Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Monday 26 May

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 1st with a Butler score of 44.  Had a poor start but picked up points later on starting with this 4S

Against Raymond & Charles our bidding went:
 P -  P  -   P - 1D
 P - 1S - 1N - 3S
and Fudge raised to 4S, passed out.
Adrianne's 1N is a handy bid we play showing distribution in the other two suits but weak.
Charles was very annoyed about going down in this easy game but it shows how easy it is to be careless in the play.
Adrianne led a small heart to my Jack and I returned 2C to Dummy's King. At this point Charles plays QS from Dummy.  It doesn't look as if it matters as he has the other top three spades minus the Ace, but that was him defeated.
Adrianne won AS and carefully led QH to pin Charles' 10, note how a small heart is wrong  as Charles can duck the King again. Also how Adrianne knows the exact layout of the suit. a) I must have Ace, b) I cannot have the 10 or I would have played it at trick one c) I'm not doubleton or I would have cashed Ace before playing back a club, hoping for a ruff.
So Adrianne's Q goes to K, A and 10. I return a third heart and Charles' mistake is now clear, he has to ruff with a high spade and my 9S is promoted for 1 down.
Good play by Adrianne, careless play by Charles, he can either lead a small spade at trick two (best), or play a diamond to his Q to cash AC, throwing a heart and lead a spade from hand , though he could lose a diamond ruff that way if Adrianne is singleton.

Got a great score here, maybe lucky, maybe good judgement?
Adrianne opened 1H, I raised to 2H and Adrianne bid 2N. Her hand is a perfect example of this bid, though she expects me to revert to hearts whenever I have four. However seeing the possibility of exact duplication and how badly such hands play, even with my maximum I was loathe to bid 4H, however everyone else will be in game, so I chose 3N.
Kate decided to lead a diamond, Adrianne went up with the Jack and cashed 9 tricks. Lucky lead, but as I suspected 4H is a hopeless contract and 2 off is the normal score.
On a club or heart lead you would never expect to make and might just cash your 8 tricks, however, I think West will always be end played to lead a diamond if you avoid cashing the AK, i.e. QC lead, cash four hearts, another club and exit with a club.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Monday 19 May

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 1st with a Butler score of 60. Mostly it was just steady bidding and play.
One great gift from Cezary who opened 2N with both minors except Steve was playing the usual 20 - 22 and raised to 6N. We took the first four tricks, though if I don't find a spade lead, Cezary can run 11 tricks and it would have tested our discarding.

We picked up a few points here by not bidding. After two passes Adrianne opened 2H and Ernestine bid 2S.  Now I'm not bidding 4H because a) I don't expect it to make and b) the opponents with a good spade fit and heart shortage will always go to 4S green against red and I 'm not sure I can defeat that. So I passed.  Moreen raised to 3S and although Ernestine has a 6th spade, she quite reasonably passes it out. Ten tricks are unbeatable. At every other table it is either 4S, 5S or 5H going two or three off though only one was doubled.
Note that if 4H makes (e.g. if Adrianne has doubleton diamond and doubleton spade), then 4S still makes. Sometimes better not to compete when you are outgunned by the spade suit, and remember the Law of Total Tricks.

I didn't get us a good score on this second last board and although I was a bit annoyed, I think I actually got it right to go one down! It was just an excellent play by Jim McMahon.
When Jim F and Jim M came to the table for the last round I had put the scrolling results on and we were both leading. We joked we'd better just have two flat boards but this one was never going to be that way. Our bidding went:
1D - 1S - x - P
1N - 2C - 5D - passed out.
Jim F led AC and I ruffed. This looks an easy contract, 4 diamonds, 3 ruffs, 3 spades and AH. I led a diamond to the Ace and Jim showed out. OK, still can get 11 on a double heart finesse. So I ruffed another club, diamond to 10 and K, ruffed a club. Now Jim F didn't bid a Michaels but maybe can't because he is certainly 5 - 5. In fact 6 spades must be likely. I lead a small spade from Dummy, if Jim M ruffs it is with his diamond winner.  Well Jim did ruff and then puts down KH. So East is 6-5, maybe 6-6 in the black suits.  Looks like Jim M has KQxx(x) of hearts. Now I thought it didn't matter if I ducked this and won the continuation, but it would.  Jim could switch to a club and I would lose two hearts and the spade ruff. So I took the AH and led back a heart expecting West to win this, but no.  East wins, plays another spade for West to ruff and I'm down one.
If I had ducked KH I would have made. If Jim McMahon had played a small heart, or exited with a club I would have made. The KH is the only card to give me a losing option and I took it! But still, probably the right mistake to make.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wednesday 14 May

Playing N/S with Gerry came first with 67%. Just steady play and a little help from our opponents.
Two interesting slam hands our way:

Gerry opened 2N (21-22).  I gave 6C some passing thought. I find these hands with 30 points and a long suit invariably make 12 tricks.  However two Jacks and a Q outside and total reliance on the clubs running puts me off especially as I reckon nobody else will be bidding it.  In fact of course it is 6N I should be bidding if I decide to go for it, to protect partner's tenaces.
Anyway, like everyone else I just raise to 3N. Louis led 9S and Harold ducked the Ace. On the run of the clubs Harold feels the squeeze in the majors and inevitably lets a diamond go, 13 tricks. Bidding slam would have got us 1 more match point.

Gerry berates himself for this hand and it is obvious when you see it.
Russell opened 1S and Gerry bid 4H.  Back to Russell who finds a 5C bid, 5H by Gerry and now Len has no problem bidding 6C.
What should I do? Gerry must have some spades as Len and I don't. Four I reckoned, maybe 8 hearts.  So what can our defence be? It might be nothing. If he is 4-8-1-0 and that is a singleton Ace, we can make 6H.  With 4-7-1-1, he wouldn't have bid 5H.  I reckoned 6H was more likely to be a winning bid than 6Cx, so 6H it was.
Len does well not to lead AD, that would have been lay down. The lead is 10S to Gerry's Ace.
If Russell has AD (more likely), it is also likely to be at most doubleton on the bidding. Gerry won AS, ruffed a spade, led a diamond from table to Russell's Q, ruffed the AC, ruffed a spade, ruffed a diamond, ruffed a spade, ruffed a diamond, had to lose a spade at the end for down 1. However even if Russell has doubleton AD, that's not the right way to play it. As Gerry later realised, if trumps and diamonds break, or AD on side, this hand is easy. Win AS, lead a diamond, even if AD is offside, lose that, win trump return in dummy, ruff diamond, ruff spade, ruff diamond and cross to trump to run the diamonds. Could have been brilliant.