Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wednesday 19 December

Playing N/S with Gerry came second with 56%.  Let ourselves down on a few boards.

Had an interesting set against Martin and Alec.
It is good practice to double a conventional bid to get a good lead from partner.  In fact Andrew Robson devoted a Times article to it just recently.
So, Alec opened a strong NT, Martin bid 2C and I doubled. Alec bid 2D and Martin went to 3N.
Gerry duly led 6C to 9, J and K. Alec crossed in spades, finessed JD which Gerry took with K and he played his second club and I took my three club tricks but Alec had the rest for his contract.
However if I don't double 2C, Gerry leads a small heart and we make four hearts, KD and AC for two down!

On this one Martin opened 3C third in hand (a good tactic with this sort of hand after two passes, something I do myself with up to 12 points). I rather brazenly bid 3H and Gerry bid 3N.
Martin found the diamond lead to Alec's King and he returned a club to the Ace. Martin cashed 2 more diamonds and exited with a heart.
Gerry won Ace in dummy, cashed 10D discarding a spade and played KS. The double finesse was then available to pick up all the spades and contract made.
Of course we would never have bid 3N if Martin had opened 1C, so the 'good tactic', like doubling the 2C backfired again but this time in our favour.

Here, after two passes I opened a multi 2D and Alec doubled. Martin bid 2S over Gerry's 2H and Alec bid 4S.
I don't have an attractive lead, but there is surely a very good hand on my left. I decided AH couldn't be the worst lead and landed lucky.  I followed with 3H (indicating a club) and Gerry duly took KH and returned 10C to J, K and Ace.  Martin couldn't avoid a spade loser and club loser. (actually there is a play eliminating diamonds and clubs and end playing Gerry with KS, but very difficult to find).
Of course if I don't lead AH, a heart loser goes on a diamond.

I opened a multi, Issy inquired and passed.  Gerry bid 2S, round to Issy who inquired again, told it showed interest in going higher in hearts, and he doubled.  Gerry bid 3S, Willy 4C and Issy took a flier at 5C.
I think I would normally lead QD but felt that Gerry might have a useful holding over Issy's hearts and I certainly didn't want to leave him end played later.  So I led 10H.  Willy played well now. Took the Ace, two rounds of trumps and a heart taken by Gerry.  Spade cashed and a diamond exit but too late, spade ruff, heart ruff, spade ruff for two diamond discards on the hearts. We both had to play a diamond at first opportunity.
I'm still wondering what Issy would have done if his partner had bid 4D? Then what over 4Hx? Fortune favours the brave.

This was actually board 21 and we were the only ones who found 6D.
Gerry opened 2N (21/22) and 10 points and a six card suit are usually good enough for a slam. However punting 6N didn't look quite so attractive BUT we have a gadget for minors, we use 3S as Stayman for the minors -- 3N no four card minor. So I couldn't resist thinking 6C could be a good contract.  Anyway Gerry astonishes me by bidding 4D.  No option now, 6D it has to be!
Of course it is possible to be missing AC/H and AD but for that to happen partner would be AKQ and probably J of spades, a less likely scenario.
If my partner had bid 3N I would probably have passed and reckoned that would be average.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Monday 10 December

 Came 5th playing N/S with a Butler score of 16.  We made a few errors on the way, Adrianne unsure of a common sequence after playing this for 20 years leading us to a wrong game contract.  On another, we play 2N in the pass out position is 20 points but  I decided (?) Adrianne would forget this as it never comes up (she didn't) and I just doubled.  Failed to reach an easy 3N.

 Ally Gordon opened 3C 3rd in hand (3C statistically is the most productive opening bid you can make, in fact I do it with say a 12 count and 6 clubs 3rd in hand).
Anyway, I would like to bid 3N with my 15 count (if opener has say 8 points, the other two hands have 17 between them and you can 'expect' about 8 points in partner's hand). However I am aceless and pre-empts mean bad breaks, I just don't quite have enough.  I passed and Adrianne is a bit short for protecting so 3C it was. I led a spade and we forced declarer in that suit and didn't open up diamonds so put it 3 off.
3N is the winning bid.  You find the QH perforce as after a club lead, then knockout AS and club continuation, you can't possibly finesse into the hands with the clubs.  Four pairs were in 4S, this is not a good contract as you must lose two black Aces and two diamonds (the third going on a club) also the heart finesse is two way.  However all four made 10 tricks, the defence obviously thought they had to lead diamonds.

One good board for us against Miller and Maureen.  I opened 2N and Adrianne went through Puppet Stayman to 3N.
Maureen led her 4th diamond to Miller's King and he returned a club taken by my Q.  I played 2 rounds of hearts  and as it looked like 4-2 split and I have no entry to dummy so I then played a diamond.  Maureen took the Ace and Miller showed out (if she ducks I'll take a losing spade finesse and go off). Another club to my Ace and my only hope was three rounds of spades, Maureen wins Q but is end played to give me two diamonds and my 4th spade.
Well 'honest Guv' that is how I would have played it when Miller had shown out in diamonds and I had a count of the hand.  However when Maureen won her AD she played a spade by mistake which I took with the Jack.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Monday 4 December

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 7th with a Butler score of 10. We were heading for a large minus but got some big scores towards the end.  Didn't do much wrong just that our opponents mostly did the right thing.

Got a bad score against Ian and Bobby where they were the only ones in 3N. Bobby opened 1C, Ian 1H, Bobby 2C, Ian  2D and Bobby 3N.
I found a good opening lead with the 2H won by Adrianne's Q and she played back 3S won by Bobby's Jack.  The contract looks set to drift one off.  Bobby played on clubs and Adrianne took the 4th, I discarded a spade. Adrianne returned KS won by the Ace and Declarer cashed the rest of the clubs leaving:
                               -                  in my hand.
Bobby crossed to AD, played a high heart from Dummy and I was end played to give him QD.  Very well played. Of course Adrianne should have exited with 10D when in with AC, however I thought that was 'obvious' and had just discarded 5S as she knows my holding in that suit.  However that dissuaded her from a diamond as she would have expected me to signal don't play a spade with the 9 as we play inverse attitude, so my fault.

 Big swing on this board to our detriment. I opened 1N, Adrianne went through Stayman and just settled for 3N over my 2D. She does not have the option of 3C on the way as we play that shows 6, anyway 5 to the Jack doesn't look that compelling.
Dave led 7H taken perforce by Dummy's Ace.  Club finesse, heart to Alistair's King, heart back and I claimed whatever was left, i.e. 3 down.
6C is of course a great contract and if you don't play play weak NT you should have no trouble being in it as four pairs were.  What is rather galling though is Victor was in 6N, got a heart lead and made it!
A big board against Ernestine and Moreen where Ernestine opened her mountain 4S and I bid my mountain 4N.  Adrianne bid 5C and Ernestine went to 5S.  I doubled but Adrianne took it out to 6C, I corrected to 6D and Ernestine doubled more in principle that anything else.
Moreen didn't find the club lead so I just went one down.
We can defeat 5S by one but at this scoring it is usually better to take insurance in case 5Sx is making.
Only four pairs made their contract (one for 5S!?), three others for being allowed to play in 5D, everyone else was 'taking insurance'

 We began at last to get some good scores starting with the second board against Moreen and Ernestine.
I opened 1D, Adrianne 1S, I rebid 2D and Adrianne bid 4C. I settled for 5D, but Adrianne was not deterred and bid 6D. Moreen led AC, I ruffed, diamond to Ace, club ruff, took out last diamond and as long as spaes were no worse that 4-2 I can discard my last club and make 13, which was of course even easier as they are 3-3.
Only four of us in slam.  In fact I was a bit wimpish jumping to 5D (which is weaker than 4D here). If Adrianne has a singleton club and no wasted values there, my KS, trump holding and heart shortage must be massive.  If I cue 4S would Adrianne have found a 5N Grand Slam force? No, I think not, but I didn't give her the chance.

Len and Christine both helped along our score.  Len with Clifford stood for his 1Nx and we defended perfectly and took 1400.  Then Christine opened 1H which Adrianne with a good hand doubled, Ileen with a singleton heart, 5 points and four spades to the Jack could have bid 1S, but that could have been unwise when we could have a spade fit.  Anyway Ileen passed and I had six hearts to the Ace and left it in.  Christine could have guessed a bit better bu lost 500. Many were playing it in hearts by me.

Here after two passes I opened 1C and David playing with Willie bid 2C.  Adrianne, rather stuck for a sensible bid, made the choice of 3C.  We play double would show a 2C bid which was her other possibility. Anyway I took 3N.  David led a small heart, I went up with the Jack, played a spade and had 9 tricks, although I made 10 with KD.
KH lead would have been no better of course.  A diamond looks best for the defence but you need to lead the 8D to get three diamond tricks, anyway 3N still makes.