Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Monday 25 February

Playing N/S with Adrianne, came first with a Butler score of 58. We did not do anything to earn that it just came from doing nothing wrong and picking up points from errors by our opponents. We were unlucky though as we sat out boards 1 and 2 which were rather swingy.  As we sat out we bid them anyway and reached the optimum contract in both, so we missed out on 22 points that we could have gained by our own efforts.

This hand had a very interesting bidding sequence by Bob and Ian.

1H  ---  2N
3H  ---  3N
4D  ---  4N
5D  ---  5N (specific Kings)
6H  (none)

The 2N agreed hearts, 3H showed a minor shortage, 3N asked, 4D was the shortage. Then RKC and Kings.
If you play 'normal' Jacoby.  Then the bidding goes:

1H  ---  2N        (agreeing hearts)
4C  ---  4N        (5 card club suit)
5D  ---  5N        (0 or 3, 0 is unthinkable, partner only has 3 cards in the other suits)

There are 12 certain tricks, can we make a 13th.  Well it is 50-50 partner has doubleton spade in which case 13 is certain as a spade is discarded on the clubs and a spade ruff is available.  If partner has the doubleton diamond a squeeze might be on (swap the N and S hands, also change West's 3S to 3D and you'll see you must make 13 tricks after running all your hearts and clubs).  So a little odds on to make 13, but only bid it if you need the points!

There really wasn't anything to the other boards apart from opponent errors.  Here are two we could have done a bit better though:

Adrianne opened a second in hand 3H and I raised to 4H, Ileen doubled and this was the most common contract.
Adrianne, like everyone else went one down losing four heart tricks.  She thought she should have just opened 2H and that would have been better, though very unlucky with the trump break.  What would I bid over 2H, presumably 2N and when Adrianne bids 3H showing good points, I suppose I would try 3N which makes due to a lucky lie in the diamonds.
Deep Finesse says you can only make 9 tricks in hearts.  How about:  QS lead won by K, QC to AC, KC throw a spade, ruff a club, finesse QD, ruff a club, AS, ruff a spade, AD. You have 9 tricks, You have Qxxx in hand, West has AKJ10 duck a heart to West and you make QH for 10 tricks. What do you mean you're not going to finesse QD and lose 500 points, how do you know there are 4 clubs and not 3 diamonds in West's hand? That's why they call it Double Dummy.

A competitive hand near the end.  Joe opened 1S and Sheila bid 2S. I came in 3H and Joe's 3S came back to me.  I bid 4C, Adrianne 4H and Sheila 4S.  I passed this back to Adrianne who passed, not what I expected.  The opponents were passing out 3S it is really incumbent on partner to double or bid one of my suits at the 5 level.  Adrianne felt she might put this one down but wasn't going to double and flag the position of the Queen, so fair enough.  However 5C and 5H are both unbeatable.  Joe's 4S must go one down losing a trump, two diamonds and a club.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Thursday 21 February

Playing N/Swith Gerry in the West District Sim Pairs came first with 67%.

 Got two tops against Joyce and Phoebe.  The first after some good bidding. After two passes I opened 1D, Gerry bid 1H and Phoebe bid 1S.  I bid 2C, I can't remember if Joyce bid 2S but Gerry bid 3D and I tried 3S.  Gerry now made the excellent bid of 4C, not because he was suggesting either minor, but as a game try and to complete a picture.  I can now see a singleton spade in his hand (I was thinking 1-5-4-3) as well as something good in clubs.  I bid 5D. If he had just bid 4D, I would have passed.
I received the spade lead, took the Ace, ruffed a spade, AD, ruffed a spade, KD (Joyce let a heart go), heart to K and A. Now Joyce was stuck because of my club bid.  She tried a small heart but I could take a free finesse which held as I threw a club, QH throwing another club and felling the Jack.  I had 12 tricks.

On the next hand Joyce opened 1C and Gerry doubled.  I just bid 1S (nearly 2S) and Gerry, just to make sure, bid 2N (1N would have been enough for me). With too many clubs I decided not to show my five spades and just bid 3N.
Phoebe led a diamond to the K and Gerry led out AK and J of spades. He now played a club to the Q and K. Joyce played AK and another heart to Gerry's Q.  He had come down to two spades, two diamonds and a club in dummy, he overtook QD with the Ace, cashed two spades leaving himself A10 of clubs in hand and took the marked finesse for 10 tricks, beating people in spades.

Got to the right contract again against Nat and Jim. Gerry opened 1H and Jim bid 2H.  I fancied 2N, but a little short of points, I passed.  Nat bid 2S and Gerry did well to bid 3D rather than 3H.  I bid 4D (though still fancied 3N, but the clubs might show up before I have 9 tricks), Gerry 4H to show his good six card suit and I bid 5D.
Jim led KC, Gerry took the Ace and immediately played a spade.  Jim cashed AS and QC and exited with a spade to the King.  Gerry tried AK of hearts, but Jim ruffed the second and was over-ruffed. Gerry could now just play a pure cross ruff (he had AC, KS, AH) making his eight diamonds separately.

 This was a very interesting hand against Kevin and Stuart. I opened 1C, Gerry bid 1S and I rebid 2H.  Gerry tried 3D (4th suit), and I bid 4D, Kevin doubled and Gerry bid 6H.  I wondered a while before passing.  Why bid 4th suit then the slam when it is doubled?  Why the double when I have AK? I decided that Gerry might not have good spades, must have AC and diamond shortage.  However on a 4-4 fit seven could be very difficult, too much ruffing to be done and anyway QH might be missing and QC might be necessary.
So, Kevin led QD and I wondered if he might have seven of them for his double. I obviously wanted to throw a club to avoid the finesse and did it right away winning AD.  I ruffed a diamond and worrying about that 7-2 diamond split I thought I'd better play a trump to check the lie of the land.  So I came back to hand with AH and Kevin played an obvious singleton Jack. That's good I can ruff a diamond with 9H, however I thought I'd better concentrate on 12 tricks and set up the clubs. So I played AC, KC, ruffed a club and am in dummy. It now dawns on me that I can't get back to hand, ruff a diamond and draw trumps:

---                           KJ1075      If I ruff a spade, ruff a diamond, cash QH, ruff a spade
K72                        Q10            then Stuart has a long trump. The astute among you will
K8                          ---              have noticed that if I had kept ruffing high in dummy and
J9                           ---              had say Q 3 left, I could have finessed 7H ruffed a diamond,
                                                 ruffed a spade and made 13

However, all was not lost. If Kevin has AS will he let it go?  I simply played QH, KH, JC, 9C, 7H and sure enough Kevin kept AS and I won the last two diamonds. Lucky.  I think I actually went wrong at trick one, I should just ruff the diamond lead.  I was put off by the thought of a diamond over-ruff, but the initial diamond ruff, AH felling the Jack KD discarding a club, ruff a diamond high and 13 are easy.

Gerry pulled off a bit of a coup on the last board against David and Katie. Katie opened 1D and I bid 1H, Gerry bid 2D (yes, a raise to 3H!). I bid 2H and Gerry bid 2N.  OK I get that, probably 12/13 points, doubleton heart.  I passed. Katie led 2S which went to the 9 and K. Gerry immediately plays JC and Katie takes the Ace followed by her three spade tricks. She exits with JH, Gerry takes the A, crosses to AD, finesses the club, cashes K, overtakes KD with A and just has club winners for 9 tricks. Coolly bid and played.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Monday 18 April

Playing N/S with Adrianne came second with a Butler score of 40.

Lost a 17 point swing early on against Ian and Ivor.  Adrianne opened 1C, I bid 1D, 2N, 3N.  Now the same happened at most tables and the 2H was led for an easy 11 tricks.  However the astute Ivor led QS against Adrianne, ducked, JS won by Ace. When QD didn't appear under the AK she had to go off.
 We got very lucky later on with two boards against Bob and Peter which would have ruined their score.
Adrianne opened South as 2N and I forewent our Puppet Stayman thinking it just gives away too much information to a pair that can use it and just bid 3N.
Holding 13 points, Bob can't expect his partner to have any points and went for a 'safe' 7D lead.  Adrianne won in dummy and ran JH.  Bob took the Queen and played a second diamond.  Adrianne forced out AH and claimed 9 tricks. If I had bid 3C we would have ended in 4H and would have lost two spades and two hearts. Bob could have led JS against 3N, but when he wins the hearts will he even then know to continue spades?

Lucky on the next one also.  Adrianne opened 2C, I bid 2D and Adrianne produced a 2N rebid showing 22/23. These big hands don't usually miss two Aces, I just bid 6C.  QH lead and playing Butler, Adrianne just claimed 12 rather than torturing everyone by running seven clubs.
Lucky there weren't two Aces off the top, however I could have bid this confidently because I forgot we play 4N quantitative and 4C for Aces.  So I should bid 4C, Adrianne bids 4D (0 or 4).  I can now count 10 top tricks and Adrianne has another 6 or 7 points.  Could be QJ in both red suits but highly unlikely.  I could have bid 6C knowing it was well odds on.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thursday 14 February

Came first playing N/S with Gerry with 67%.  Managed to avoid any real errors and got some gifts from our opponents.

In fact the only board we could really have done better was this one against Rod and Bill. Our opponents got to 5H instead of 5S which must always make 11. I had a moment's thought of leading AC as their might be a big double fit in the majors but decided it was a bit risky and led JH. Rod played three rounds of trumps and Gerry returned JC.  I took the Ace.  Now I know Rod has six hearts and a good hand, does he have AK spades, maybe QD, KS and AQ diamonds.  Why didn't he play a spade before leading out trumps? I decided to play a diamond. Rod wins in hand, AS and has two entries to set up and enjoy his spades. If I continue a club (or had led A and another club) he might even have gone down.

This was a strange hand. Kirsten played in 3N and I led 4C which was taken by the 9. That gives seven tricks outside hearts and 3-2 hearts or a heart finesse gives 9 tricks. So Kirsten played a heart to the Q and my K and I returned a club to the Q.  Kirsten played a and another heart and I exited with another club. Kirsten played 10D and ducked Gerry's Q, I led go 2S and Gerry led a spade to Kirsten's Ace.  She cashed AD, I discarded a club and played 10S but I has QJ and dummy K9 so I got a spade trick for one down.  I commented that at least you avoided 4H but that can't be beaten. I am end played if on lead, presumably I'll lead a club.  Declarer just has to deal with the two spade losers and give up three heart tricks, tricky but doable.  If Gerry is on lead KD, AD and a ruff by me is at the expense of a natural heart trick.  Not ruffing just lets Declarer lead diamonds from dummy to be ruffed or ruffed by me with natural tricks.

Two boards later Gerry executed a bidding coup by arriving at 3N. I opened a Lucas 2H, Steve doubled, Gerry inquired with 2N and I showed a max with diamonds (Steve doubling my artificial 3S).  Gerry bid 3N, received the spade lead and rattled off 10 tricks.
A victory for Lucas as most people are in 3C.  Presumably the bidding goes P - P - 1D - 2C - P - 2H - P - 3C - passed out, though North could (should?) try 4C.  If East shows spades North can even bid 5C which makes.

This was actually our first board against Nat and Issy.  I opened 1N, Gerry transfers to hearts, Issy bids 2S.  I bid 3H, Issy 3S, passed out. I led 3H to Gerry's Ace and he returned 9D.  Issy took the Ace and played AS and 9S to Gerry's Q.  Gerry played 9C to my Ace.  I cashed KD adn returned a club.  Issy played 10S to my King and I returned a diamond, won perforce in Dummy.  Stuck in dummy with only minors and me being void in minors, I had to win 8S. Should have unblocked QD Issy! So one down

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Wednesday 13 February

Playing in a Howell with Gerry came third with 57%.  Could have been better though, I misplayed a few hands. Obviously you need to worry about distributions, bad breaks, what will I do if trumps are 4-1 etc. However you need to keep a positive attitude towards how do you make your contract.  I let the negatives get the better of me.

Gerry, East, opened 1D, Raymond overcalled 4C. I didn't fancy a direct 4S and left playing opposite a doubleton with a bad trump break so I reckoned double was a good two way bet, if Gerry doesn't have a sensible bid he might leave it in.  However Gerry has an obvious 4D and now I bid 4S. Raymond thought about bidding 5C, but passed.
Alec led 10C and I ruffed with the 2S.  Now I thought Raymond most likely has 8 clubs.  He might also have singleton AS. Both of those would make it better if I played a small spade rather than the Jack (playing the Jack and whether Raymond gets in with AS or AH, Alec can ruff a club with the 8S. So I played a small spade, Alec beat my K with A and played a second club. So all my thinking about not playing JS was out the window. I had to win this with the Ace (or see that subsequently  ruffed). I then meant to play another club to ruff with the Jack but a little flustered over misreading the hand I pulled out a spade.  The Jack won I played a heart, Raymond rose with the Ace to play a top club followed by another for Alec to ruff / trump promotion and put me down.
Now if I had just thought more positively, get the trumps out and run all those diamonds.  I just need to play JS at trick two, Alec will hold up until no spades in dummy then play a club, but I have the Ace, draw trumps, run diamonds, easy.

 Here are those negative thought again.  Playing E/W our bidding (without interference) went:
1D - 1S - 1N -2C (checkback) - 2H - 3N
Bob led JH and I won Q in dummy.  This is not a good contract.  Negatively I am playing to escape with one off from the start and plan to keep Nat off lead whenever possible.  Being in dummy it is obvious to play on diamonds first.  Positive thinking would make you finesse JD and cash Ace hoping for doubleton K with South.  I am just thinking of keeping South off lead to avoid a heart back. I led QD, covered by K and A and Bob played the 7.  So the missing cards are 1098.  Now if Bob was doubleton he could have played a higher one. I decided to play him for three so cashed JD and another, but Nat won. Now Nat is not privy to my hand and it is not clear to him to return a heart. If I have AK, I won't have much in clubs, so Nat returned a club, I ducked, Bob won the Jack and returned a club to my Ace.  I now played a spade to the 9 which took the Q, but now Nat returns a heart and I'm off.
Positive thinking would point to the only way to make the contract is for Honour 10 in spades in the North hand. Win QH, cross to AC, finesse 9S and you'll make 9 tricks on a diamond finesse.

Didn't do well on this hand either, everyone in 4H made it except me. I can't see how they managed it but many Wests played it and got AS lead, did they switch to singleton diamond?
Anyway I played it as East and got a friendly lead of a small club from Victor. Winning QC I am thinking too positively about this hand.  I seem just to have two spades to lose, but want to lead towards them.  So at trick two I crossed to AH and led 5S to Q and A. Brian returned a club, I took Ace and led a second spade to J and K, Brian returned a small spade.  Well, if I get over-ruffed with J at least I have 10 tricks, I put in the 6 and Victor discarded. Now I've made this if I play diamond to A, ruff my 4th spade, ruff a club and just lose JH for 10 tricks which is what I was thinking. For some reason (why?) I played KD first, crossed to AD, Brian ruffed, 10S forces KH and promotes JH for one off.  Ugh!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Monday 11 February

Playing N/S with Adrianne we came 3rd with a Butler score of 26.

I landed lucky on this hand against Joe and Sheila when our bidding went:
1D - 1S - x - P
1N - P  - 3N - passed out
Adrianne's double promised 4 hearts, but she is a bit stuck. I would have bid 2D or even 1N (I'm used to losing the first 5 tricks).
Anyway Sheila led JH which I covered with the Q and that held. Prospects didn't look good, a 3-3 diamond break and an endplay on Sheila in spades looks the only hope. Need to rid her of clubs though. So I led a small club from dummy hoping Sheila had an honour and Joe would play low. Joe played the 10 and lucky for me my Jack won. If diamonds are 3-3 I make this regardless. I return a club ducked to Joe's 9 and he returns KC to my Ace and Sheila discards a spade. I now played A and Q diamond, Sheila discards another spade. She must be 6-4 in the majors. I cashed my other top diamond and played Ace and another heart. Sheila cashes her three heart tricks but Joe must keep his diamond and is loath to let his QC go, he discards his two spades. So I got my spade end play as Sheila had to lead away from KS and my J and A won the last two tricks.

They got me back on the next hand. Sheila opened 1C and Adrianne bid 2N (I'd prefer 1S with those defensive tricks). Anyway Joe passed(3C?) and I bid 3S. This confused Adrianne, was this showing strength instead of asking for her major? Anyway she bid 4S and Joe doubled.
Sheila led KC and switched to JD. So what is Joe's double? He must have clubs but didn't bid, surely it is based on KQxx of spades. Well, I need to set up diamonds without loss (I'm losing two spades and a club) and that looks like a doubleton diamond from Sheila. Now if she has singleton 9S I don't want to be over-ruffed.  So I reckoned I could afford one round of spades as Joe won't want to continue them and lead away from his holding. So I won AD and  led a small spade from dummy.  As expected Joe rose with the King and he continued a diamond which I took perforce in hand.  I crossed to AH and led a diamond which I ruffed with the 7 and Sheila over-ruffed with the 9. I still need to ruff a diamond to avoid two down, expecting to lose QS to Joe. Sheila returned a heart, I ruffed a club and led a 4th diamond, ruffed with the Jack and you could have swallowed me whole when Sheila over-ruffed with the Queen. A straightforward 10 tricks were there for the taking. Joe's double is the sort of tactic Zia is famous for. It certainly threw me.

An annoying hand against David and Katie.  Without interference our bidding went:
 P - 1H - 1S - 1N - 3D - 3H - 3S - 3N - 4H - 4S

Katie led a small club and my King held, I threw a diamond.  Why is everyone out to confuse me? I led 10S, why, oh why, what's wrong with 8S? Anyway David won the Ace and  returned a club. I ruffed and played QS to Katie's King and a third spade loser showed up because I'd played that 10.
Katie exited with AC, I ruffed, cashed JS and played on hearts. Luckily Katie didn't ruff the first time and I went 1 down.  Note I can still make after Katie wins KS and returns AC.  As before ruff, cash JS leaving Katie with a winning 9S and me with 6S. I cross to AH and lead QD covered by KD.  I cross to KH and run 9D. Katie can ruff any red winner whenever she likes, I have 10 tricks.
Interestingly Deep Finesse says the defence always defeat 4S, I can't see it.  3N would have been interesting.  A club to the Ace and another club.  Now you must play on diamonds as you can't go out twice to spades and they lie perfectly to go with the 3-3 heart break for an easy game.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Thursday 8 February

Playing in a Howell with Gerry we won with a good score of 66%.

 Against David and Katie we had just had a bottom being left to play in 2C with our 16 points between us going off.  Whereas other E/W had competed in the wrong suit and gone down.
Anyway Davis opened 1C, Gerry overcalled 2S and Katie doubled and David bid 2N raised to 3 by Katie.
Gerry led 2D, low from Dummy and I inserted the 10 which forced the Ace. David led over to AC and tabled JH.  Now Gerry only needs QJ10xxx QH and QD for his bid, that could give David 9 tricks if I let this go to his King.  So, not wanting to let my partner's good lead go to waste, I jumped up with AH, led back a diamond to the Q and we had 4 diamonds and a heart for one off.  Maybe if I'd played low we would have put it two off but even at Match Points if partner has found a good lead make sure you don't squander it.

Against Steve and Kirsten I opened North 1C, Steve bid 2S and Gerry just went straight to 4N.  I've got a 5S reply so ended in 6C.
Steve led his club and I drew two rounds. Obviously the diamond finesse makes or breaks it.  I thought about playing a heart first, if Steve has the Ace then I'll know the KD is offside.  Maybe I can run all my clubs but no, that won't produce anything, I need diamond tricks for the contract.  So I just took an immediate finesse by leading JD and I was home.

Ever since we've had the print out of the hands I have noticed that when partner opens 2N and you have 10 points and a 5 card suit then the slam makes.
Against Avril and Len Gerry opened West 2D multi, I bid 2H and he rebid 2N.  Now I got it into my head that was 23/24 (that's a 2C opener), it is in fact 19/20. Anyway with easy slam in mind, I transferred, maybe partner can break and we can find 7S. Gerry completed the transfer. What now? 4C is Gerber, 4N  quantitative, I'm not sure what 4D is, but should probably be another suit. I just bid 6N.
Avril led JH, Gerry won, played Ace and another diamond unfortunately Len had the King.  Heart back to the K, AC, spade back, KC, run spades claim if diamonds break which they do, phew!
Now, if I had remembered correctly that Gerry had 19/20 what would I have done after 3?.  Well going by opening remark I think I should bid 4N quantitative. Gerry will probably bid 6S which is where most others were.

We missed a game on the next one.  Gerry opened 1D and Avril overcalled 1H.  I doubled, Len bid 2H, Gerry 2S, Avril 3H. Now I bid 3S and that was passed out.
Now 3S is wrong I feel. I don't have much more than I need for a competitive 3S but it is that singleton QD.  Singletons in partner's suit are usually a negative but when we have our fit, a singleton honour is a two way bet. Either partner has a good suit and your honour will complete it or a poor suit and the singleton is working.
So I feel I should have doubled Avril's 3H to show a good 3S bid.  Anyway to make things worse Gerry made 11 tricks compared to 10 for those in 4S as After two hearts, 2nd one ruffed, diamond to Ace, Avril made the very reasonable club switch instead of a third heart which Gerry would have to allow to hold to prevent him being cut off from hand.

Got a bit lucky against Michele and Ian.  Gerry opened 1S and I bid 2N.  Gerry rebid 4S, minimum, i.e. up to 14 max.
Still, I know there is a 9 card spade fit and odds are Gerry is 5-2-4-2 (he is likely to open 1N with a balanced 5-3-3-2). I decided to try 4N anyway as surely 5S is safe.  Gerry replied two with.  If he has two red Aces and QS, he can still have KC or QH.  If he has KQ spades and a red Ace again KC is likely and at worst we are on finding AH onside (this of course is hoping he doesn't have the three missing Jacks). I bid 6S not knowing my partner only has 11 points!
Michele didn't find the club lead (although with hearts 3-3 you can still get home.  As it was Michele led a trump, Gerry immediately played three rounds of hearts, ruffing high, drew trumps and had 12 tricks

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Monday 4th February

Playing N/S with Adrianne came above average with a Butler score of 10.  However I lost us 20 points by entering a game we made as played by East!  In fact if I had entered that correctly and we hadn't had such a bad start on boards 3, 4 and 5 where David and David bid and made two straightforward games that most East/Wests couldn't find and then we let Alan make a game after a mix up with our signals (you'd think we'd know by now!), we would have had a big score.

Anyway, the second board against Alan and Derek was typical of many on the night with a difficult distribution. Alan passed and Adrianne opened 1H.  You won't get many people passing as West, but Derek did which left me with an obvious 1S.  Adrianne bid 2C, so what do I say? I'm just short of anything encouraging, can't bid 4th suit, 2N is surely not a good bid (actually 3N is certain on the heart finesse).  2H is possible but I decided 2S to play was best.  Couldn't have been worse. I managed to lose 6 spade tricks and went one off.  Well done to those who found 5D.

This was the game I gave to East/West.  Maggie opened 1S, Adrianne overcalled 2D, Sally bid 2S and I doubled.  Maggie went to 4S and I bid 5D.
Sally led JS, Adrianne won Ace, ruffed a spade and finessed QD. Sally just has to play a heart now but led a club.  Adrianne let that run to Maggie's Ace and she was end played to give Adrianne the rest of the tricks. in practice she played a spade allowing a heart discard and ruff in dummy.  Adrianne drew last trump, finessed 10C, crossed to AH and KC to discard last heart.
Should have been +8 but was -12 when I entered 5D by East.

People use Michaels/Unusual NT too readily with any 5-5.  I don't think their partners trust them.  That's the only reason I can think that so many E/W played this in 4S.
Anyway Katie opened 1S and I bid 2N, being vulnerable you surely need a hand similar to this at this scoring where -500 is available if partner has something in one of the minors.
David bid 4S and Adrianne had no problem bidding 5D.  Katie bid 5H and I don't think she can consider defending.  David bid 5S and there they played. I led KC which is surely the best source of any tricks for the defence and Katie couldn't avoid losing a club a spade and a heart.

A very difficult hand to finish.  Clifford opens 1N and Adrianne doubles.  Len bids 2D transfer and I double.  Clifford completes the transfer and Adrianne doubles, back to me.  I didn't know what to do.  They're vul, could easily be two off for 500, but I decided against that and bid 3N.  That would not have been a success, heart lead, I knock out AD but Len would signal for a club and I'm 3 or 4 off.
However, Len can't pass that hand and bids 4C.  I bid 4D and Adrianne bids 5D.
Clifford leads a heart, I win and play a club to guarantee my ruff and three spade losers go on the top hearts.