Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Monday 25 September

Playing N/S with Adrianne came second with a modest Butler score of 22.
Started off against Charles & Vi who always make life difficult, as good players should.

 Adrianne opened South 1H, Vi overcalled 2D and I bid 3C.  Charles bid 3D and Adrianne doubled.  We play this promises 15+ points, normally a NT hand (e.g. with 4 clubs and singleton diamond she would bid 5C). So I know we have enough for game but would 3N make? Even if 5 clubs run (and surely there must be distribution about) I would probably need a finesse in a major for a 9th trick. I decided to leave in the double.
I led TH to Q, Adrianne cashed A and played another. I ruffed with 8D forcing dummy's 10.  Vi played a spade, Adrianne took K and played a diamond.  So just 2 down, I needed another heart for a ruff and down 3.  Anyway 0 score as 290 was the average.  3NT can't fail by holding up AD and giving East a club then taking heart finesse, but not everyone bid it.

Against Larry and Felicia Adrianne declares in the obvious 4S. Nine times this was played by South on the lead of 4D, four made it.
What would you have played?  You have 5 spade tricks and could get 2 heart ruffs (though that might not work) plus a heart trick.  KC onside or getting a second diamond can give 10.  However life is so much easier if that lead is from say K764, just run the diamond to J and Q and you can pick up four diamond tricks. So I sympathise with the five who must have let it run. Adrianne made no mistake, up with AD, drew trumps, club towards King.  The Ace was taken and a heart led to Ace, so no problem with 10 tricks.

An interesting bidding problem for John and Rob.  As East John opened 1D, what on earth do you bid with Rob's hand?  ROb chose 3D?! But what can you bid? I suppose you 'know' that partner has at least 15 points as you expect only 4 small diamonds opposite and he hasn't opened a weak NT. Although that isn't certain (e..g. 4-1-4-4 or he has 5 diamonds).  However in those cases the opponents will surely be competing so 3D is not a bad bid as partner will bid 3NT with 15-17.  You might though miss a slam if he is a bit better.  Anyway John just bid 3N and that was a comfortable place to be.  Six pairs are in slam.  I can only imagine they tried 4N over the 1D opening intending to be in 6 if partner shows 2 or more Aces. Maybe some opened East a strong NT, should you go for 6 then? In theory partner needs AK, AK, A in the other 3 suits as otherwise at best it is a finesse.

Against Nat and Raymond we found a good slam on this hand.  Adrianne opened 1S, I bid 2C and Adrianne who strongly favours playing in 6 card majors rebid 2S.  I splintered with 4H and Adrianne despite the heart values really likes her hand now, especially KC and singleton AD so reckons she can stand the 5 level and tries 4N.  Finding I have AK of spades and AC (I don't splinter with AH), she bids 6S.
The play is quite straightforward with spades 2-2 the hearts have 1 loser, 1 winner, 1 discard on KD and 1 ruff.
If Adrianne rebids 2H (as I would have done), then I would have just bid 4S.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Monday 17 September

Playing N/S came first with a Butler score of 68.

This was very nearly a flat board, everyone in 4S making 12 except for us against Nat and Peter.
I opened 1S, Adrianne bid 2D and I bid 3C.  Now this promises 15 points and is game forcing.  If my singleton had been in diamonds, I would have bid 2S, but with the diamond bid I am too strong for just 2S.
Adrianne now bids 3S which is strong in a game forcing situation but I try to sign off in 4S.  Adrianne is undaunted by my failure to cue bid clubs and goes on to the slam.
Nothing to the play, my diamond loser goes on the heart and clubs get ruffed for one loser.

A third in hand opening bid made us the only pair to bid game here. After two passes, John opened 1S which leaves Adrianne with a difficult call.  She made the practical choice of 2NT, Rob bid 3S and I bid 5C.  This went round to John who doubled.
Rob led a club I won in dummy with the Ace and I had no problem, AD, heart, diamond ruff, heart, diamond ruff.  I don't need to try for 12 I just cashed QC and spade exit and can just lose a diamond for 11 tricks.
Everyone else is in 2C making 11 or 12, you can see the bidding going 3 passes, 1D, 1H by North, 2C and passed out.
Another lucky score against Jack and Robert.  After 3 passes Adrianne opened 1D, I bid 1H and Jack came in 2C.  Adrianne doubles which promises at least 15 points and not a natural 2NT bid.  I left it in.
Jack had no chance after KD, getting count, cashing a spade to show the position and AD, ruff, no way to avoid 2 hearts and another spade loser as well as KC for 3 off.
800 isn't so great if we make our vulnerable game, but who will play in 4H or 4S? 3NT by North goes off on a natural club lead and even if South plays it, West might find the club lead on the bidding.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Monday 10 September

Playing N/S with Adrianne did not excel with a Butler score of -5.  Our opponents seemed to do the right things against us and it wasn't going to be our night.

Against Ian and Bobby we got a good score for being in the right contract.  However it shouldn't be that difficult.
After two passes I opened 2N, Adrianne transferred to hearts then bid 3S which I raised to 4S.
Bobby led KC, Adrianne took Ace immediately, tried two rounds of trumps then switched her attention to hearts.  Ian won the third round and exited with a diamond.
Adrianne just draws trumps now for 10 tricks.
One person managed to go off (did they duck KC?) and only one other pair was in 4S though one pair made 4H

 Adrianne is very fastidious about having a good hand with at least 17 points for a reverse.  Unfortunately she broke her rule here.  So rather than a simple 3NT I went looking for a slam and tried to stop in 4S.  Adrianne doesn't like playing in 4-3 fits so as I had got us into this pickle she decided to let me play it in 5C.  Derek led a singleton diamond to Alan's Ace and he returned the three.  I discarded the 2S and Derek, sleeping on the job, played 3S! So I won in dummy with the 7 and led 10C to Queen and Ace. I crossed to KH and ran 7C successfully.  I then played QJ of diamonds, but ruffed the 10D (you have to reduce your trumps or I will be left ruffing a later winner and having to lead away from J8 into Alan's K9). I cashed KS, crossed to AS to play the winning two of diamonds, Alan discards his third spade, I throw AH. Now  Alan has K9 of trumps left and I have J8, so when I lead from dummy it is one trick each. It was worth the bidding shenanigans to pull off a trump coup, however even better if I had ruffed Alan's diamond return at trick two with 8C (which shows up the trump situation) and then played it the same way.

 Knowing we weren't scoring well I over extended myself by bidding a slam against Bill and Norman.  Adrianne opened 1S (we don't play checkback), I bid 2H and Adrianne 4H.  I went through RKC to find 3 Aces and bid 6H.
Norman led a small club to J, Q and K.  I crossed to AC and led a spade, Bill rising with Ace.  Bill exited with an intriguing 10D.  I took the King and played a second diamond to see what pops up and Norman played the Queen which I beat with the Ace. Now surely Norman started with QJ3, so if I ruff a diamond I have 9D to throw my spade loser on.  No luck, I ruffed with the 9 but was over-ruffed and 1 down.

So looking at an even worse score I thought I might as well pile it on here.
We played this rotated so Adrianne opened the North hand 1C, I bid 1D and Adrianne 3D.  She probably has a major singleton (surely a spade) to choose this rebid rather than No Trump, so I gambled on 5D.
A heart lead will defeat this, but Norman led a club, I just had to knock out AD and the heart loser went on a club for an easy 11 tricks.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Monday 3rd September

Playing N/S with Adrianne just above average with a Butler score of 10.  Not a lot to the hands we played which mostly went as they should.  Except for one silly mistake by me when I thought I was opening a pre-empt of 3D, I hadn't noticed the 1S bid on my right.  At red vs green this is strong.  I played in 5Dx for -800 against the normal -420 for their 4H.
 We were among the unlucky 5 out of 15 pairs who bid this excellent slam.  Against Peter and Willie I opened 1S, Adrianne 2H and I raised to 3H. Adrianne soon bid 6H via RKC.
Peter led a club taken in dummy and after a heart to Ace to get the bad news, Adrianne cashed Ace and another club ruffed.  She took another 2 rounds of hearts and tried spades but was one down.
6S is of course basically the same.

 Not a big score on this hand but I at least got the us the best out of it.  Against Dave and Bob I opened 1H, Dave overcalled 2D and Adrianne doubled. So Adrianne has exactly four spades and at most 3 hearts.  I'll assume Dave has 5 diamonds to the AK.  Even if Adrianne has 9/10 points, we are not making 3NT, in fact are we even going to make 8 tricks?  This is the problem with aceless hands, they aren't worth as much as you think.  However I reckoned we could defeat 2D and maybe get lucky with 2 off.  So I passed.  Adrainne led 10H to Q and Ace.  With the heart pips favourable after the lead of that 10, declarer can get home now after AK and another diamond.  However you would expect trumps to be 4-2 and be worried about going more off if you did that.  So we came to a spade, a heart, a heart ruff, 2 clubs and a diamond for 1 off, +200 against 2NT going one off.

This was an interesting 3NT against John and Jennifer.  I opened 2NT, Jennifer thought about bidding and passed, Adrianne raised me to 3NT.
Jennifer led a diamond to my King, I played AC and Jennifer followed with JC and John with 7C. Looked like both doubleton so I followed with the KC, gave up a club and made 10 tricks.
No problem on a diamond lead, but what about a spade lead?  I need to cash 9 tricks now.  Would I have got the clubs?  Well not if John plays that 7, I'll still go for the drop.  So good illustration of why play cards that are of no interest to your partner but which might help declarer.  Play 6C and I'll always cross to dummy to finesse.