Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wednesday 30 January

Playing E/W with Gerry came in the middle with 50% after many tops and bottoms.

This was a difficult hand for the N/S pairs, many ended in 4Sx.  Against Mary and Davina Gerry opened 1H and Mary (presumably playing strong jump overcalls) bid 2C. I bid a natural 2N and Davina bid 3S.  Gerry doubled and I left it in.
Gerry led 3C to Q, K and ruff and Davina played A and another diamond.  Gerry let me win this and I played the spade to his King.  Gerry followed with three rounds of hearts. I cashed QD and at this point I can't be sure if Davina started with 6 or 7 spades but playing a top club must be right and sure enough it promoted Gerry's 10S to put it 3 off and at least we equalled the scores of those defending 4Sx.

An annoying one against Russell and Len.  Russell with his poor 11 count and rubbish heart suit decided to open 1N.  I am ashamed to say I couldn't resist bidding an Astro 2D (with those spades?!).  Len bid 3N.
I led a small diamond and Russell has the obvious 10 tricks via a spade finesse (actually I discarded my spades on the hearts).
Now if I had passed, Len would have used Stayman and we would have been defending 4H which should make 10 (11 double dummy, discarding a club on the 3rd spade and playing A then QC to get a diamond round to the King) for an average.

Got a decent score against Sylvia and Louise.  I opened 1C and Sylvia bid 1S, round to me for 2C, Sylvia bid 2H, Louise corrected to 2S and Gerry bid 3C, passed out.
Sylvia led 8D taken by my Ace.  Presumably she would bid 2C with 5-5 majors, so Sylvia's hand must be 5-4-1-3, the trumps are breaking and I keep the danger hand out by AK and another club. As expected Sylvia wins the 3rd club and returns KS.  I take the Ace and cash my three trumps then cross to dummy for KQ of diamonds.  I am down to KT of hearts and 6S, Sylvia has AQ of hearts and QS.  I exited with QS and won KH at the end for 10 tricks.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Monday 28 January

Playing N/S with Adrianne came in the middle with a Butler score of 0. Our opponents got most of the hands and mostly did the right things with them. We played OK throughout, got one piece of luck when a pair failed to bid an easy game but lost it when Adrianne got completely distracted at the end and embarrassingly went down in a stiff game.

Got a bad score against Mike and Steve.  Most East's will open 1D, rebid 1N and end up in 3N.  South will lead a club   and the defence will take 3 clubs, one or two diamonds and AS.
Steve opened 1N and Mike raised to 3N. At least Adrianne avoided the diamond lead but led 9S which ran to Steve's Q. Now South is the danger hand so Steve cleverly ran 7D which held and so he now has 4 diamond tricks to be the only one to make game.
Even after the spade lead, most declarers would just have played KD and finessed JD, South plays another spade taken by North who then plays QC to defeat the contract.

This was an awkward hand for everyone. Our bidding went:

1D - 2C - 2D - 3C
4C -  x  -  4D - P
5D  - x  - passed out.

Christine cashed AC then switched to a heart to Q and K. I couldn't really figure why Christine had doubled, has she 5 diamonds? I laid down AD and Ileen followed with the 10. So four small diamonds, must have singleton AS.  I tried a small spade, oh oh, Ileen won the Ace, gave Christine a ruff, one down.
At least we avoided 4S.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Thursday 24 January

Playing N/S with Gerry had a great game to come first with 68%.  Although I got us a bottom early on by doubling Ileen in an unbeatable game, it was just a night when everything went right.

Brd12 with N/S vul, dealer West, two passes to John, East, who opened 1C. Gerry bid 1S and Steve bid a competitve 3C.  This was passed back to Gerry who doubled.  I only bid 3H, but Gerry raised to 4H.  This went round to John who bid 5C.  Back to me. I was actually thinking Gerry might be 6-4-3-0 as he hadn't doubled the first time.  I could bring those spades in, make 650 instead of 3 or 500.  So I bid 5H.
John led KC and I ruffed in dummy. Only 5 spades to AJ10 but I still need to bring them in and although I suspect John has singleton heart for his 5C, I have to play on spades before a diamond is led. So I played KH, AH then led 9S.  John split his honours and I took AS and continued JS.  Now a diamond from Jxx is difficult to find and John continued clubs.  I ruffed again in dummy, ruffed a spade and exited with a heart.  Steve took his Queen and returned a club.  I won my Ace, crossed to AD and dumped two diamonds on the spades for 11 tricks.  I'm lucky, I think I should have finessed that heart, then play on spades and even a diamond switch now can't beat me.

Brd 18 with N/S vul, dealer East. Gerry opted to open 1N and I transferred then bid 3D to which Gerry bid 3N. I decided to leave it there, there's no ruffing value, partner's points are likely to be mostly in clubs and hearts, there's a decent chance you make the same tricks in 3N as 4S.
Issy led JD and Gerry took his Ace.  He drove out AH and Issy played another diamond.  Gerry now neatly played the 3S from dummy round to Issy's 10.  Another diamond, cash the hearts, spade finesse and make the rest.  I got away with it by Gerry's good play, safer to bid 4S!

Just to prove it wasn't all just luck for us we were let down by the odds on this hand against Victor and Willy.
With his 9 trick hand and lacking a Texas option, Gerry opened 2C and I was disappointed to eventually find there was a missing keycard and just had to settle for 6S.
We are the only pair in this contract yet only a 4-0 trump break can defeat it.  Oh well, 1 down it was.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Monday 22 January

Playing N/S with Adrianne, came in the middle with a Butler score of -2.  Most hands were undistinguished, there were just a couple early on where we had the chance of a good score and blew it.

Against Steve and Marilyn I opened 3D and this was passed out.  This makes easily enough even losing a club ruff.  In fact I made 10 as I slipped a spade through.
I was unsure about opening but felt it had two advantages a) It halts my partner who might have a good hand with both majors and b) if the opponents have a major game I can get across my hand by bidding clubs at a high level.  Unfortunately if I passed then Adrianne is opening 1C giving me an easy 5C bid.  More interesting is if East opens 1H (satisfies rule of 19), Adrianne will probably pass, West will raise to 3H, I'll bid 3N. East will pass and Adrianne maybe just 4C, but should really think about 5C.  In fact I should probably bid 4N, not 3.

We have a clear understanding after a pre-empt that when we bid a major we are looking for 3 card support or Hx and can support the pre-empt suit.  On this hand against Raymond and Alec our bidding went:

3D  -  P  -  3S  -  P
4D  -  P  -  4H  -  x
4S  -  P  -  5D  -  passed out.

Where did Alec get that double?  It completely threw us anyway.  Adrianne should really pass, but I'll probably bid 5D anyway 4H wouldn't have been easy without the double but I think I would have got home with Ace and another spade with a subsequent spade ruff.  As long as I don't play Ace followed by Queen of hearts from hand, or lose a diamond ruff, I should be fine.
Without the double 5D should make OK even on a spade lead (or KC followed by a spade) as now you can set up spades. With no spade lead you can set up hearts.
However, everyone is placing Alec with KJx(x) of hearts so Raymond led KC, Alec overtakes and continues a club (this ensures his diamond trick) to give Adrianne a ruff and discard, but she is expecting 2 heart losers so instead of throwing a spade she quite rightly throws a heart. She manages to set up spades and doesn't lose any heart, but loses KS, AC and QD for down one.
Now why didn't Raymond lead KH after the double? What was the double anyway?!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Wednesday 16 January

Playing N/S with Gerry we did not have a good game and scrambled 50% in the end.

Did not manage to find the best spot on this hand.  Against Sandra and Gloria I opened 1H, Gerry bid 2C and I rebid 2D.  Gerry bid 2S 4th suit and I bid 2NT which shows my limited hand.
Gerry now bid 3D, this is surely a slam try and I have told partner I don't have extras. I decided to bid 4D, Gerry 4N and finding me with one keycard he bid 5D.
This was not good news at Match Points.  I thought about bidding 6D anyway or even 5N but getting a negative score would be even worse, so I passed.
With hearts 3-3 and KD right sided, 13 tricks rolled in.
The real mistake I think is my 4D bid.  After Gerry's 3D I should bid 3N or 6D and I think 3N is probably right.

Gerry did get us a good score against Morag and Susan by playing this hand perfectly. After two passes Gerry opened 1D, Morag doubled and I bid 1N.  Round to Gerry who bid 2H and Morag bid 2S.  I passed as did Susan and Gerry bid 3D to end the bidding, though Susan should have bid 3S.
Anyway Morag has a lead problem but settled for JS which didn't cost as Gerry took the Ace and ran JH. Morag tried a high spade, ruffed, AH and now Gerry ruffed a heart with QD and followed with a diamond to Ace.
Now all he loses are a heart, diamond and club for 10 tricks.

After bidding a stupid slam on the previous board I got us to another dodgy one on the next board against Mary and Moira.
I need a very good 5 card major to open and rebid it, otherwise I have to open 1N with up to 14 points.  This heart suit was quite good, but I felt too good for 1N.  I decided to open 1H and over Gerry's 1S I bid 1N (15/16).
Gerry bid 3C and I bid 3H showing 2-5- probably 3-3.  Gerry went to 6N.  After their success in the previous hand when Moira led Ace against the stupid slam and found Mary with the King, Mary led AD.  However this time I couldn't go wrong with KS onside, but on the run of the clubs Moira let a heart go which made it even easier.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Thursday 11 January

Playing with Gerry came second with 59%.  Had a few mixups / mistakes but got a few presents as well so can't complain.

 Against Alistair and Bob we had no interference and I opened West 1S, Gerry bid 3D which describes his hand perfectly, a solid raise to 3S.  Now at aggregate I would bid 4S, at MPs I decided not to. Ten tricks are straight forward, you should lose a spade a heart and a diamond and QC, AC, ruff a club will see you home.
Only one other person failed to bid it and though some might have been pushed up by opposition heart bidding, it was still a mistake by me not to bid it.  This isn't such a thin game.  I know Gerry has 4 spades, surely with an honour, 4S must be a good bet. Game isn't about points, its about 10 tricks and I failed to remember that.

We got a decent score against John and Ronald when most N/S are in 3C making.  Our bidding went:
1S -  x  - 2S  - x
3S -  passed out
I was given the chance of a top when  Ronald  led a small heart which I happily won with the Jack.  I ran 10D to John's Queen and he returned a club to the King, Ronald returned a club to John's Ace and he exited with a third club.
Things look very rosy now, I've lost three tricks and just have to negotiate spades for 1 loser.  I discarded a heart as I won the JC and led a spade.  John jumped up with Ace immediately which made me suspect he had AJx (with Axx might he not play low in case partner has Qx?).  Anyway John led a 4th club.  What do I play?  Am I being suckered into ruffing high?  I didn't know but went with my instincts, I discarded a diamond and Ronald's Jack won, 3S -1. Useless instincts.

A good score against Len and Avril as only two of us managed to bid slam.
After two passes I opened 1H and Avril bid 3D.  Gerry bid 3S, Len 4D.  Well, in theory, Gerry has 10 points, 5 spades and no wasted values in diamonds.  Of course he can push with less but I though I could afford 4N.  Avril bid 5D, Gerry 5S which was 2 with and so I bid 6S.
Len led a diamond and Avril continued, Gerry ruffing with the 5S.  He then cashed J and 10S before trying AK of hearts.  When the Queen fell, he ruffed a heart high, drew the last trump and had two discards for his clubs.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Monday 7 January

Playing N/S with Adrianne managed to come last with a Butler score of -48 on 24 boards. We did not play at all badly, only one misjudged bid by me that got us into the wrong slam. In fact that was the only real error of the night.

 This board was typical of our luck.
I showed a balanced 24/25 NT and Adrianne bid 6N.
Davina led a heart which I won with the 10 in hand. I tried the diamonds, but 4-1, I played KS to Barbara's Ace and she returned a heart.  I won in dummy and finessed the club for one off.
Only two of us in 6N, everyone else in game.  It is 68% that 5 cards break 3-2 and the 32% they don't I had a 50% chance of the finesse.  An 84% slam but I very bad score.

I don't really understand our bad score here. Cathy opened a strong NT, Bob used a 4H transfer and Cathy is in 4S.
Adrianne leads a trump and Cathy wins AS and crosses to KS to lead a club to Q and K.
So Cathy has 5 points in spades and presumably AQ of clubs.  With a max she could have both red Kings, but I gave count on the clubs so Adrianne is fairly certain Cathy has 5 and she might have JC. Knowing either Cathy is not max and so I have a red King or Cathy started with AQJxx clubs in which case a club return is fatal, Adrianne did the most sensible thing and cashed both red Aces to see if I would encourage in either. Nope, a club return would have beaten it! Many went off.

Against Jim and Nigel Adrianne opened South 1C, I bid 1D and Adrianne bid 1H.  I thought about bidding 2S but my hand says 3N and that is what I bid.  Adrianne went to 6N.
6S would have been easy with two heart discards on the AQ diamonds However this is still a 75% slam needing one of two finesses but both were wrong and I was down one.
Before leading Jim asked about Adrianne's length in clubs and hearts and I said she could be 4441 and have equal length or she will be at least 5 clubs, 4 hearts.  If I thought she could be 4441 why didn't I bid that 2S!!!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Wednesday 2 January

Playing E/W with Gerry we came 1st with 58%.  Most of the hands were for N/S, we defended reasonably well but you are dependent on your opponents in these situations and our fortunes seemed to average out with some lucky ones, some not so lucky.

Nobody found the slam on this hand.  Len opened South 1N, I bid 4H and Russell bid 4S.  Gerry bid 5H and there I played.
Russell led 7S which I took in dummy.  I have three trump entries so I played on clubs cashing AK, over to a heart, ruffed a club high and hey presto 13 tricks.
A diamond lead can only keep it to 12 which most North's found (presumably after a 1D opening), so a top for us.

 Joyce opened a weak 2S as South and I doubled.  Catherine raised to 3S passed round to me.
Easy just to pass but with four likely tricks I ventured a '2 way' second double and Gerry with no sensible bid left it in.
After AC and a discouraging 8 from partner I was tempted to try a small diamond but I cashed my four tricks and Gerry made his trump trick for 200 and another top.
 Joyce made up for that on the next hand.  The bidding went:

1C -  P   - 1H - 2D
3C - 3D - 3H -  P
3S -  P   -  4S

I led KD, followed with 10D to Ace and Gerry exited with 9C to Joyce's Ace.  Joyce finessed 10S to Gerry's Q, again Gerry has to exit with club to Q, K and ruff.  Now AS, another spade to my K and Joyce was 1 off for a joint top with the pair who were 1 off in 3C.

 Very nearly in a slam here and a bit unlucky for those who were.
Against Christine and Adrianne Gerry opens 1C and I bid 1H.  Gerry rebids 4H and I get excited.  4N gets a disappointing 5C (1 or 4). Still I fancy my chances but bid 5D asking for the Queen.  Gerry denies with 5H. I trust my partner and pass.
Christine leads an attacking spade and as dummy goes down I understand Gerry's denial of the QH with his 10 count, however I still fancy my chances.
I win AS, play AH, over to QH then try AK of clubs but Adrianne ruffs and cashes AD to keep me to 11 tricks.