Thursday, 31 May 2012

Wednesday 30 May

Playing N/S with Gerry had a very poor first half but recovered to just score 51%. Though I did my best to even thwart that score.

Not a good start on our first board against Willie and Issy.  I opened 1C, Willie bid 1H and Gerry 1S.  Round to me and I tried 2H, Gerry expecting a half stop from me bid 2N and I raised to 3.  Issy led a heart and Willie had no problem taking the first 6 tricks. I still prefer my 2H to 3C a doubleton Jack in Issy's hand or doubleton King from my partner makes game, you'll never find it if you bid 3C.
Two pairs made 3N, their leads were 7H and 8H, presumably East in both cases put in the Jack.  From these leads I presume East bid hearts, this is where it is helpful to lead smallest from any 3 of your partenr's suit as MUD is the same lead as a doubleton.

We had no problem finding slam against Helen and Colin.  Gerry opened 1H as South, I bid 1S, Gerry 2H and 4C splinter from me, Gerry cues 4D and I bid 6H. A club wasn't led so 13 tricks and a great score.  Only 4 out of 13 in slam obviously not many South's opened, yet re-arrange South's hearts to KQ632 and everyone would open.  If you open that 12 count, you should open this especially with the other 2 tens.
Anyway let's say South passes, the bidding should go:
1S - 2H - 4C - 4D - 6H
If South does have wasted values in clubs you will be on a finesse. A better way is to bid 4S over 4D and then South has a clear 6H.

Another of our few good early boards brought about by more than usual circumspect bidding on my part. Against the Glens, John opened 1C and I overcalled 1S.  I won't double with 5-3 in the majors unless I am strong and have a very good suit intending to bid it next.  In fact to double and then bid a new suit I should have 6. So I was left with the overcall.  This came back to John who decided to pass.
Jennifer led a club, the 3 in fact. John took Ace and King, Jennifer followed with the 10.  John now played the Jack, I thought that was strange, but I KNOW Jennifer is not doubleton so ruffed with the 3.  Over-ruffing Jennifer now plays a small heart to Ten and Queen.  Surely Jennifer has AH and so John must have KS, but rather than overtake a diamond to finesse trumps, I decided to knock out AH first.  Jennifer took her Ace, gave John a ruff but in fact I have the rest whatever comes back for 8 tricks. Most N/S were too high.

A bottom and a top here against Victor and Brian. On the first board Gerry opens a multi as South, Brian doubles. I presume Brian has something in both majors so am even more certain that Gerry's suit is spades.  However I could have bid 3D but didn't, I just passed.  Victor has a difficult bid now.  You want to be in 3NT, but only have a 3C bid available (good to play Lebensohl here) and as that is 'forced' is liable to be passed.  So he made the practical bid of 4C and Brian had no problem bidding 5.  Gerry led JH to Q and Ace.  I cashed AD and returned TH.  However after rawing trumps Victor has a simple double spade finesse to obtain a heart discard and 11 tricks.  5Dx is 1 off, I should have bid, maybe even 4D, stupid to pass.

Got back the score here by being the only pair making game and it wasn't 5D!  Our bidding went:
1S -  x - 3S - P
 P  - 4D - P - 4H
Well Gerry reckoned we are at the 4 level anyway and the Moysian might make 10.
Brian gives us an easy start by playing AD then switches to AS.  Gerry ruffs and leads JH (small to Queen and possible King would let them force you to ruff with JH and possibly lose control), Victor ducks.  AH follows and now Gerry plays diamonds, Brian ruffs the 3rd round.  Plays another spade, ruffed in dummy and more diamonds but Victor is snookered, he can take the King whenever he wishes, Gerry has scored a brilliant 10 tricks.
Got a bottom against Moira and Mary on this board as Moira played the hand double dummy for 12 tricks.
Gerry opened South a multi, Moira overcalled 3S and Mary raised to game.
I led KC, ruffed.  Foregoing heart ruffs, Moira crossed to KS and finesse TD, cashed AS, cashed AD and can overtake JD to get two heart discards for 12 tricks. Of course the contract can go down on this line if KD doesn't fall, c'est la vie.

I showed shocking lack of judgement against Alan and Myra on this board.  Gerry opened 1N, Myra overcalled 2S which I was told could be two suited or single suited.  I don't like doubling two suited hands with a 10 count, but with a good suit I don't want to pass either. I couldn't resist and bid 3H via Lebensohl.
Well it was not pretty but at least Alan made sure we stayed in hearts by not doubling. (2N is actually a good escape).
I scrambled 6 tricks for -150.  Spades of course has no chance and will easily go 2 off.
Our only strong opener is 2C and this doesn't quite scrape that, but I really like this hand and am loathe to see 1S passed out.  So, I opened 2C.  Gerry bids 2D (4-7 points), I bid 2S and Gerry 3C.
Well really 4S is the sensible bid, but I love my hand so much now and it would be so annoying not to take advantage of such a propitious bid.  Gerry must have 5 clubs and could be KQ to introduce this suit, maybe 6 clubs to QJ. 
What the hell, I bid 6C.  AK hearts, ruff the King, AK of clubs, claim 12.  Sorry Irene and Phyllis.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Monday 28 May

Came 1st with Adrianne with a Butler score of 58.

Missed a game on our very first board against Charles and Vi though of the 3 pairs who bid 4H, only 1 made it.
I forewent a weak 2S a) not having enough and b) having 4 hearts.  So Adrianne opened South 1C and I bid 1S, Adrianne rebid 1NT.  Now we don't play checkback so with 4 clubs and 4 hearts Adrianne opens 1H.  I therefore just bid 2S rather than try 2H (prefer 6 - 1 spade fit to 4 - 3 heart fit) and this was passed out.
Now 10 tricks in spades is quite straightforward however Charles led 8H which I won in hand, spade to K and Vi ducks the Ace.  Now I have to play Ace and another club ruffed, TS to Charles' Jack and a club comes back ruffed.  Another spade to Vi's Ace and another club ruffed with my last trump. I can't risk my contract now by playing a diamond to the King so just cash my hearts in dummy for 9 tricks.  If Vi takes Ace of spades I will have a trump left and can try the diamond for 10 tricks.  Great defence as usual but then I could have won that first heart in dummy.

Less than half the field bid slam here, though perhaps we had an easier ride.  Against Clifford and Len our bidding went:
1C -  P  - 1D - 1S
2H - 2S - 3C -  P
Playing 1430 there is no point in RKC so I just bid 6C.
Great bid by Len coming in 1S, Clifford could make it harder for us and at least bid 3S, but Adrianne will still have a 4C bid.
Anyway, nothing to the play.  Spade lead won in dummy, clubs break and I claim12 by ruffing 2 hearts and conceding a diamond.

On the next board I am in the obvious 4S and Clifford leads a heart. Contemplating a club ruff for 11 I suddenly wake up and remember this is Butler scoring and I have just been presented with what looks a certain 10 tricks --- so take them!
So winning 10H in hand I play KQ of trumps discovering the break.  So I ignore a club ruff, finesse the spade and just claim 10.
Good score as half the field went 1 off in 4S.  Note that on a non-heart lead you need to ruff two clubs to make 10 ( 4 spades, AK hearts, AK clubs and two ruffs)

 Missed a game against Marilyn and Steve Bailey when Adrianne opened 3S as South.
I would certainly like to punt 4S but everything mitigates against that. Any 'normal' hand with 7 to the KQ can't make game as best likely distribution would be a singleton diamond, but there are still 4 losers unless she has KC onside.  With 7 spades to AK there is no chance of an outside King.  Now a singleton diamond would make game but I feel this is remote, a heart singleton more likely.
The majority bid 4S, what do I know, wrong again.
Oh, and guess what lead we got, yes a heart, so even a singleton heart would still have made game with maybe 2 quick diamond discards.

Only 4 pairs managed to bid and make 4S on this board.  Against Alan and Derek without interference we bid 1H - 1S - 3S - 4S
Alan led 3S which I took in dummy.  Now with KD onside and diamonds 3-3 there is an easy way to make if you play on that suit. I'm not that big an optimist and saw 2 heart ruffs as a way forward.  So I led a heart to Q and Ace, Alan returned a heart to King and I ruffed a heart low.  Over to AD and ruff a heart with Jack, Derek shedding a club.  So I have 8 tricks via a heart a diamond 4 spades and 2 ruffs. I have to try a club now and successfully played to the King.  I exit with JC, covered by Derek's Queen but Alan overtakes with Ace and plays 10S to my last trump the King.  I ruffed a club, drew last trump and played a diamond, making 10 when the King was onside. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Wednesday 23 May

Came second playing N/S though with a not very high 56%.  However as we had less than 25% after the first 6 boards, that wasn't bad.

All sorts of things could and did occur on this board.  Against Jennifer and John Glen.  I opened a multi 2D, Gerry bid 2H and John came in with 2S.  This was passed round to Gerry who bid 3C.  Jennifer really has a 3S bid now -- but that would have been a big top for us down 2 doubled.  She did well to pass.
Anyway KS lead ruffed in dummy.  AH to throw the diamond loser, diamond to Ace, spade ruff , KH to throw a spade. Gerry now ruffs a diamond and plays a high club.  When John gets in with the queen however he exits with QS giving Gerry AT and 11 tricks just losing 2 clubs.

 A joint top with Michelle and Mike Alexander on this board against Helen and Colin.  Four pairs bid the granny but we were the only two in 7NT.
Our bidding went unopposed:
1H - 2C - 2H - 4N - 5H - 5N
Now if Gerry thinks we can make 7 I certainly have a better hand than I've shown.  I have the 6th heart and no worries about breaks, I have club support and a void.  However the 5N asks me to bid 6C or 6D if I have that King, but I don't want to sign off in 6H, so I ventured 6D.  Gerry now bids 7NT.  I cringed, wished I'd bid 7C over the 5N but no matter, there are 14 top tricks.  I didn't ask Gerry what he would have done if I'd bid 6H.  Should probably have gone with first inkling and bid 7C.

Another slam, 5 pairs bid it, but two went off. Against Ronnie and Elizabeth I opened 1S, doesn't cross my mind that this could be a weak 2.  This is a solid 6 loser opener. Anyway Gerry bid 2C, I bid 2H and Gerry 3D. Should I bid 3S or confirm the diamond guard? My hand says 3S but partner asked a question, so I answered 3NT.  Gerry now bid 6S
Ronnie led Ace and another diamond  -- often the right thing to do when nobody has used Blackwood, but I am likely to have KD now. Winning KD I played club to Ace, ruffed a club, QS, AS then KC throwing a heart.  Queen didn't fall so I have to play QH, Elizabeth covers.  Winning Ace, I cross to Jack, ruff a club, over to KS and long club takes care of last heart.
Now if Ronnie leads say a trump I will have a very difficult choice of line to take. Certainly I'll decide to throw 2 diamonds on the clubs, but that still leave me with two potential heart losers unless they are 3-3.  To get the heart discard as well as two diamonds I 'll have to decide to try for QC falling in 3 round or a finesse.  I'm sure I'll play to drop the Queen because that leaves me with the chance in hearts.  I might even pressure someone to discard a heart.  So I would have gone down on that lead.
 On the very next board I avoided bidding a slam due to a mix up.
Our bidding went:
1D - 1H - 1S - 2C - 2N, long pause 3N.

Now I play the 4th suit here as just forcing to 2NT, i.e. I might just have an 11 count.  Gerry though plays it as game forcing. So, I thought his 2N was minimum, with 14 he should bid game. Gerry thinks this is a game forcing situation so 2N is stronger than 3N.
Well luckily for us the slam has no play. Although there are 11 tricks, in practice 10 is normal which is what Gerry made.  Elizabeth found a great heart lead from her singleton. Now obviously a small club gives 11 top tricks, but Gerry made the much more obvious play of crossing to AS and leading a diamond. When Ronnie wins the King he returns a heart, Gerry ducks a diamond but no luck there and makes 4 spades, 4 hearts and 2 Aces.

Finally against Victor and Brian we finished as we started with disastrous misjudgement!
Victor passes not playing Lucas and Gerry opens 1C.  Brian overcalls a spade and I bid 2H.  Victor makes the excellent bid now of 4S.  Gerry decides to double rather than bid 5C round to me and I don't know what to do.
What is Gerry doubling on?  Certainly no spade trick, no top diamonds.  Must have AK clubs, also surely has KH for opener, but I'm sure won't have 3 hearts, or am I?  I decide it will be 6H or leave the double in.  I also decide Gerry won't have 3 hearts and the suit won't break so a heart and spadde to lose.  I passed the double.  After two tricks I could count Brian's 10 tricks. I led a club, ruffed, diamond to 10 and my Ace. I cashed AH and another heart.  Setting up the Jack makes it easier to make 11 tricks, but a cross ruff and a long diamond was on for the rest of the tricks anyway.  Of course the best bid was the one I discounted, 5H, though Brian could still find a 5S bid, he might not.  Complete bottom for us.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Wednesday 16 May

Playing E/W with Gerry scored a respectable 55% with the usual ups and downs.

Against Barry and Careen after 3 passes I opened East a multi 2D and showed my 19-20, Gerry transferred to hearts and bid 3N. I thought about leaving that there, but how do you know you won't lose 5 clubs? I bid 4H.
Because of the multi, Gerry plays this as West and gets 8D lead from Barry. Gerry took the Ace, KH, ducked a heart.  Barry cashed AK of clubs and another diamond led for 1 down.
A number of people got a joint top for 3NT. Technically this only makes 8 tricks with 1 heart, 2 clubs and either 2 spades or 1 spade and a diamond for the defence. In practice however, North will never leave clubs alone before the three other defensive tricks are set up and so will give away a 9th trick. Passive defence is difficult at Pairs when you're frightened they make 10 instead of 9.

 Gerry got us an excellent score against Joyce and Vivienne playing in 2H after opening 1NT.
Joyce led 8D which was a good start when Vivienne puts on the King.  Gerry now led 4H to 3, 7 and 2. Now a spade to the King and TH, Jack, Ace and Vivienne discards.  Another spade taken by Ace. Vivienne should play a club now, but plays a diamond. Gerry cashes another diamond and the defence is stuck.  Joyce can ruff with 8H and lead a club but now Gerry can win AC, cash QS throwing a club, Play a 4th diamond and all Joyce can get are KQ hearts so 9 tricks for the loss of 1 spade and 3 hearts. Even if Vivienne had played a club, 8 tricks would still have been a great score.

Defending 4S against Adrianne and Christine we got a bottom when Adrianne made 12 tricks.
Gerry led his singleton club, Adrianne called for JC in dummy and I played low. So, in dummy, Adrianne, not worrying about ruffs tries QH, I ducked. Still in dummy Adrianne turns her attention to trumps.  I've turned up with KC (surely) and KH but clearly she things I'm the man with everything and finesses my QS.  Well that was it, just a diamond to lose.  Well played, but was I too helpful?  What if I put KC on that lead? In hand Adrianne could just as easily play AS, finesse TS. Now a diamond to Ace and diamond ruff for 10 tricks. Some went down on a club lead.  Maybe KC to Ace, immediate finesse and now AD and Barking (ruff, ruff, ruff!)

Did get our score back on the next hand. After 2 passes our bidding went : 1C - 1H - 2S - 3D, Adrianne doubled and Gerry bid 3NT.
I thought long and hard, what does partner have? Certainly only 1 diamond stop with Adrianne's double, so something like Ax or Kxx. So one diamond loser and maybe a diamond ruff in clubs in my hand. Let's given him the Ace, he still has 14 points or so elsewhere, well AKQ clubs and KQ spades would do that, so 6C is on.  Perhaps he has KH and is missing a black King, but now if he has AD, there is no diamond loser.  I just bid 6C.
Christine led a diamond to King and Ace. Gerry cashed AK clubs, the only thing that can go wrong is 4 spades to the Jack, but Gerry exited with a diamond and sure enough Adrianne won to be end played.  As it happens everythhing is fine for 12 tricks and Gerry's good play wasn't needed.

 Against the Diamonds, Derek made a good bid and Rhona a great lead which got us a poor score.  I opened 1C and Derek bid 1H,  Gerry bid 1NT. I tried 2NT (change TH to TD and I would pass at Pairs).  Just as well I bid and Gerry raised to 3N. Rhona found an excellent club lead taken by Ace Gerry immediately played TH and soon set up 4 heart tricks, Derek exiting with a club when in with KH. After the hearts Gerry plays spades and when Derek wins Ace can exit with a club and so keeps Gerry to 9 winning a trick in each suit.
The trouble is 4H makes 10 tricks, so bad score.

 An average for 10 tricks here in No Trump, but some made 11 for a good score.  Against Ronnie and Celia I opened 1C, 1D from Gerry.  Didn't think of 1H, just rebid clubs and Gerry bid 3NT.
Now Ronnie found a heart lead to Celia's Ace and quick as anything Celia returns a diamond to knock out that entry.
Gerry now does the sensible thing and ducks a club. Understandably Ronnie just plays King and another heart (remember Gerry bid 1D) and we make 10 tricks. Unfortunately there were a number of 11 tricks, but really should there be any? If Ronnie leads a spade Declarer should never cash 3 spades and depend on the clubs running.
Playing against Victor and Brian our bidding went:

1H - 2NT - 3D - 3S - 4N - 5C - 5N - 6D - 7H

2NT was a game raise in hearts, 3D a singleton, 3S I like this, here is something good in spades.
Now I could have had 3 small clubs, but Gerry is expecting something better than minimum and no wasted diamond values, so give me KQ of spades, QH and AD, I must have more for the bidding.  As it was it was extra trumps I had, but that gave me the distribution. 7H is lay down.

Another poor contract for us, but an average. Did better than everyone else in the same. The good scores were for those that avoided game.
I opened 1NT, Gerry thought about just bidding 3, but transferred to spades, then bid 3N.  With a doubleton heart I bid 4S.
Clifford led his 4S to Phillip's Jack and Ace.  This didn't look good, Clifford might have K94, but I doubted it. Anyway, even then I still have 2 spades a diamond and a heart to lose. So I played a diamond to King and Ace at trick two. Phillip took his 3 spade tricks (I discarded a heart) and exited with a heart. Now all my minors are good and I am 1 down. Unfortunately 3N is unbeatable.  South can't lead a heart without giving away a trick.  When AD is knocked out and a heart led through you have 9 tricks as both minors run.

A poor score here against Dave and Bob due to my misdefence.
Bob is playing 4H as South and Gerry leads a spade. I took the Ace (Gerry did lead the 2, so I thought there was Jxx in Bob's hand).  I fancied making declarer ruff a diamond so that I would get my Jack. I thought 10 tricks would be a good score for us compared to those who draw trump and with diamonds right will make 11.  Anyway I played AD and a small diamond.  Bob won the King and proceeded to play AK hearts, finesse a heart take my Jack, cash AQ clubs and over to a spade and winning clubs.
Where did it all go wrong? The Ace of spades of course.  If I just play low there is no clear entry to dummy and I think declarer would have taken a different line altogether. Could still make 11, but much harder.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Wednesday 9 May

Playing N/S with Gerry in the Club Pairs Championship came just above the middle with 53%. We went off in a number of games, some a little pushy but on another night they all make.

A number of people showed good judgement to stay in a part score on this board.  Against Ian & Paul unfortunately we bid an impossible game.
Gerry opened 1H and we play Bergen raises with 4 card support and 3C shows 7-9, however I pondered over that.  I hate this hand, 4333, 10 losers, Jacks are really worthless, no intermediates, I really thought about just bidding a minimum 2H but, 9 points I really couldn't, so put down 3C.  Now Gerry thought, 16 points, should go for game but flattish, doubleton Q, could settle for 3H at Pairs, but finally decided on 4H.
So despite 25 points we both reluctantly bid to game and how right we were to be hesitant. Hopeless contract, Ian led 9C so that suit shows up for just 1 loser and Gerry lost 2 trumps and a spade for -1.

Got a good score against Cathy & Joan.  After 2 passes Joan opens East 1H and I bid 3C, Cathy bids 4H and Gerry goes to 5C, doubled.
Nothing to the play, Cathy and Joan quickly cashed 3 major suit winners and played a third spade.  I gave up AC, ruffed the fourth spade high, drew last club and finessed QD for 2 down -300 against the vulnerable game.
There is an outside chance of defeating 4H, diamond lead, AQ cashed, club exit.  Now if declarer plays hearts any other way than Ace and another, South gets in to give North a ruff.

Managed to make 11 tricks against Bill & Liz in 3NT which we got to via a multi 2D opener by me.
A diamond was led, won in hand. I played a club to the 9 and finessed JH.  Now JC to QC and a second finesse.  I had 10 tricks now by exiting with a diamond, but if I can lose a second trick I can put pressure on and maybe squeeze an 11th, so I tried a small spade, confident that a diamond would come back. Sure enough Liz won the 5S and returned a diamond to Ace and Bill cleared the diamonds ( I discarded a spade).  I now cash my clubs and a complete count of the hand shows up with Liz only 2-2 in the minors.  So on the 4th club Liz has to decide to keep K10 of 1 major and singleton K of the other.  Whichever she chooses I will come down to the opposite AJ of spades AH or AS, A4H and I make the last three tricks.

Willie and Issy always seem to score well again me, usually because of something Willie does.  He did it again here, making a very good call and then playing it well for a top score.
The bidding came to me in 3rd seat, I though about opening 1S but decided, despite that pathetic diamond holding to up the ante and open a Lucas 2S.  Issy doubles, Gerry raises to 3S and Willie tries 3NT.  I led a small spade to Queen and King, Willie cashes 4 diamonds, reverse finesses the heart once for 3 heart tricks and with AC has 9 tricks for a second top (one pair made 10).
Went off on another game against Phyllis and Irene. Phyllis opened 2H as East and I bid 3D, Gerry tried 3NT.
Phyllis led a heart to the Ace and it looked like 8 tricks, but run the clubs and see what happens. So Gerry played KC and there went that idea.  Gerry now gave Phyllis her club trick and she exited with a spade, ducked, another spade taken by Ace.  Gerry runs his clubs and Irene tenaciously holds on KQ10 diamonds and lets her hearts go.  Gerry exits with a spade, Phyllis can cash KQ and has to lead diamonds, Gerry ducks KD but then makes last two tricks for a well played 1 down.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Monday 7 May

Playing N/S with Adrianne we had a below average -9 Butler score. Didn't play very well, couldn't find the right leads, didn't punt the making games.

 Played this against Barry and Lester.  There is a game here and some found it. One actually got the KC lead against 3NT!
I was just in 1NT as North and East lead a heart to the Jack and King. I didn't want to finesse a club, get a heart return then find clubs 3-1 and I can't get my clubs in dummy.  So I played a club to the Ace, then JC to Queen. Defender obliges me by playing another heart to my 8 and that was me with 11 tricks.
3NT always makes on a spade lead by ducking twice then playing Ace and Jack of clubs, but not the best of contracts, but great if you make these games at this scoring.

On the next board Barry opens 1H and Lester bids 4H.
Adrianne led 6S and that was that, the diamonds go away.  Unfortunate, it could have been two spades and two clubs to defeat the contract instead of 2 diamonds and 2 clubs.
A few managed to find the diamond lead or take insurance with 5D (1 off).  What if Lester gives a delayed game raise and bids 2C, now I could bid 2D for lead, but I will in fact bid 2NT. I presume something like this happened at some other tables, no luck for us.

Did get a good score here being in the easier slam. Against Jennifer and John our bidding went:
 P - 1C - 2D - 2H
 P - 3C -  P  - 6C
I decided to convert to 6N, Adrianne might just have Ax of clubs (expecting 6 from me) or her majors could be better but she is missing AC, I might then lose a diamond ruff
Jennifer led a diamond against my 6NT to Jack and King.  I successfully finessed JH, so with 3 hearts, 5 clubs and two diamond I just needed 2 spades, so I now played QS to John's King and made the rest.  The lack of entries to the North hand and the 4-1 club break makes 6C a lot harder.

Against Gerry and Issy we found the good sacrifice of 4S.
Gerald opened 2H, Adrianne doubled and Issy bid 4H. Well I can clearly seee that this is a big heart fit, so is Adrianne defeating this? They are vul and we are not, I prefer insurance and bid 4S which might get 5H anyway. As it was 4S was passed out.
Nothing to the play, 1 heart and 2 clubs were quickly cashed and I had to lose a trump for 1 down. 4H can be beaten on a club lead and continuation when in with spades, but in practice it will always make.

 Found another good sacrifice against Bob and Cathy. Our bidding went:
1S -  P - 2D - x
xx - 3C -  x  - P
3S -  P - 4S - 5C
and Cathy doubled as East.
I quickly lost the first 3 tricks, AS, AD and AH and when clubs broke and hearts were set up had the rest.
Adrianne was worried that she hadn't shown 6 hearts, but could have bid 2NT instead of double (we draw a distinction with x showing good points, 2N showing distribution, but KD wasn't worth anything so 2N would have been more practical).  My 3C bid was an understanding we have over a redouble, we bid if we have a definite suit to play in rather than let it pass round to partner to make a guess, so my 3C didn't show any values, just 4 clubs and fewer hearts.
Finally we missed a slam on this board. I see Gerry and Sidney were the only ones to bid it.
I opened 1S, Adrianne intelligently bid 2D, I bid 2H.  Now when you stretch a 2 bid with a long minor, you should repeat it.  However Adrianne was beguiled by her useful spade holding and bid 2S which also limits her hand.  Perfectly sensible really as 4S looks like the likely game if there is one.  I now bid 4C (big surprise for Adrianne), who quickly bid 4S.  I reluctantly passed and made 11 losing a club and a trump.
If Adrianne had just bid 3D instead of that sensible 2S we would have been in 6D, but your duty in bidding is to find game, slams are luxuries and extremely unlikely with an 8 count over a 1 opener.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Thursday 3 May

Playing in a Howell with Adrianne scored a poor 49% without doing much wrong.

Got away with murder against Frances and Marion on board 2 where I am North.

I find it ridiculous what some people will overcall with nowadays, they have no circumspection. So when Frances opened East 1S, Adrianne passed and Marion bid 1NT, naturally, vul against not, I bid 2H?!
Frances very coolly passed, Adrianne, wondering how she gets lumbered with such partners, calmly passed.
Well, what can Marion do with the West hand? What most of us are likely to do, bid 3D.  Adrianne doubles this and I lead KH to AH, ruff, TC (I should duck, but took the Ace), QH, heart ruff and AD to come for 1 off. Everyone was very polite and didn't point out how many off I would have been in 2H and I slipped away with ne'er a blush.
I am East here against Ileen and Christine.  Adrianne opens 1S (we don't play checkback), I bid 1NT, Adrianne raises to 2N and I bid 3N.
Ileen cannot lead a spade, but is absolutely no help when she finds the best lead of a heart. I try the Queen, but no luck.  There is no point in holding up especially as Christine will have noticed Dummy's underwhelming spade suit.  So I took the Ace and advanced the JC.  Without a flicker Ileen played low (you just can't get decent help nowadays).  I took the Ace, if the finesse loses I could be looking at 6 down. I then ran all the diamonds, tried the KC, but no Queen and finished with 8 tricks.  The top score was by Steve and Marilyn in 5D, surely the best spot when West opens ID

Got a very fortunate top here as N/S against Peter and Willie. Without interference our bidding went:
1S - 2C - 2N - 3D - 4C - 6C

Nobody else bid slam. Willie made the unfortunate lead of 7C allowing me to pick up the trumps. I then had the luxury of the spade finesse (I didn't know diamonds broke) and made 13.
A heart lead won't actually defeat me. After 2 rounds of trumps, play on diamonds and discard the heart on the 4th round. Peter can return a club to stop the ruff and I will have to play KS, JS and discard my heart on AS. Like I said, it was fortunate, only the lead made it easy.

 Managed to get a zero against Steve and Marilyn.  Playing E/W I opened 1NT and Adrianne went through Stayman and 2NT and I bid game.
Marilyn led 8S, I played low and ducked the Jack, Steve cashed Ace and continued a third spade. Winning KS I advanced QD, covered and I took Ace. I played JD and a third to Steve's 10, Marilyn discarded an inverse attitude 8H.  Steve now played 9C.  I took AC, played a 4th diamond to dummy's 9 and played a club. Steve put on the 8. Now everything looks wrong, but Steve was end played with that TD, if he holds KH and say Q98 clubs, I am sure this is exactly what he would have played. I was though worried about a doubleton Queen in Marilyn's hand.  Anyway I bit the bullet and finessed.  I didn't get my KC in the end because I discarded one from dummy and went 3 down.
It is strange how your brain works sometimes playing this game, though I play too fast and then do silly things.
Anyway against Charles and Vi, Charles as North opened 1S, I bid 2D, Vi a pre-emptive 3S and Adrianne bid 4D to end the auction. Vi led JS. If diamonds are 2-2 I just have to avoid 3 club losers, finessing the heart is one way, but why not just finesse 10C? However I saw that if I eliminated the majors and then played Ace and another diamond, there is a good chance that Charles will win and have to open up clubs giving me a better chance to play the suit correctly. So very quickly I win AS, AH, KH, heart ruff, KS.  Majors eliminated I then lead 4D and when I come to play from my hand my mind goes blank and I play TD??! Vi wins the Queen and has enough info to know Charles has AK of clubs and so gets her ruff for 1 down.
How stupid was that?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Monday 30 April

Playing aggregate, N/S with Adrianne came joint 3rd, however only 80 points between 1st and 4th, no doubt everyone could have done better on a hand, but I lost us at least 300 on the penultimate board.

 Only about a third of the field found 3NT on this board. Playing strong North will open 1N and South has no problem raising to 3N.
Against Willie and Alan I open 1H and Adrianne raised to 2H which is where we played.  I made 9 tricks.
This being a problem for the weak NT I think you should stretch to 2D with the South hand, especially as you have heart support.   So after 1H - 2D you can't really go wrong.  If partner is weak(ish) they'll bid 2H or 3D which you can pass.  If they are strong(ish) and bid 2NT (or 3C) you can bid game in 3NT or 4H.
3NT doesn't look certain but even if East finds a club lead and West returns a club, double dummy you knock out AH and when clubs are cleared, East has none left when in with diamonds.

Earlier against Steve and Marilyn I opened 1H , we play 2NT with the South hand, but Adrianne forgot and bid 2C, over my 2NT she bid 3H, I bid 3NT, Adrianne bid 5H, this is perplexing but should ask for 6 if I have 2 of the top 3 heart honours, so I bid 6H.
Now just about everyone is in this slam and all but 2 are making. I nearly made that 3 failures..  Steve led AS and switched to a club. I cashed 3 rounds of hearts and all my black suit winners. Everyone's hand seems to be fairly flat, the only real information I had was that Steve had 2 hearts and so one more space for a diamond, but they could still be 3-3 if he had the 4th spade.  Anyway as all I had was the chance Steve had 4 diamonds, I decided to lead JD from dummy, if it is not covered I'll take the King then finesse 10D on the way back.  Lucky for me Marilyn covered JD and I was home.

We got a good score here against Alec and Charles as only two pairs are in game. Maybe they didn't open the North hand but our bidding went(without interference):

1C - 1H - 2H - 2S - 4H

Perhaps I overbid but it is not winning aggregate to play this in 3H, I've got 6 losers.
Alec led a club and after Ace and another, now play on hearts any way you want.  If the King is ducked twice, cash AH and play on clubs. The sheet says you only make 9 tricks, but I don't see the defence. You have to make dummy ruff a diamond and lead spades twice while you still have KH?

 The last two boards were against Catherine and David and I blew it here. Adrianne opened 1D, David overcalled 2C and I passed.  Adrianne rebid 2NT, now if I pass this she will make 9 for 150, but stupidly I bid 3S, at least Adrianne sensibly passed this because singleton club lead from Catherine, singleton heart back and I lost the first 7 tricks for -150.
Doubling the 2 clubs would have been an excellent result (500 maybe even 800) or raising 2NT to 3NT for 400.  If I just pass we would have won.

Nothing we could do about the last board though only about a third of the field were in the game.
Catherine opened 1H, David bid 2D, 2H from Catherine and 5D from David.  I led a heart for an immediate club discard.  David played a spade to Jack and Queen.  I exited with a diamond, David ran lots of diamonds, went over to AC and led a spade to Adrianne's Ace and 11 tricks.  Unbeatable (though 3NT is easier).