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.

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