Friday, 22 March 2013

Thursday 21 March

Playing in a Howell with Gerry, came third with 54%.  We had been going well but had a disastrous final two sets.

Lucas Twos can lead to some hairy contracts but we have always scored well with them.  I was West here against Alex and Raymond. I thought about opening 1S and probably would at aggregate but decided it is better to be max than min at pairs  and opened 2S.  Alex passed and Gerry bid 4S (much more sensible than 3S) to stymie Raymond.
QD lead which I took with Ace in dummy, thought about finessing club now, but decided on a spade.  Raymond wins perforce and plays K and another diamond for Alex to ruff.  Ace and another heart now, ruffed.  Spade to Raymond, another heart ruffed.  I can't afford to cross to dummy for club finesse, should have done that at trick 2.  Anyway King is offside and I am down 3 for -150.  Straightforward 4H available for N/S.

 Gerry opened South 1D, Ileen bid 2H and I bid 3C.  Back to Gerry who bid 3D. I gave this some thought but decided that I shouldn't try 3H and certainly not 4D as the four level could easily be too high.  If I had bid 3H and Gerry 3N, would Ileen have avoided the heart lead?
Anyway against 3D Ileen led AK and another heart for Christine to ruff. Chrisitine exits with a diamond, Gerry takes in hand, crosses to a diamond and exits with QC to end play Christine.  She chooses the spade won in dummy by the Jack, now JC destroys her. Nine tricks made.

On the next one Gerry opens South 1C, I bid 1D and Gerry bids 3D.  3N might be right but one of these majors will be a liability.  I decided on 5D.  As it is Christine would probably have led a spade and 3N would have made.
Anyway Christine led JC, I won the Ace, throwing a heart, AD, Christine played the 9, another diamond, Christine played the 8.  I decided that tells me nothing, anyway to lose to a doubleton Q in Ileen's hand and then get a heart through was not attractive.  So I rose with the King, Tried the clubs but Christine ruffed the third and cashed AS for one off.

 I got this hand all wrong.  Playing 3N as West after Gerry opened 1H, 1S, 2C, 2N, 3S, 3N.
Steve led JD and I ducked.  Steve immediately played QD.  I don't know why the Jack, but anyway if it from four or five he figures to have QJ10 as a small diamond is usually led from QJxx missing the 9.
I have to get club tricks to make this so I took QD with A and led a club to Marilyn's K. She returns a diamond.  If they are 4-4 it doesn't matter what I do (remember Steve must have 10). I decided to go up with KD, led another club, oops, Marilyn has two diamond's to cash, down 1.

 Mike found a great defence against Gerry on this board. Mike opened 1D and Gerry bid 4H to end the auction.
Jim led JD to Q and Ace and Mike returned 4S.  Brilliant, Jim wins King, returns a spade for Mike to finesse the Jack and cash the Ace for down 1.
Nothing you can do about that.

Did get one back against them even though I missed bidding game.
Gerry opened 1C, Jim bid 1D and I bid 1H (guarantees 5).  Gerry raise to 3H.  I would just go for 4H at aggregate, but passed the 3H here.
JD lead which I took with Ace, cashed AC and played A and K of hearts.  I now ran 10C, exit with a heart and just lose that and a diamond as my two spades go on the clubs.
Eleven tricks, 200 was a good score especially as others were in clubs.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Thursday 14 March

Playing N/S with Gerry came first with 57%.

This was a typically competitive board on the night. Marilyn opened 1D and I overcalled 1H, Steve doubled and Gerry bid a pre-emptive 3H.  This was passed round to Steve who bid 4D, back to me, I bid 4H and that was passed out. Having been pushed into 4H obviously the opponents were expecting one off rather than going to 5D.
As it turned out, not only has Gerry got a 5th heart, he has the crucial KC and this was an excellent contract. Steve led KD, ruffed, heart to dummy's K, diamond ruffed.  JC to King, finesse 10C and claim 11 as two spades disappear on the clubs.

 If you read my blog a dew weeks ago you will know my theory that if partner opens 2N and you have 10 points with some distribution then you always make a slam.
So, through a multi Gerry showed a 19/20 NT, I transferred to hearts then cue bid 4C, Gerry cued 4D, excellent, I bid 5H asking for good trumps (two top honours).  Gerry bid 6H obviously.  Nothing to the play, Michelle led KS so at least kept us to 12 tricks.
We were the only ones to find 4S on this board.  Winnie opened 1C, Gerry doubled, Katie bid 1D. I feel if my partner asks me to bid it is churlish not to, only four points but I think the 5th spade just makes it worth a 1S bid.
2C from Winnie and Gerry knowing the power of aces and a good fit, bid 4S.
When you have a natural lead it is usually best to ignore partner's bid, but Winnie enticed by the possibility of a ruff not unreasonably led KD. This was perfect for me.  I won the Ace and wasn't going to do anything silly knowing I'll get a good score for game so I played AS and another.  Katie ducked and my Q won.  JD to the Q, club back to Ace, 10D to throw a heart, ruff a diamond, ruff a club, cash a long diamond throwing a club, ruff a heart, ruff a club, 11 tricks.

I blotted my copybook on the next board by overbidding my hand.  Gerry expecting more put me into 6C.
A then K of hearts were led and obviously all I have to do is find KC.  Now there are four possibilities:
K9 - void, K - 9, 9 - K and void - K9.
I crossed to AS and played JC from dummy Katie's play of the 9 gave me just a thought that she had both, but I prefer to ignore these things at the table and just play the odds.  Once the 9 appears the only possibilities are the first and third above so it appears 50-50 and maybe I should follow that feeling.  However Winnie has 9 unknown cards, Katie 8, I think it slightly favours the drop, so up with the Ace and a big fat zero.

This was a very competitive board.  I can't fully remember our bidding I think it went:

1C - 1D - 1H - 1S   (Ronnie might have doubled, not 1D)
2C - 4S - 5C - passed back to Ronnie who bid 5S and round to me to double.
I led 8H to J, Q and K.  I wasn't feeling too good about this, in theory I either get some spades or some clubs, but those diamonds?
Anyway Elizabeth runs 9S at trick two, she then finessed another spade.
Now followed A and another diamond to Gerry's King who put a club through ruffed by dummy who now had bare Ace and I had K10.  Elizabeth played a diamond winner, threw a heart and I ruffed with the 10.  I exited with AC, ruffed by AS, another diamond winner (should have thrown QC!!!), I ruffed with KS and cashed KC, exit with club, Elizabeth ruffs in hand, over to AH and two more diamond winners plus the last spade for two off.
A very difficult hand though I thought Elizabeth did very well up until not throwing a club which would have meant one off.
Actually 5D looks best over 5C, but maybe you need to finesse 9H to give you all the necessary entries to dummy.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Thursday 7 March

Playing N/S with Gerry, came first with 59%.

Gerry made the right bid and play to get us a top on this board against Victor and Willie.
Victor opened 1H and Gerry bid 4C making it too difficult for the opposition to find their spades.
Willie led 7H, Victor won and tried a top spade.  Gerry ruffed, AKQ of clubs then 10H and Victor is end played.  In practice he played a diamond, Gerry played another heart to end play Victor again.
The lie of the diamonds meant ten tricks were always there but it is satisfying to let the defenders ensure your contract.  The best defence is actually AK of hearts, small heart for Willie to ruff.  Now the only way to make ten is the double diamond finesse.
Most E/W found their 4S presumably after a 3C overcall.

Another top where Gerry found the optimum score. I opened 1S, Victor bid 2H and Gerry doubled.  Willie bid 3H, I bid 3S, Victor 4H and Gerry doubled.
The spade lead was ruffed and Victor played Ace and another heart.  Gerry played another spade, ruffed.  Victor played a club to the Ace getting some good news from my Jack falling.  A club came back to Gerry's King.  I discarded my lowest spade (inverse attitude) hoping to discourage Gerry leading a diamond.  Sure enough Gerry can count Victor's hand and just exited with a club and we had to come to two diamonds for one off.
Most pairs were in 4S going off.

Again Gerry steered us to the best contract.  I opened 1D and Ronnie came in a cheeky 1H, Gerry bid 2H, I bid 2N and Gerry 3N.
Ronnie led 5H, I hoped Elizabeth might have to put in the Queen, but it was the 10 and so I had to win the King and run all my tricks. I played AC, KD, diamond to Ace then led JC to my King, ran my diamonds and Ronnie unsure about QH let too many hearts go allowing me to win a spade at the end for 10 tricks.  Everyone else is in 5D (or 6C).  I presume East did not overcall at the other tables. If that had happened with us our bidding would have gone:

1D - 2C - 3S - 3N

3S is a splinter, but Gerry would be happy with his double guard and at the same time be put off possibilities of 6C.

This is a bidding problem where South has an impossible bid.
After two passes I opened 1C and Ronnie overcalled 1H.  What does South bid? Pass is terrible with 9 points (and two bullets), double is worse with three crappy spades, 2D is awful.  Gerry passed, but I couldn't pass with that hand and so having discounted the three options above I am left with 1N or 2C.  I think I would have chosen 1N, this has the most going for it a) I am max, b) West usually bids 2H anyway with that hand c) if left in at least the defenders will be playing me for a stop, a small heart lead might be ducked to my Jack d) with club length partner can rebid clubs, even over a 2H bid by West.
So Gerry passed, West bid 2H back to Gerry, he can't pass this, ventured 3D, oh dear.

A bottom against Michelle and Ian simply because Ian knows how to play a hand.
I opened 2S Lucas, Ian bid 3H, Gerry 3S and Michelle 4H.  4Sx two off would have been a triumph but I passed.
Gerry led AS, small spade to my King and I exited with 7D.  Ian considered this but clearly my second suit is diamonds and went up with the Ace.  Two rounds of hearts then KC felling my Queen.  The rule of restricted choice says this is more likely singleton (with QJ I could have played either) and the Lucas bid helps as well.  Anyway, Ian finessed 10C and made all his clubs for a diamond discard and 11 tricks. Everyone else made 10.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Thursday 28 February

Came first with Gerry playing a static N/S in a Howell with a score of 58%.

 I am good at totally misreading opponent's hand, in fact I am probably a world expert.  Here is an example.
Against Mike and Jim I opened 1N, round to Jim who bid 2H (hearts and a minor).  Mike raised to 3H passed out. I felt end played on lead and thought about leading AS as I will probably have to open up the suit later.  However I finally decided on a diamond and led 8D. Great start, AKQ diamonds throwing two spades.  Now Jim played 7H which ran to my Q.  I cashed AS and played another which Jim ruffed and he played 10H. I have Ax of trumps and black cards, if I play low and then win the Ace I have to lead away from KC giving Jim all the club tricks or lead a spade allowing a club discard from dummy and then a ruffing finesse of my KC.  So, naturally misreading the situation, I rose with AH so that I could exit with the 2H and crashed partner's King.  Contract made.  Of course if I had led that AS it could have been two down.

 Gerry got us a top on this board when he opened 1H (we have different methods, I always open 1D and yes, I might have to rebid 2D).  Anyway 1H - 1N - 2D - 3H - pass
My 3H is a bit pushy with no values in partner's suit and a flat hand, but you can miss games otherwise (note that 3N makes).
Flora led a trump and Issy put in the Q so at least there were no problems there. Gerry led a small diamond and Flora took her Q, she now played a small club and Gerry considered this for a while and then played the Jack.  AK of clubs throwing two two spades, A and another diamond won by Flora who now plays spade to Issy's Ace and Gerry has 10 tricks.
A simple 1D - 1H - 4H and Paul led KS taken by Ace.  KH won by Ian's Ace and a heart exit, Gerry drew a third and led up QD which he ran to the King and Ian exited with a spade won by Paul.  Paul now played a small diamond which Gerry carefully considered but why did Ian not immediately return a spade when in with AH?  He can't be doubleton.  You don't need that diamond finesse id spades are 3-3.  Gerry rose with AD, cashed JS, diamond ruff and a fourth spade to throw QC for 10 tricks.
An initial club lead will always beat the contract unless someone sneaks a peak at East's hand.  Once a club is not led the contract is assured because by the time Paul gets in with the spade, if he switches to a club then declarer just rises with the Ace and has two excellent chances, he can try JS for a spade split and if that fails finesse 10D.

 AN interesting hand against David and Kate.  Gerry opened 1C and Kate bid 3S. I am confident of a slam so I am not doubling and giving partner the option of leaving it in.  I can't bid 4H as that must mostly be to play, so I bid 4S. Gerry used RKC and bid 6C.
I am just guessing now, but am worried that 6C won't score well if some pairs find 6H, so I just bid 7C which I'm sure will have good chances.
As it is there are 15 tricks.  Unlucky Paul and Ian who found the superior 7H, but by N and without a Lightener double their opponents found the diamond lead.
Back to my misreading of hands.  This was a world class example against Alistair and Alex.
Gerry opened 1C and Alistair doubled.  I bid 1S, Gerry raised to 2S and Alistair bid 3H.  I doubled and although I am keen to defend, this just shows 'values' and Gerry with singleton heart decided on 4S.
Alex led JH and I, in my wisdom, start trying to work out Alistair's hand.  The 3H bid implies six, but the double suggests four spades as well. Even so I would bid 1H not double.  Is it 4-5 in the majors? Many would still bid 1H, but I convinced myself Alistair has four spades.  I won AH, ruffed a heart, AC, club ruff felling the King and led another heart.  Alex produced the 10S, so it is six hearts, I now have Alistair 4-6-1-2.  Anyway I over-ruffed with KS and I should have played QC now but I ran 6S from dummy.  Alex won the Q, o me miserum.  What an easy 4S, just set up clubs, A and K of trumps and play clubs and Alistair can ruff when he wants. Alex returns a diamond won by Alistair's K, he cashes KH, another heart that I ruff, AS, over to AD and QC, Alistair ruffs with the master J and I throw my last diamond for one off. At the end keeping AS wouldn't have helped, going over to AD to lead QC and over-ruff Alistair would have left me with a diamond loser.