Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Monday 22 October

Playing N/S with Adrianne came first with a Butler score of 59.  We were certainly lucky which of course you need for a good score.  However we started a little unluckily against Alan and Derek.

Alan chose to open 1H with his 2-5-6 shape, Derek bid 2C and I doubled.  Alan bid 2D and Derek 4H.
Now a diamond lead ducked to the 10 puts this 2 off (AK spades, AH, QD and diamond ruff).  However Adrianne worried that 9D might ruin my holding and opted for 9S.
Well you can still defeat this with a diamond return but I couldn't find it, declarer can't have 6 diamonds. In fact I couldn't quite fathom what declarer had for an opening bid. I thought maybe 3 - 5 - 5. In the end I opted for a KC return to set up 4 tricks, oops, spade discard. However, if I'm not playing partner for singleton diamond I can't defeat this as clubs get set up. Unlucky Alan opened 1H, -9 points

 Not sure if we were lucky or unlucky on this one though came out of it +5.
Maggie forgot their system and opened 2D, Adrianne asked and Sally said it was an Acol 2D, 8 tricks. Adrianne overcalled 3C and Sally bid 3S.  What on Earth's going on? Whatever, my KD didn't look good in clubs and I bid 3N, passed out. A diamond lead gave me 12 tricks.
Were we unlucky? If Maggie passes, Adrianne probably opens 1C. If Sally has a Michael's bid, it probably makes me more likely to bid 6C.  Would she find a singleton diamond lead when she has no trumps? We'll never know.
When you have a suit to defeat NT your partner rarely finds it. Here Adrianne was opener and obviously paused before passing (it turned out she just hadn't noticed she was Declarer).  Anyway I would have liked to put in a 3rd in hand 1S bid but after the hesitation I passed. Jack opened 1N and Robert with 3-4-3-3- shape forewent Stayman and bid 3N.
So a major lead might be right, Adrianne could have led a heart, but she chose the 5S. Bingo!
Nothing Jack could do, needed the diamond finesse which was wrong so 1 down.  Great lead, bit lucky.
Just shows that you should not let hesitations stop you from making your obvious bid as it could disadvantage your opponents.  However 1S by made is not the least obvious.

 Very lucky here against Alistair and Bob.
I opened 1N, Adrianne transferred (Bob doubling 2H) and I bid 3S. Adrianne decided to go 4S (3S was minimum but the duplication in the minors is unlucky).
Alistair led a heart, I ducked, won the continuation and ruffed a heart. 10S to KS and a spade back to 9 and Ace, Bob exits with a spade.
I now played A, K and a third diamond, but Alistair played QH on the third diamond. He corrected to QD but had to play QH and I discarded a club, ruffed in hand and finesse of QC for 10 tricks.
So, so lucky.

Against Jim Forsyth and Jim McMenemy we were lucky they didn't bid game.
I opened 3C, Jim M doubled and Jim F could have given his singleton club and 5th spade some value but decided with just 3 queens to bid 3S. Jim M would certainly like to bid more but with just 3 spades he passes.
After KC, AC was ruffed, Jim played AK spades then switched to diamonds.  Adrianne forced with another club but Jim just continued on the red suits which both broke and Adrianne can only get one spade trick.
Nearly everyone in 4S making though easier if North passes.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Wednesday 19 October

Playing N/S with Gerry came joint second with 57%, felt like more as we had a number of obvious tops, unfortunately too many bad ones kept the score down.

 There were a number of big swingy boards.  I got this one wrong.  John opened 1S and Gerry bid 2S (normally weak).  Cathy bid 4S and this was passed round to Gerry who surprisingly bid 5D.  This went round to John who bid 5S and Gerry doubled.
Now I know Gerry obviously has some top tricks but think he has 6 diamonds and we have no tricks there. If he has three tricks outside diamonds could we make 6D anyway? As usual when I don't know what to do, I chose to bid and so we played in 6Dx -1 instead of defending 5Sx for 1 off.  Strangely if I had had the AC instead of KC, would I have passed? I might have, yet we would have made 6D.

On the next board nobody found the slam.  Against Steve and Marilyn we had no chance.  Steve opened 4S, I doubled and Gerry bid 5D.  Nothing else either of us could do really, that's why you pre-empt.
If East opens 3S at least you can find the heart fit.  Presumably 3S - x - 4S - 5H, though with six diamonds you are taking a risk.  It is now possible to bid 6H, in fact I think I would, how is partner finding a vulnerable 5H bid assuming no points in spades?  So always pre-empt to your limit and don't give the opponents room.

We had a mix up against Charles and Vi.  Charles opens 1C alerted so I passed, Vi bid 1D alerted and Gerry bid 2D.  I didn't alert, was this not diamonds?? Charles bid 2N, I bid 3C, Vi 3N which came round to me and I bid 4C, doubled, passed out.
Vi led 6S but Charles didn't see me with four and played the 10.  I quickly played A and another club so lost two clubs, two diamonds and a spade for 2 off. 3N would have made and we actually got above average as most played in clubs by me, even as high as 5Cx.  Presumably East opened 1D and they overcalled some number of clubs.  So we were the only ones who could have found the spade fit (4S makes by ruffing a couple of hearts). Unfortunately we need some agreements on these systems.

One of our poor scores against David and Katie. Our bidding went:
1S -  P  - 2C - 2D
4C -  P  - 4S -  P
4N -  P  - 5S -  P

I bid 4S as the practical Match Points bid. Unfortunately Gerry is strong with this double fit.  Now with the 5S bid he knows two Keycards are missing, but if I have AC rather than KS, with the overcall implying the King might be onside, Gerry optimistically went for the slam.  As usual I don't have what is required.

 Gerry quickly made up for it with a top on the next board.  After three passes he opens 1H, East passed again and I tried to think of something clever I could bid, but opted for the sensible pass.  David protected with 2C, Gerry doubled, Katie bid 3C and I bid 3D.  Gerry bid 3H, Katie 4C and I bid 4D.  Gerry thought obviously 4H had as mush chance as 4D so bid the game.  Katie led AC and that was it, hearts were 3-3, just two spades to lose, game made.  Surprisingly nobody else found 4H.
 Not to be outdone I managed a joint top on the next one.  We play Lucas but I don't think it is right when your A and K are not in the suits, so I passed. Gerry opened 1H, I bid 1S, 3S from Gerry and the obvious 4S from me.
David led a club and it was very disappointing to see 9 of our points in that suit and I'm playing now to avoid 2 down.
I won KC, cashed AK of spades, AC and discarded a heart.  Now AH and heart to dummy got the King from David who is stuck.  The only way to beat this now is a small diamond which is unlikely.  In practice he played a third heart, I took the Queen discarding a diamond, took out last trump and the 4th heart gave me another diamond discard and 10 tricks.

 What do you call a 9 card suit?  Trumps.
Well only if you don't have a fit with partner.
David opened 1D and Gerry (knowing this bidding wasn't going to stop early) bid 2C.  Katie passed (?) and I bid 2S, Gerry tried 3D and I bid 3S, so Gerry went for 4S.
David led AD and switched to a small spade which I won with the 8.
I have no option now, just ruffed a diamond, crossed to KC, ruffed a diamond.  Played AC and discarded 10H, David ruffing and I eventually lost a heart for one off.
5C of course has no chance with me bidding spades.  Katie will lead a diamond to Ace and David plays A and another spade for a ruff.  The trouble is two people in 5C doubled made it.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Monday 15 October

Playing N/S with Adrianne we came third with a Butler score of 31.  There were quite a few opportunities for games that we missed, but rather difficult to bid.

After two passes Marilyn opened 1H and I bid 1NT.  I could have doubled but what do I bid over 2C? 3C I assume which isn't really going to get us anywhere. Over 2D I'm just not strong enough for 2N with only one heart guard and not even a third round hold up. I could have got lucky and partner has four spades, but by bidding 1N if Adrianne has a raise to 2N or 3N with four spades, she will always go through 2C .
1N was passed out and a heart lead gave me a very lucky three tricks in the suit which lets me set up diamonds and clubs and I made 10 tricks.
Four pairs found 3N.

 On the next board Adrianne opened 1N and without any interference I transferred and she played in 2S.
Robina could lead a heart and eventually Phoebe would get a heart ruff but that is extremely unlikely.  However a diamond lead a heart back would also get the ruff.
Our defenders didn't find that and 10 tricks rolled in.

Quite rightly nobody found 4S.
Against Miller and Donald I opened 1S and Adrianne bid 1N.  As we play 3S forcing I have to bid 2S and partner will raise to 3S with 8 or 9 and some spade support.  Unfortunately Adrianne is a point short and 2S is where I played.
Heart lead to K and A, AK trumps, QD to Ace, heart cashed and continued and there was no guess in clubs for 10 tricks.

Three pairs bid this game.

This was a game we bid though probably shouldn't.  I bid my hand strongly and ended in 5C our opponents bidding spades.
Ivor led AS and found the switch to a heart.  I ruffed and with only one entry to dummy clearly that was better to use for diamonds, so I laid down AC and followed with a small club.  Ivor took the ten and played another heart ruffed. I drew another club and played QS to King and ran 10D which held, another diamond to Jack, no ruff so I was home.  Drew last trump and cashed the diamonds.
Only one to bid 5C, on epair bid 5D but went off.

Against Alistair and Dave I was ruing not being more forceful before discovering I can't make game.
After two passes Alistair opened 1C, Dave did 1D passed round to Adrianne who doubled.  Dave passed and I thought about bidding 3H, but just jumped to 2H.  This was passed out.
Alistair led KD and I took Ace and ruffed a diamond high.  I led a spade to King which held and am now looking at ten tricks (apparently). I ruffed my last diamond high, played 2H to Jack, a heart to dummy's queen.  No break but still a spade from dummy taken by Ace, Ace and king of clubs and Alistair found the third spade to give Dave a ruff and hold me to nine tricks.
Two pairs bid the game, also most in heart partials were allowed to make 10.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Monday 8 October

Playing N/S came first with a Butler score of 59.

Not the most propitious start against Bob and Cathy four down in 1NT.  I opened 1N and even Bob couldn't find a protective bid so it was passed out.
Cathy led 5S to Q and K and I ducked. Bob returned 6S to 7, 8 and a heart discard.  Unfazed, Cathy returned a heart and my goose was cooked. Bob took the King, played his third spade to my Ace, I could have gone three off if I play a club now, but ever the optimist I ran QD to Bob's King.  A heart back and I lost 4 spades, 4 hearts, a diamond and a club.
 In the next set against Steve and Marilyn Adrianne was kicking herself for not making game. It is very easy to get into a certain mind set in a hand, I do it all the time, especially in defence.  You need to concentrate on how many tricks you need and what ways you can get them.
Anyway I opened 1D, Adrianne bid 1H and I bid 4C, Adrianne naturally bid 4H.  I seriously considered bidding 5C now but thought better of it and passed.
Marilyn led QD an obvious singleton and Adrianne concentrated on getting two club ruffs, which you can't do and she drifted one off.  Of course later she realises she just had to play 3 rounds of trumps, cash top diamonds, ruff a diamond, Ace and a club ruff, cash 5th diamond for 10 tricks
Definitely not a propitious start, but things started to look up.

Adrianne was the only declarer to make 4H on this hand against Maggie and Sally, in fact she made 11.  To be honest most E/W were in 3 or 4S, mostly undoubled.
Our bidding went two passses to me and I opened 1C.  Maggie, not playing weak jumps didn't even venture 1S so Adrianne bid 1H, I raised to 3H and Adrianne with a good double fit took 4H. Even if there had been a 2S overcall with the club fit Adrianne would have doubled to show the hearts and we would either be in 4H or defending 4Sx.
Sally led a sneaky 2D taken by King.  Adrianne cashed AS, finessed JH and ruffed a spade.  She now played QH to King and Ace, pinning the 10.  With no entry to her hand she had to play a club now and could go off (finesse 10C, diamond to Ace, AC, club ruff), but she wasn't tested as Sally went up with Ace.

 Not in the best contract here, but an unbeatable game.  Against Moira and Mary Our bidding went:
 P  - 1C - 2D - P
2N - P  - 3N  - passed out
The 2D is Intermediate, 2S by me would have been better.  Anyway, Mary led KC which I ducked.  She cannot continue but tries KS, not that ot mattered on the lie of the cards.  I took AS and played KD to Moira's Ace, club back and I took Ace, played a diamond and 9 tricks.  I ddin't bother finessing the 10 of spades for any overtricks, I was just thankful I got home in game.

Adrianne got home in 3N against Ian and Bobby on this board, nobody else was silly enough to bid game.  I opened 1S, Adrianne bid 1N, I bid 2N and Adrianne really thinking she should have bid 2S the last time, now bids 3S and I bid 3N.
Bobby led 7S to 8, 9 and K.  Adrianne played 9C to 10, J and K. Ian played Ace and another diamond and now all those black intermediates show their true value. She finessed 6S, cashed AS, ran 8C, finessed 7C and AC and QS gave 9 tricks.  Of course a heart at any time defeats the contract but Adrianne just concentrated on how to make 9 tricks.
Joe and Sheila Fell were unlucky to give us a good score on this board.  Sheila opened 1H, Adrianne doubled and Joe bid a perfectly reasonable 4H.  I doubled.  Sheila could have guessed the hearts and gone one off, but not unreasonably played Adrianne for doubleton QJ so we got 1 spade, 1 heart, 1 diamond and 2 clubs for 300 when there is nothing on our way.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wednesday 3 October

Playing E/W with Gerry came second with 59%.

 Against Louise and Sylvia we managed to be in the near optimum contract but got a poor score.
Louise opened 1H, Gerry doubled, Sylvia bid 2D and I passed. Louise bid 2H and this came round to me and I bid 3C passed out.
Louise led her diamond obviously and Sylvia played her King.  Ace and another club and I have 11 tricks by finessing 8D, just a heart and spade to lose.  On a heart lead I still make 10 tricks.  However most East's presumably did not double, N/S found their spade fit and overbid their hands to 4S two off and 200 to E/W.

 On the next board I got lucky.  I opened 1C, 1S by Gerry and rebid 2N.  Gerry fancied his spades and club support and raised to 3N.
Louise led KD, Sylvia played the 9, I ducked. Louise is a bit stuck and although a heart would have been OK, hoped her partner was J9 and continued a small diamond to my 8.  I finessed QS, Sylvia took the King and played a heart to Q and K.  Louise returned a heart to my 9.  So I've lost a diamond, heart and spade and don't know if the spades run.  I guess Sylvia has KQ clubs (Louise didn't open) or Louise with Queen will take it, so exit with a small club.  Louise takes the Queen, exits with a heart and now I try spades which run for 9 tricks.  If they hadn't broken the clubs would have worked.

 Another lucky one against Catherine and Anna.  Gerry opened a Lucas 2H.  I couldn't see the point of asking , we're vulnerable and I thought even a minimum would be reasonable, so bid 3NT.
Anna naturally led 2D , to the J, Q and A.  I finessed 7D and continued a third which Anna took.  The natural switch now is .... a club to my Jack.  I played a spade to K and A which gave me 9 tricks
DOn the next board we didn't score so well after neat defence. Catherine opened 1C, Anna bid 1H, 1S by South and 2C by Anna.  Catherine thought about this and passed. I want to bid 2D but the pause puts me off also partner with 4 clubs, might want to defend.  I passed.
Led 8H to Q, QD, K and Ace back.  Now played 10H to Ace, Gerry dutifully played a spade to Q, I cashed Ace, gave him his ruff, he cashed JD, two down.
Scored 100 but would have got 150 for diamonds though bidding 5D isn't really possible.  Could have doubled that 1C opening though.

This is a tricky hand.  Despite two major fits it is 6C that gives the only slam (trump reduction, strip North to just clubs, has to ruff your heart heart loser and lead away from JC). Anyway Gerry opened 1H and Celia bid a conservative 2D.  I doubled and Gerry bid 2S with no more bids from South I bid 4D and Gerry 4S.
Celia led AD, ruffed, Gerry finessed QH, ruffed a diamond, finessed QS, second finesse. Has to lose KS and a heart for 11 tricks.

Everyone has at least two bids here.  Against Michelle and Ian our bidding went:
1D - 1H - 1S -2C
2D - 2H - 2S - 3C
3D -  P  -  P  -  4C
P   -  P  -  4D
Michelle though about doubling 4C.  I thought about doubling 4D but was worried 4S would play well.
I led 2C to K and A.  Michelle took KD, AS, ruffed a spade. Cashed AQ diamonds and had to lose 3 hearts, a diamond and a club for two down.  She should have doubled 4C, the defence will get two spades and a spade ruff, AC and AD.

Also in that set there was a very frustrating hand for N/S.  4S looks to be a great contract but how do you ruff two hearts while drawing trumps and get back to dummy to cash your hearts?
Well I led 4H against Michelle's 4S, and  that's a good start ruffing one right away but there is no way to cross over, ruff a second, cash AS and get back to dummy to draw trumps and cash the hearts.
A difficult hand for N/S to get to their 3NT.  Against Bob and Ian I opened a Lucas 2H, Bob bid 3C and Ian passed it out.
Bob made 11 correctly guessing my distribution. What if E/W don't play Lucas.  North opens 1C but now West will bid 2NT!  South probably doubles which lets East pass and West will bid 3D.  This will probably be just 1 off and is difficult to double.  Can N/S find 3N now?
Then what if neither E/W come into the bidding.  Playing weak NT North opens 1C, South 1H.  I have no qualms about bidding 1N now with the North hand and N/S should be in 3N OK.  Playing strong NT I don't know how that would go.  1C - 1H - I would hate 3C with that singleton heart, but 2C might be worse.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Monday 1 October

Playing E/W with Adrianne came 2nd with a Butler score of 33.  I lost us a few points on this board against Jim & Cathy:

Jim opened 1D as North.  Instinct says just bid 5C right away, maybe 4C would be right but I bid that with a lot less values and 1 more club.  Partner has passed but 3N might be the right spot.  Anyway I decide to just bid 2C, Cathy bids 2H, Jim 2N and I bid 4C.  Cathy bid 4H and I doubled which we use as a sort of Lightener here.  It certainly means don't lead a club partner and most likely Dummy's first bid suit.  Adrianne had the obvious diamond lead which I ruffed.  Tried a small spade which Cathy won, KH to my Ace, tried AS in case partner was doubleton but no way into her hand and 10 tricks made.  The double plus not bidding 5C (2 down) cost us 8 imps.

Nearly everyone found 4H on this hand.  I opened it a Benji 2C against Flora and Geraldine and Adrianne put me into an optimistic 4H.  The thing is everyone made 10 or 11, yet the contract is very difficult to make.
A couple of pairs (obviously playing reverse Benji) contracted 4H from the West side and got 8S lead.  They can't fail now.  Win AS, AK of hearts and exit a spade. South will either set up diamonds, give away a club or a ruff and discard.  Played by East, AD is obvious lead but should now switch to a trump.  Declarer draws two rounds and exits with a diamond.  South should let North win this. North should exit a club taken by Ace. Now does declarer cross to 8H and finesse QS or play Ace and another to end play South?  I am sure many players got the same defence I did.  AK and another diamond.  11 tricks

Adrianne was one of the few who bid slam on this hand.  I still can't figure out how, but we got to 6C. Not often you bid 6 missing 3 Aces (sorry, rephrase that --- not often you MAKE missing 3 Aces).
I won't go over the bidding, neither my bidding or partner's make much sense to me, but Adrianne managed to reason slam was on and there was no defence to 6C.
Three other pairs got there. Ian & Bobby, Dave & Alistair and Moira & Mary.  Maybe they were more scientific or just stumbled into it like us.