Friday, 24 May 2013

Thursday 24 May

Playing with Gerry we came 4th  in a Howell with a respectable 59%.  Two slam hands gave us a top and a bottom.

 The first was a typical punt by me where I know 12 tricks are likely but 1 off might be expected.
Gerry opened West 1H, I bid 1S and Gerry rebid 3C.  I now closed my eyes, crossed my fingers and bid 6H.
Steve led 5D to Q,K and A.  Gerry immediately played a heart to Q and A, spade back to Q, K and A and a heart to the K dropped the Jack for 12 tricks.
A bit reckless but fortune favours the brave.

Here Gerry opened West 1S and I bid 2C.  Gerry bid 4C, I found he had 1 keycard and decided on 6C rather than 6N.
Nicol led 4H, it might be from Q so I tried the Jack and Steve played Q and I took the Ace.
I now ran 9C to Steve's Jack and after just a little thought Steve returned a heart for Nicol to ruff and down 1.
Of course I ran 9C in case Nicol had KJx of trumps.  However as Gerry pointed out I could afford a club loser, the small heart is now maybe from 42 or 4 singleton.  Of course if I had finessed QC, cashed AC, QD, AS AKJ of diamonds throwing a heart and two spades I would have made it

Friday, 17 May 2013

Thursday 16th May

Playing N/S with Gerry we had a terrible start, about 25% after the first 5 boards.  However after a storming second half we managed to come 1st with 64%.

Our fortunes started turning for the better on this board.  After two passes Irene opened 1C, Gerry overcalled 1D and Phyllis passed.  I bid 1H, Irene bid 2C and Gerry 2S. With the doubleton club I decided to pass and let Gerry play in the Moysian fit rather than bid 3D.
Phyllis obviously led a club and Gerry cashed AK and ruffed a club while Phyllis discarded a heart. Now Gerry ducked a diamond to Phyllis's Queen and she returned a heart. Gerry won AH, finessed a diamond, played AD which was ruffed. Phyllis now plays a spade and Irene cashes AK and exits with a club.  Gerry ruffs, draws last trump and diamonds are good for 9 tricks.

 I'm afraid I stole a big score here against Ian Swan and Robert Aitken.  After opening 1C, Robert overcalled 1S.  Gerry bid 2S which is that sort of hand (game going, won't have 4 hearts, won't have 5 diamonds) and looking for something in spades. I thought I had 17 points, but even with 16, if Gerry has enough for game I reckoned he was odds on to have Kx or maybe Ace bare in spades.  I couldn't see a sensible bid so, of course, made the stupid bid of 3NT!
Well if you think Declarer has Qxx in spades would you lead a spade from the East hand? Robert didn't, he lead a diamond. I had 4 Diamonds, 4 Hearts and 4 Clubs off the top. Sorry about that.

With West's fine 15 count and his partner having an Ace, you don't expect to be defending against a slam.
Gerry opened 1C and Willie doubled.  I bid 1H and David passed. Gerry thought about this, the obvious rebid is 3C but the power of major says always bid them so he bid 1S. Willie passed and I liked my hand now and bid 3S.  Back to Gerry who liked his hand even more and bid 5S (have you got two top honours partner?).  Well I had KQ of trumps so bid 6S.
Willie led KD, Gerry won in hand and led a spade to Q, ruffed a heart, led a spade to K and claimed by running clubs, just losing AS. Not just the power of majors, the power of four to the 9!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Thursday 9 May

Playing N/S with Gerry came 1st with 57.5%.

 Got some good scores against Helen and Ivan.  On this one I opened 1N and after a heart transfer I ended in 3N.  When partner puts down 17 points and a 5 card suit you might expect to make 11 tricks most times, but here there were only 9 sure tricks.
Ivan led JS, great I can finesse his 10, so I win in hand and immediately play back a small spade and Ivan shows out!  I took the Ace and decided to ensure my 10 tricks rather than gamble on hearts, so I played K then Q of diamonds and Helen took that with her Ace. She now surprised me with KH.   After the singleton spade lead and no real values in the minors I suspected Ivan had good hearts.  I even thought this King was singleton   Anyway I took my Ace and led back a heart.  Ivan paused, good, eventually played low and I won the Jack. I now played 9S, covered and won in hand and Ivan let a club go. Everything looks rosy now and with 4 spades, 4 clubs, 2 hearts and 2 diamonds I had 12 tricks.

In the same set we landed in the right contract and Gerry played well to make 12 tricks.
Gerry opened 1C, I bid 1D and Ivan came in 2S.  Gerry bid 2N which came round to me. You hate to play in a minor at Pairs but I was unsure. Temporising I bid a checkback 3C and Gerry bid 3H. I decided that made it a little less likely that Gerry had a double spade stop and I bid 5C.
Double dummy we can see that running 8D is a sure way to 12 tricks, but not a likely way to play it.  Gerry won the spade lead, ruffed a spade, diamond to the Q, ruffed a spade.  He now drew trumps and finessed 10H.  Now came a small diamond.  If Ivan takes the Ace then diamonds are set up.  He ducked and Helen won, but she is end played as a diamond exit will see Ivan's Ace ruffed and dummy's diamonds are good and a heart exit is a free finesse. A much neater way of making 12 tricks.

After some successes there had to be some failures and I got us a zero against Mike and Michele.
Mike opened East 1C and Michele bid 4S.  What do I lead?  If we discount AC is a red suit a good lead? Maybe 6D was correct, but I figured Michele for 7 good, probably 8 spades and I have 3.  Is a spade lead going to lose partner a trick, I thought unlikely and led 3S.  Could not have been worse.  Yes it did cost a spade trick and not leading the diamond lost us that as well.  Instead of 1 down it was plus 1. Gerry won AS and returned a small club looking for a diamond but I couldn't see the point as she will be forced to win Ace and discard diamonds on clubs.  I just returned a club.  Michele won this, threw a diamond and ruffed a club with 10S. That gave her the rest.

Against Cliff and Jim, Gerry got us another top by bidding slam on this board.  After a 2N opening I transferred to hearts and bid my spades.  Gerry launched into 6H.  With my distribution and those club tricks this must be a reasonable shot. Anyway Jim found the best lead of 2D which Gerry won and he played 3 rounds of clubs discarding the rest of my diamonds. Now the trumps, but there was no guess, AH and another produced the Jack, so just a heart loser and my remaining 2 spade losers went on the clubs.  Easy.

However I managed to find another bottom on this set.  Gerry opened a multi 2D, I bid an asking 2N and he bid 3S showing a minimum.  4S isn't very likely now, but 8 tricks are certain and partner has something outside.  OK I shouldn't do this at Pairs but couldn't resist trying 3N.
Cliff found the perfect lead of JD. If they are 4-4 and AC onside I can still make this, however I can't let them take two diamonds then switch to hearts.  So I won AD, ran all my spades but to no avail, even with AC onside they had 4 diamond tricks.
Interestingly what If I do hold up?  I can't see Cliff finding a heart switch. So if I had won the third diamond I would have been home.

In the same set Cliff plays this hand in 3N.  We got a decent score because spades was better.  However I failed to find the defence to defeat it.  Gerry led 9H, as CLiff hadn't bid hearts I knew this was 109x(x). I played QH and Cliff won the King. He ran QS which I ducked. Another spade and I took the King returning a heart and Cliff has 9 top tricks.  However, what if I just return a spade? Declarer only has 8 tricks, can he make a 9th? After running the spades he might exit with 10C (AK of diamonds gives us 5 tricks). Gerry wins the King and plays back a diamond and again we must get 5 tricks. Obviously I don't want to give away overtricks at Pairs and setting up our hearts did seem best at the time, but maybe I should have thought it over.

 Managed to get us another bottom against Alex and Rod.  Gerry opened 1H which went round to Alex who bid 2C.  Gerry doubled, Rod bid 3C. Now I had three options, the most obvious is pass, less obvious is 3H, but I thought if we can make that we'll easily defeat 3C. I couldn't resist that third option and doubled.
Well Gerry is end played at trick one. He knows he'll almost certainly have to open up hearts eventually, so starts with Ace and another heart.  Alex wins the Jack discarding a diamond.  King of clubs and a finesse back and a diamond lead to Gerry's Ace.  Gerry tried a small spade to Q and K. In the end Alex just loses two spades a heart and a diamond.  I didn't get one club trick.

In the same set I ended in 4S though Gerry thought about 3N.  However looks a good contract especially when Alex led 10D.  I could make 12 tricks here.  I covered and Rod played the king and I won the Ace. I immediately led a small spade, Alex followed with the 6.  It is normal to duck a spade with this holding as you retain control if they don't break, however I don't want to lose a low spade to Rod and have one of my diamond winners ruffed so I went up with the Ace thinking I can duck on the way back. Oh no. I have two discards for my hearts in dummy and I've just removed the only entry. Alex has to win three spade tricks and although I set up my winners in Dummy, he correctly finds heart exits to make sure I can't get discards, 1 down, if only I had played KS first, then AQ clubs, 8D, third diamond. Alex will be stuck and can't stop me getting rid of the heart losers as long as I play KC first when in Dummy with AS.
The reason I am showing the Match Points, we are pair 1 and got 4 points.  If I had made 4S, we would still have got 4 points. Funny old game as Jimmy Greaves used to say!