond to the Queen. The heart finesse follows and Bob returns a heart to dummy. Now comes the 5 spades, a heart to hand, a 10C to Ian and AQ clubs for the last two tricks and 660.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Monday 6 February

Bad night, managed to come 3rd bottom, though we had chances for a decent score we failed to capitalise.
Got a poor score on this board against Paul Maiolani and Ronald Gaffin. Adrianne opened 1S, Ronald bid 2S and I bid 4S. Paul does brilliantly to find a 4NT bid, Ronald bids 5D and I hesitate before finally passing.  Really stupid as I am always passing here and I had a little time to realise that as soon as Paul bids 4NT.  Anyway Adrianne passes this out, though would prefer to bid 5S but didn't feel it was clear enough after I paused. 5D is unbeatable, all those clubs give 4 heart discards for -600. Most people are in 4S 1 off.

Played this against Martin Diamond and Alec Cram. Our bidding, without interference, went
      2H - 2S - 3D - 4C - 4S
  Alec led a diamond which I took with the Ace. Now I reckoned if I play club to the Ace, ruff a club, ruff a red card, ruff a club, ruff a red card.  I am down to 4 spades and leading KS to their Ace and being made to ruff again leaves me with QT while they have 3 trumps and KC could be still outstanding.  I reckoned a club finesse is a better shot.  If it loses I am hoping they play trumps to ensure I only have 1 loser and I can afford to lose another club.  If they come back a red card I can ruff, ruff a club and with the suit now set up should be safe to lose 2 trumps and make it.  So finesse a club I did.  Oops, not right with a singleton King.  Lots of people made 4S so presumably played a club to Ace, but I'm still sure the finesse is better. That's bridge.

Made a couple of silly errors here and there and all in all, not our night.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Thursday 2 Feb

Managed to come first N/S, but with a meagre 56%. Should have been a much higher score but I managed a few calamities.

Board 1 was a good score where we reach 4H after I open and rebid hearts. I made 11, one pair made 12 but everyone else 10 tricks. It is one of those hands that makes MPs so interesting but frustrating. Against Sheila and Elizabeth, Sheila led a club and Elizabeth switched to 6H. So what is the best line? Go up with AH, ruff a club, AK of diamonds, throwing your other club and, after the club, just lose 1 spade and hopefully 1 heart for 10 tricks. Unfortunately, it is possible to make 11 or even 12 by finessing this heart and bringing in the diamonds, but how to play diamonds? Anyway I finessed QH and decided on the diamond finesse being best, that lets me take the second heart finesse and guarantee 11, 12 if diamonds break. However the QD won, but I make the rest.

Ian and John managed to bid and make 6H on this board.  Adrianne was the only other player to make 12 tricks so we still got a good score. Adrianne opened a weak 2H, but I would never do that with this hand, two outside Aces is not what weak twos are about. Still, you would do very well to get to 6H even opposite a 1H opener and the slam depends on the trump finesse on a spade or diamond lead. How the rest failed to make 12, I have no idea.

Had a complete disaster against Izzy and Gerry.  I opened 2H passed round to Izzy who bid 2S.  Gerry now bids 2NT?!? Izzy now bids 4S.  I lead AH to the 2, 5 and 4. Adrianne showing normal count. Now who is going to be singleton here? Well I get it wrong of course, but what to switch to? Well the diamond still defeats this silly contract, so of course I play a club.  10 tricks made. Nobody else of course is bidding 4S, just 1 down is a top instead of a bottom.
Still, got my own back on the next board.  Adrianne opened 1NT and 3NT looked a good punt from my point of view. A heart lead will defeat this, but Izzy leads a club.  Adrianne plays diamond to gerry's Jack and another club to Adrianne's Ace. Another diamond to Gerry's King and a third club. Adrianne, not seeing through the cards, sensibly lets a diamond go and finesses JS, but no matter she has 9 tricks. Nobody else in game.
However, Izzy and Gerry aren't through with us yet. Izzy opens 1S and Gerry bids 2C?!?! (they play 5 card majors). Adrianne comes in 3H (I prefer 4H with this sort of hand, 3NT another possibility, but should be 6-6). Anyway Izzy has a magnificent 12 count so bids 3NT?!?  I pass, confident this will be well off and Gerry now bids 4S. This comes round to me and I go into a huddle. Why didn't Gerry give a limit raise the first time, has he a delayed game raise? Izzy must be at least 14. Has Adrianne just got 8 hearts, spade void, nothing else. Do I bid 5H, can I still beat 4S? What did I do?  PASS!!! Really stupid, I think the obvious bid is 5H.  Adrianne should have nothing, but we still make 10 tricks, possibly 11.  I can't believe I passed.  Anyway we put this 4 off undoubled and of course we make 12 in hearts!

Here is a very simple way to get a top. Against Ronnie and Elizabeth, Elizabeth opens 1D, passed round to me and I bid 1NT.  Elizabeth doubles, Adrianne bids 2C Stayman, Ronnie 2D and I bid 2S passed out.  Nothing in the play, 8 tricks is straightforward after my long club was set up following the obvious AKQ of clubs lead. Everyone else defended 1or 2 diamonds. 3D should never make due to lack of dummy entries.
Finally, another real stupidity by me against Bob and Ian who easily won E/W. Bob opened 1H, I doubled, Ian bid 2H, Adrianne 3C and Bob 3H. Now everyone has bid perfectly, why should I? So, feeling this is more our contract, I though a match point double might be in order.  As I covered Bob's QH, no guess was required and 10 tricks made.  That however is not the worst of it, we were last to play the hand and when the results came up on the Bridgemates everyone else had beeen in 4H. How to turn a top into a bottom, I'm becoming expert at it.