Thursday, 19 September 2013

Wednesday 18 September

Fantastic performance by Scotland's Seniors in Bali, lying second after seven wins on the trot.

Playing N/S with Gerry we were also lying second with 55%.  However after a poor start we were pleased with that. Don't want to dwell on the poor ones but Ronnie ensured we couldn't make a 3N by coming in with a 2D overcall.  Now I had Qx and Gerry Kxx, I cue bid 3D to make Gerry the Declarer and the diamond lead scuppered the contract.  Played by me a diamond lead gives us two tricks and time to set up clubs for the contract.  On the next I opened 3N with 7 clubs and Gerry had a potential trick in each of the other suits but Ronnie and Elizabeth defended perfectly to put it two off.  These gambling (or in my case gambolling) 3NTs would actually be better by transfer. Playing a Benji or Multi option for a 20-22 2NT you could then have 2N is a 3C pre-empt, 3C for 3D etc. and 3S is a gambling 3N and you right side the contract.
Anyway things picked up against Louis and Harold.

Like most pairs E/W are in 3N after 1C - 2C - 2N - 3N and Gerry as South is on lead.  Figuring that his hand can't do any damage with only one entry he decided against a spade lead and tried to help my hand with a 7H lead.
Louis won in hand and immediately played a club to Gerry who continued with 8H this time taken in Dummy.  Another club won by me and I cleared the hearts.  With AD to come I make the 4th heart and Louis can only make 9 tricks, everyone else after a spade lead made 10.
It matters not if Louis tries diamonds first, I still get the 4th heart set up for when I'm in with AC.

Things went reasonably well after that and we had a good finish

I opened 1N and Ian 2D (alerted).  Gerry bid 2S and Bob 3H.  Back to Bob who bid 4H and Gerry ventured 4S.  Ian quite rightly doubled this.
Bob led a diamond to Q and K, Gerry played a spade to 10 and K.  Ian tried a heart, ruffed, spade to Q and Ace, diamond ruff but that was it, Gerry wins any return, draws last trump and has lots of diamond and club winners.
Double Dummy if Ian returns a club when in with the first spade, then when in with the second spade there is a diamond ruff and club ruff.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Monday 17 September

Playing N/S with Adrianne came in a poor 10th of 15 with a Butler score of -8. Most hands were fairly nondescript, we didn't do much wrong but didn't get many good scores.

Got off to a bad start with the first two boards of the night against Phoebe and Robina.
Our bidding went:
1S -  x - 2C - P
2D - P - 2H - P
3C - P - 4N - P
5H - P - 6C - passed out

Adrianne has a tricky bid over the fourth suit. I prefer to bid 2S rather than create a picture of 5143 shape, however I'm not so keen to bid 2S here and end up in 4S opposite 2 small. Primarily she has to deny a heart stop and make the bid that best describes her hand.  On balance 3C is probably best.
However I am tempted by the thought of a singleton heart opposite and can't resist going for 6C.
Phoebe made the obvious heart lead and double dummy I can make this.  Duck AH, win heart continuation and ruff a heart. AD, QD covered and ruffed (else discard a spade). Over to AS, cash 10D discard spade then run JC.  Defender can make that harder by returning a club at trick two which you have to run to Dummy.  Or even a spade, but you are still home as above.
Needless to say I didn't do any of that, I just tried a diamond finesse at trick two.

This is a big 'swingy' hand that we got wrong.  West could open 2S or multi if you allow it missing a top honour.  North could open 2H playing Lucas.  Neither of these applied at our table, it simply went:

P - 1H - 1S - 2H
4S - passed out.

5H (or 5D) can't be beaten, 4S can. Unfortunately we got neither of these results.  Adrianne led KD, I played the 2 for a club.  She duly switched to the 7 and I didn't suspect this was a singleton, I ducked.   So we didn't even keep it to 10 tricks. A club lead defeats the contract.
Fit jumps don't seem to be around as much these days, we certainly never played them but isn't that South hand just perfect for a fit-jump to 3D?

Along with half the field we managed to bid slam against Alan and Myra.
Adrianne opened 1H, I bid 1S, Adrianne 1N.  I bid 4C for Aces, Adrianne showing the AS and I bid 6S.  Alan led a diamond won in hand.  AS with Alan's 10 popping up, then I ran the 9 to the bare Queen. Two discards on the KQ hearts gave me 12 tricks.
Straightforward enough, however a number of people made 13 tricks.  That was poor, if East's 10 is singleton and you go up with the King of Spades on the second round, West will have Q8 left and will get two trump tricks.  Silly to risk your slam for one measly point.

The Scottish team are off to a good start in the d'Orsi trophy in Bali winning their first two matches:


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Monday 9 September

Playing E/W with Adrianne finished in the middle but with a reasonable Butler score of 16.

Myra opened 3C and Adrianne doubled, Alan passed and I bid 4H, round to Alan who bid 5C.  This went back to Adrianne who decided to bid 5H.  Definitely not recommended, the five level belongs to the opponents unless you have a big fit, not 3 card support.
Anyway Myra led KC and followed with another which I ruffed.  Heart to the Q, ducked, JH taken by Ace.  Now even with QS falling and a marked heart finesse I am still going to lose a diamond for one off.  However Alan plays a third club which on the face of it is quite clever as if I ruff in hand there is no gain and if I ruff in Dummy I cannot finesse the heart and Alan will make a second trump trick.
Anyway, I discarded a spade and ruffed in Dummy, now AK of spades and Myra's Queen falls.  I have a count of Alan's hand now : 4423, so I cashed AD, KD, J10 of spades throwing my last two diamonds and we all have two cards left and the lead is in Dummy.  So with K9 of hearts over the 10 6 I got my trump finesse and 11 tricks.  Who says the 5 level belongs to the opponents?

Two eventful boards against Steve and Marcin again 5 level contracts. Two big scores which cancelled out because of mistakes.
Marcin opened 1S, Steve 1N and I bid 2D.  Marcin bid 2H, Adrianne 3D and Steve 4H.  This went round to Adrianne who bid 5D, doubled by Steve and Marcin decided to bid 5H.
Adrianne led KC and Marcin took the Ace, when I got in with AS I could play a club for Adrianne to cash two tricks and down one.
Marcin had been worried I might have been singleton club, but he would still have been down.  All he has to do is hope I am doubleton club, hold up AC and he makes the contract.

Now my turn for the error.  Adrianne opened the West hand 1H, I bid 1S and she raised to 2S.  I cue bid 4C, Adrianne 4D and I bid 5S.  Adrianne is a bit embarrassed about her hand now and passed.
Marcin led QD.  I am always losing a club and a spade so have to get rid of two diamond losers.  Ace and another club does work here for one of them but is the wrong thing to do.  If QC loses to King then Ace and another spade means you lose a diamond. So you have to ruff two diamonds. I won AD, heart to Ace and cashed KD, ruffed a diamond with 5S, over-ruffed, Ace and another spade and I am two down.
If I don't cash KD but just ruff with 5S, ruff a heart, ruff a diamond with JS then I'm home. I hadn't fully thought it out, though I can reasonably expect the third diamond ruff to hold it must be safer not to cash KD. However it was in the back of my mind that not long ago in a similar situation I didn't cash my winner and ruffed my losers, then when I went out to Ace of trump my winner was ruffed. This was less likely to happen here I think with QD lead likely to be from a holding in the suit.

Now what do you think are your chances in 3D? No, not by North silly, by East!
I passed initially and Adrianne opened 1N, Robina bid 2D alerted by Phoebe whom I asked for an explanation and she said an unspecified six card suit.
We play Lebensohl and any double by me is penalty, so I have no bid and if I pass, Phoebe presumably bids 2H and Robina 3D.  Again I have no bid. So I bid 3D over the 2D.  I know this is probably too difficult for partner but playing Lebensohl it is forcing.  Adrianne passed (after considerable thought). The telling point for her is I am a passed hand.  So 3D by East.
Phoebe led JC to Ace, diamond back to my Jack, AH, JH covered and won by King.  TH, 9H throwing spades, KC, QC, Robina ruffs per force with only diamonds left. Now a small one to Phoebe's 10 and my Queen ensures she gets 3 trumps to go with her two Aces for 1 down.  Missed our 4S, but a much more interesting contract!.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Thursday 5 Septemebr

Playing in a Howell with Adrianne came joint second in a close tournament with 58%.

Got a joint bottom playing in 4H after I opened East 1D, Adrianne bid 1H and I stretched to 4H.
Ian led JD which Adrianne fancied to be a singleton, so won in Dummy (dropping 7 from hand) and played A and another heart. Ian exited with a club to Paul's Ace. Paul decided Ian was likely to have a third heart and returned a diamond. However all Adrianne could do was carefully preserve 2D while cashing the suit, dropping a spade on the 5th. She then came over to hand with a trump and tried KS but down 1.
The singleton diamond lead always defeats the contract as you either always get a ruff (assuming South is smart enough to go up with the AC) or the KH.
What is more interesting is the fact that N/S are stiff for 4S or 5C by North. After 1D - 1H by the opposition, I play 1N with the North hand, a mini 'unusual' NT. That would surely get South to bid 4S knowing there can only be three red losers and two black Kings are all that are needed for game.  Looks like nobody else played that convention.

I ended in 3N after opening East 1N, Adrianne bid 2C and after my 2D bid 2N.  The 5 card suit made me bid game.
Alex led 8H which has me thinking.  Is it a doubleton? Is it 98x(x)? No matter I played small, Rod the 6 and I won the Queen.  I returned a diamond to the Jack and Rod took the Ace (better to duck). Anyway Rod led back a diamond, I wasn't expecting that but now I have to decide on the heart situation because I can't discard a back card from dummy. Has Alex led from say 98x and Rod wants the heart through? Worse still a doubleton. However I can't make 9 if I discard a black card so I won QD and let a heart go. I now played 9S to Rod's A and I'm safe now. Just knock out Alex's KS and I have 9 tricks.

I was the only one in 4S who made this.  David opened East a multi and Katie bid the obligatory 2H. You can never be certain East doesn't have spades but I have to bid 2S. Adrianne stretches to 4S.
David led a top heart and I took the Ace and played AK of diamonds discarding a heart. I now led a small spade.  If spades are 2-2 it matters not what you play. A 3-1 break is more likely with 6 hearts in the East hand, so putting in the Jack is best when Katie holds KQx however Katie smoothly played the 8 and as some people will split their honours, I reckoned the situation slightly favoured either 2-2 or the singleton honour in David's hand so I rose with the Ace.  I can only lose a spade a heart and a club now.

Embarrassing disaster!  John opened South 1N, Iain bid 2C, John 2H, Iain 3C and John bid 3N(?). Adrianne led 7S and I had a long hard look at it before playing KS and switching to KD! This held, I played 5D to Adrianne's Ace.  Adrianne is thinking John is holding up AS and my play is consistent with KQ(J)x(x) of diamonds, so she returns a diamond.  John claims the rest.
I just thought John would have spades covered (QJx) for his bid along with AC obviously and maybe just Qxx of diamonds. But then would Adrianne not just least a diamond?
We are unfortunate that John-Iain don't play minor suit transfers as then I can double the 2S and we will be playing in spades (4S makes). Also it is generally recommended nowadays that you lead QS from from QJxxx or King from KQxxx.  That would have saved me my embarrassment.

We were the only ones to find the slam here. I opened East 1C and Phillip overcalled 1D, Adrianne bid 1S and Victor bid 2D.
Adrianne guarantees 5 spades and (as usual) I decide to overbid a little, 3S. Adrianne now produces 4D which takes me by surprise. Well she isn't looking at a good holding in hearts or clubs, however surely something in clubs for a slam try as well as excellent spades.  I bid 5S (how good are your trumps?), Adrianne bid 6S.
Diamond lead ruffed, two rounds of spades, AC, QH, club finesse (can she see through these cards?) and 13 tricks.