Thursday, 29 March 2012

Wednesday 28 March

Playing N/S with Gerry in the NIBU Sim Pairs scored just above average with 52.5%. They were a difficult set of hands but we had some misfortunes.

On this board against Gloria and Louise our bidding went (without interference):
1S - 3D* - 3NT - passed out.  3D being a raise to 3S.

With my 4333 I thought it sensible to show this on the way and sure enough Gerry with 4333 did the sensible thing and left it in 3NT.
After a heart lead, losing spade finesse I had the obvious 9 tricks exactly.  Unfortunately West can never find a club lead and is unlikely to switch to KC, so 4S can make by the only possible route of elimination and Ace and another club to get a ruff and discard. I prefer 3NT.

Complete bottom here against Nat and Paul.
Gerry opened 3C and I just punted 5C immediately. There will certainly be 11 tricks though if West holds QJ whatever in spades it could just as easily be down on the lead. However Nat bids 5H and it when comes round to me I double.
Gerry leads KC, ruffed, Nat gives me my diamond and a club is returned.  Nat now cross ruffs the minors ending in hand, pulls the missing trumps and leads Ace and another spade. Just like board 9 Gerry is now end played for a ruff and discard and so Nat makes.
Now you would think that a similar contract is played elsewhere and you would be right, however the other 5 pairs in 5H all went 1 off. Just our luck to be against someone who knows what they are doing!

Did manage to get this hand right, against Cathy and Joan who had just bid and made a slam missing a cashing Ace/King where Gerry has to find the lead from KJx.
With no interference our bidding went:
1D - 1S - 2C - 3S - 3NT - 4C - 4S
After the two minors by Gerry I didn't think NT was a good idea, but still he might be AQx in hearts with a singleton spade.  However I still thought 5C would be better as he is just as likely Axx in hearts. Luckily he has a doubleton spade.  Cathy and Joan still made it difficult for me, Joan leading 9D. To make this I need to set up diamonds early so I ignore possibility of singleon and play the Queen.  Cathy wins but unfortunately return a diamond. This sets up the whole suit but takes away my entry to dummy.  I draw trump and am stuck with what to discard on the 4th spade. I eventually came down to KT of clubs, lead a club to the ten and was home. Still, very lucky.

Got a poor score on this board, mainly because of the opening bid.  Against Victor and Willie, West opens 1C, round to Gerry who doubles.  I bid 2S and Gerry bids 3NT.  And why not. No need for 5 spades in my hand and expecting about 9 points where are they? Surely some in hearts.
Anyway Willie led a diamond and Gerry quickly cashed 9 tricks. Of cours other pairs have no problems finding 4S.
Why can't defenders find their 10 card fits?

Made a bad mistake here, not sure whose fault it is.  Against Ileen and Christine, Ileen opens 1D and the bidding goes:
1D  -  x  -  2D  -  2S
3C  - 3S - 4D - passed out.
We have our obvious 3 tricks and Ileen manages to ruff her clubs high for contarct made.  You do have to finesse a trump to make 4S, but even 1 down is better.
Only one N/S found 4S and made it, but at least the rest (bar one) managed a plus score.
Still not sure if even anyone is to blame?

FInally against Jim and Jim a simple enough hand, but couldn't possibly find our way to game.
Jim McMahon opens 1NT and playing Astro I bid 2D, Gerry bids 2H and I pass.
Gerry sets up spades to make 11 tricks.
Half the field played in 4H.  I don't think we can do any better with Astro.  Playing 2C for both majors would probably get 3H from Gerry and so we can be in game.  If West plays strong NT, 1D is opened, do you double or bid 1S as North? Experience tells me 1S is better but here it is likely to be passed out and only a take out double offers the chance of 4H.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monday 26 Maarch

Managed to come first N/S in our section with a small negative score when the hands were against us.

This was a difficult one to bid.  West opened 1D so I bid 2D, Adrianne bid 2H, I bid 3D and Adrianne bid 4H.
Surely we'll be safe at the 5 level now, should I bid 4NT?  I finally decided not, Adrianne could have cue bid and 5H isn't 100% certain.
Anyway QD lead taken by Ace and obviously from the bidding Adrianne knows where AS and KC are.  In fact she sets about the ruffing finesse in clubs first.  However there's no avoiding a trump and spade loser.
That would have been unlucky if I had bid on and ended in 6H.  Across the field, one person was in 6H, but two people were in 6S, not a great contract.

Not a big hand, but out of 16 tables Adrianne was the only person to make 1NT (a few N/S got to defend 2S which had no chance).
Adrianne received 7S lead and the KC was returned which Adrianne took. AD, JD ducked, followed by 2 clubs and 2 hearts for the defence, leaving Adrianne with 7 tricks.

A few N/S weren't in 1NT, but that is strange bidding.  Playing a strong NT you open 1H, West might or might not bid 1S, North can now bid 1NT or double or pass.  If the latter two, South rebids 1NT, unless East has in which case pass.

This was a great score for us because of Adrianne's lead.  In our section everyone led a club against 3NT.  It was a bit more mixed in the other section but only one heart lead.  Adrianne had no problem leading 5H and we cashed the first 5 tricks. I should have mentioned East bid spades!
However even after 1NT and eventually 3NT a club lead isn't that attractive, a major lead often works out better and struck gold here.

Not so lucky here but this was one of those strange hands that you just cannot make.
Only 3 pairs bid game and one actually made it on a 7S lead, though I still don't see how.
Still with a combined 26 count, with 5 quick tricks in the South hand, 13 pairs can't find game.  Lucky them.
Against us East opened 1D, Adrianne doubled and over my 1H bid 1NT which I raised to 3N.
A diamond was duly led, Adrianne took the third round and managed to set up a long heart by giving up 2 for 1 off.
Can't do any better.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Wednesday 21 March

Playing N/S with Len we managed to come first our way with 58%

Got off to a good start against Alan & Myra. On the third board I opened 1NT 3rd in hand and this was passed out.  Alan led a heart to the Jack and King. I immediately played JD taken by the Ace.  Myra returned a small spade on which I played small and it was won by Alan's King.  Alan returned a spade to Ten and Jack. I now finessed 9H and led a club to Ten and King.  Alan can only make another club now to give me 9 tricks and a top.

Commiserations to those who open 1NT on the North hand, QC lead and heart switch after 5 club tricks will guarantee 2 down. Against Colin & Helen I open 1S and soon end up in 4S.
Colin leads QC, now it is clear I can make this contract if I can set up diamonds before AH is knocked out.  If I cover QC, after AC and back to the Jack, Colin will never play a diamond if he has the King.  He might play a trump or even a third club, but could easily find a heart.  If I don't cover the QC, now Helen wins the 2nd club, if she has KH I don't think she will ever play a heart, hopefully she doesn't have KQ. Anyway, I duck the club, Helen wins the second club and in fact plays a diamond.  So now my diamonds are set up for heart discard. Two defenders defeated 4S so well done for finding the heart.

Against Bobby and Ian I opened my hand 2NT counting my heart suit as worth another point.
Len tries 5 card Stayman so we can find 4H or if I have 5 spaddes, bid a more confiddent 3NT.  However my 3D disappoints and Len decides on 5D.
I got a trump lead, drew the second trump and obviously finessed the heart. Bobby won the King and returneed a club which I took with the Ace.  I then cashed out the hearts, throwing QS from dummy, crossed with a spadde ruff and finessed JC for 12 tricks and a poor score.  Many in 3NT.  On a spade lead you can cash 10 tricks to beat 5D. On eis in 4H which is a good contract.  One is in 6NT and has the cheek to make it. They got a small spadde lead. How they reckoned a club finesse (which needs 3 -3 clubs to give 12 tricks) is better than heart finesse which is a simple 50-50, only they will know.

On the next board Bobby opened 1S as West and I doubled.  Ian bid 3S and Len doubled round to me.  We have no agreement and mostly doubles are just 'values'.  OK he will have 4 spades, but can I offer defence here?  My hand says bid diamonds, so 4D it was.  Len actually meant it as penalty.
Ian lead a spade to J, K and ruff.  heart ruffs are unlikely, so I crossed to AD and finessed JH to the Queen.  Ian has a difficcult play now.  Are my hearts KJ, if so he needn't return a diamond now.  Anyway a dimaond must help me, so he plays another spade to reduce my trumps.  I ruff, cash AH and heart ruff, go over to AC and ruff another spade, so my losing heart actually gets ruffed.  I lost a heart, 2 clubs and a diamond for 1 off. Not nearly as good as the 300 we would have got if I had passed.

Felt sorry for Mary & Moura on this hand.  Mary opens 1NT, Len doubles and it is left in. I worried about passing red against green, difficcult to get 800 when you are making 600, but there is nothing sensible for me to do.  ANyway, little did I know.
Len led TH, ducked, small heart to J then AH.  I now played TS to K and A.  Len cashed 4th heart and returned JS, I cashed out the spades and everyone has 4 cards left. Len his 3 diamonds and singleton AC, Mary AQ diamonds and K10 clubs. I played JD to Q and K, Len returns diamond to Ace and Mary has to then play a club to give Len last two tricks. 6 down for 1400. Next time Mary bid 2D!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Monday 12 March

Came 3rd E/W with a Butler score of 36.

This was an interesting board we played against John and Jennifer Glen. When you are dealt this East hand you know the bidding will be lively.  I decided on opening 1D and unless my partner looks to have good values, rebid 5C.
So our bidding went:
1D  -  1S  -   P  -  3S
5C  -   x   -  5D -  P
 P   -   x
With just one sure defensive trick I think John is bidding his partner's values with the doubles. After AH trumped and 3 rounds of diamonds, I gave up KC and claimed 11 for 550.
About half the field are in 6C our way, a number of N/S got to play 4S (!?!), but we would always get a top score here because if N/S go to 5S I would double. Adrianne is almost certain to lead a heart now as we have these 'Lightner' understandings (if she leads TD I let it hold if not covered). So 5Sx would have been 2 off for 500.

A swingy board here against Bill & Liz. Adrianne opened 1S, Bill overcalls 2H, 2S from me.  Liz bids 4H and Adrianne completes the biddding with 4S.
After AH, heart ruffed Adrianne drew 3 rounds of trumps, Liz signalling for a diamond. AC therefore should be with North, but where is the Jack?
After some though Addrianne decides small club to the Queen and back to the Ten, unlucky.  We scored 0 on the board but some E/W made 4S and some N/S made 5H (you need a club lead or switch to beat that).
So the scores ranged from +12 to -14.

Against Izzy & Gerry our bidding went:
  P  -  1S  -  1N  -  2S
  P  - 3D  -   P   -  4D
and Gerry bid 4S.  Wish I just bid 3N right away, 1 off.
Anyway I led AC and Adrianne showed an odd number.  Now Gerry must have Kxx of diamonds for long suit trial bid, but does he have a 4th? Also he'll have the top hearts so probably a singleton club. How to get 4 tricks? I decided against Adrianne having a singleton diamond and decided to play her for 3 spades to the Jack and hope Gerry misplays.  So at trick 2 I played KC for a ruff and discard. Gerry played a heart to hand and led a small spade taken by my King.  Another club but no good, Gerry can ruff in hand and draw trumps. Knock out AD and claim 10 tricks.  Thankfully Adrianne had a doubleton diamond or I would have looked extremely silly.

Missed a game here against Elizabeth and Sheila. I opened 1NT and that was passsed out.  That is our system, I can't rebid spades and with no intermediates I am not rebidding a strong NT. With that diamond suit Adrianne could have stretched to a raise to 2NT, but it is a push.
14-16 NT probably go straight there. Others will go 1S - 2D - 2S - 2N - 3N.
Of course on an obvious club lead when est plays it, if AS is with South then 3N never makes.

A tricky one against Len & Cliff.  After 2 passes Adrianne opens 1H, Len bids 3D (strong(ish)). Cliff tries 3S, Adrianne bids 4H and Len bids 5D passed out.
I certainly can't see to double and neither can Adrianne
Losing 2 diamonds a club and a heart, Len went 2 down, a good save.
Actually Adrianne should open 4C as we play SA Texas, Len will still bid 4D, I'll bid 4H, what happens next is anyone's guess, but 5D undoubled is likely!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Thursday 8 March

Playing N/S in a small tournament came in the middle with 51%. Got off to  great start though against Sheila and Elizabeth.

We were all very competitive on board 1. Our bidding went

1H  -  2D  -  2H  -  3D
  x   -    P  -  3H  -   P
 P   -   4D -    P  -   P

My first double is a game try in hearts.  I still thought of bidding 4H rather than double, but Adrianne is looking at her (supposed) singleton or void diamond and has twice declined to bid 4H. Still I hoped I could garner 4 tricks in my own hand or Adrianne can contribute a club trick so doubled the final contract.
Adrianne led TH which immediately gave me a problem.  I decided I had better take the Ace as surely singleton King is most likely.  Bad start, I switched to the obvious KS taken by Ace. Sheila finesses a diamond, cashes KH and leads a club.  Adrianne goes up with Ace (not best, but I could have been doubleton KQ of spades then it is essential). Adrianne exits with a spade, ruffed.  With good clubs now Elizabeth just cashes AD and plays clubs.  I get my 2 diamonds to go with the heart and club for 1 off.  Both bidding two high and a good illustration that length of combined trumps is most important in these competitive auctions.

Adrianne was one of only two to bid 6S here due to our good understanding of our bidding. Playing Benji it went (without interference):

2C - 3D - 3S - 3N - 6S

We bid 2D 'relay' with quite good hands.  I would only jump to 3D with either a very good diamond suit (as well as other things) or very good controls.
Holding AK of diamonds Adrianne read this well.  I can just bid a simple 3N to say I'm no help in spades, but Adrianne doesn't need any and is fairly certain I'm AK and A in hearts and clubs. There's nothing in the play.

Defended well against Ian Swan and Robert Aitken on this board. Our bidding went:

P   -  P   -  1S  - P
P  -  1N -  2D - 2H
P  -   P   - 2S  -  P
P  -  3H -  passed out

Adrianne led TS to J and K.  I didn't want to give her a ruff as she probably has four hearts, the only way into her hand for a second spade is diamonds, so I tried 3D at trick 2, taken by Q (Adrianne gives her count). A club to King and Ace follows (I now have an exact count of the hand) and I played JD to the Ace.  Now a heart to Q and A. Now the gamble, I played a small diamond and Adrianne wins the Ten.  A spade follows and we end with 3 spades, a diamond, a club and 2 hearts for 3 off.

Still against Robert and Ian I got very lucky here. After pass, pass I opened 3S, West bid 4H and Adrianne judges really well deciding on 4S rather than defending.
Ace then King of hearts are cashed followed by JD. East looked at this for a while then rose with AD and switched to a club.  Thank you. AC, 4 rounds of spades and pick up QD for an undeserved top.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Monday 5 March

Playing N/S in an aggregate tournament came first with a big score of 6170.  The hands were all N/S even when we didn't have a lot of points we had great distributional hands.  We didn't do anything brilliant, just bid our games.  Only on one hand when we managed to stay out of a slam did we get a good score compared to everyone else.

On this hand against Sylvia and Louise (who were first E/W), Adrianne passed, Sylvia opened 1H and I just bid 4S, passed out. After KH, AH ruffed high I cashed AS then KD.  Now I'm not sure what is best here, the odds will be slightly above 50% for the finesse of JD as West has opened the bidding, that way you can cash another spade as you only need one ruff.  However I preferred to play a diamond to the Ace and ruff a diamond.  Ruffed a heart back high and played my 4th diamond hoping the hand with 3 diamonds didn't have 9S.  Lucky for me that worked.

This was typical of the hands for N/S, you couldn't go wrong whatever you bid.  Even 6D on this one, not that we were going there.
Against Alistair and Bob, Bob opened 1H and I decided 1NT was a better shot at game than 2D. Adrianne transferred to spades and then bid 3NT which was passed out.
Alistair led JH and there was nothing in the play.  I went up with AH and tried diamonds to find I had 12 tricks by giving up a heart.

On the next board there is another slam which we don't bid. I open 1H, Adrianne bids 1S, I bid 3H and Adrianne after some thought settles for game in 4H. 
Alistair leads a diamond, I take the Ace, draw trumps in 3 rounds and play on spades.  When the Ace is taken early I can claim 12 tricks.
However on that diamond lead you don't make 12 unless you finesse JD and throw two clubs immediately on AK diamonds, because all East has to do is hold up the AS until the third round and you can't get into dummy.
In 6H on a club lead you are forced into the diamond finesse. So not a good slam to be in.

Another typical hand for N/S, just 23 points but 5 of a minor stiff. Nobody was in 5 of a major E/W which is a good save.  Against Joe and Sheila Fell our bidding went ( I think):

P  -  1C  -  1S  -  2D  -  3S  -  5D

Nothing in the play again, easy 11 tricks, 12 if a spade isn't cashed.

Again typical of how N/S could do no wrong was this hand against Phoebe and Robina.

I bid 1NT which was passed out.  Robina led 6H, which was easy to deal with using the rule of 11! In dummy I led 5C at trick two to my Jack. The suit looked 3-3 so I led back a small club.. Phoebe just returns a heart (it doesnt matter), after Queen , King and Ace I cashed two clubs throwing a diamond, led towards my TH, Robina taking Jack and after AS I had 10 tricks.
I suppose playing 14-16 NT we would have been in game.  However on the next board E/W had 24 points, played in 1NT and just scraped home with 7 tricks.

Yet another game for N/S with limited values, but after 1H - 1S - 2H - 2S, we are just in a part score like most other people (two who bid 4S went down).
Anyway, AK and another club ruffed followed by a diamond to the Ace. I cashed AK hearts throwing my winning club because if East wins the next spade she can give her partner another club ruff. 
So I now finesse TS, back to KD, finesse again in spades and claim 10 tricks.

Finally our one good scorre compared toeveryone else.  I'm still not sure I did the right thing, but it worked.
Our bidding went:

1NT - 2D - 2H - 3D - 3H - 4C - 4D - 4N - 5H - P

So I transferred, 3D is a suit, 3H is a complete minimum but 3 hearts. Even with a doubleton in another suit and 12 points Adrianne would probably bid 4H, so I am now uncertain.  4C is RKC and 4N for Kings. So 32 points, 5-3 fit but no ruff in dummy and missing an Ace and a King.  I decided to passs knowing everyone else is going to bid 6, but there could be an AK off the top.  If not she needs the Jacks to go with suits where the Ace and the King ae missing. I decided it was definitely lesss than 50% and passed 5H. Great score, sorry Len and Cliff.