Friday, 18 July 2014

Thursday 17 July

Playing in a Howell with Gerry came second with 58%.

We got two good boards against Mike & Michele.  Mike opened 1C, Michele 1H and Mike 1N (weak). Michele bid 2H and now Gerry came in with a good Pairs bid of 2S.  This was passed out.
Obviously down on a club lead but that is the great advantage of being Declarer, you can see both your side's hands.
Mike led 2H to Q and Ace. Spade to Ace and Jack. Two rounds of hearts, the second ruffed. Gerry can always get rid of a club loser now on the 4th Diamond (can only be ruffed by a winning spade), to lose a club three trumps and a heart.

All sorts of things could happen on this board.  I could have opened East, Michele could have opened 2S Lucas, Gerry a multi 2D.  That is reflected in all the scores being different.
At our table it was Pass, Pass, 1S, 2C, 2H, Pass, 2S, 3C.
I now double, I know Mike has a hand with a lot of club tricks and Gerry was a third in hand opener, but I have the perfect hand for this.  Singleton in partner's suit (and so hopeful of two trump tricks), and A and KQ in the two other suits.
So 3Cx, I led 9S to A creating two winners in Dummy.  Gerry has a problem with that and sees QH as an entry.  He decides to tackle that rather than anything else and leads back 6H. I take A and return a heart to Q.  Mike plays KS to discard 3D and I ruff.  I now play a third heart ruffed by Gerry and I had a club to come. So we got As, AH and three clubs for 1 down.
If Gerry had cashed AD first, he would never have got his ruff as now there would be no point in Mike playing KS, he would just play a club.

Amazingly this hand started with three passes, then everyone came to life.

 P  -  P  -  P  -  1H
2C - 2D - 3C - 3D
3S - 4H  - P  -  5D   passed out

John's bidding as South is very poor and Gerry's 5D is well judged (4H doesn't feel good on a club lead which Gerry expects to have to ruff especially as it looks like hearts are breaking badly).
I meekly passed the 5D but should at least have thought of and, I think, chosen 6D.
It played like a dream. John unexpectedly led a diamond won in Dummy. I crossed ruff spades and clubs eliminating the suits and getting a good idea that Iain was 6-5 -1 -1, consistent with the bidding.  However neither Iain or John had opened. It looked like maybe singleton KH in Iain's hand, though I thought he might open 1C if he had that, but why did John not open?  Still unsure, I led QH from hand, John covered and my Ace felled JH for 13 tricks.
Double dummy 5S can go 3 off but in reality just 1 down.  However if John bids 5S I might wake up and bid 6D.

This is a straightforward hand, the defence just has to be careful.
Donny opened 2N and Katie raised to game. Gerry led 5D covered by 10D, Q and K.
Donny led a heart to J and finessed spade to Gerry's Q. Now this is the point where poorer players go wrong.  They try to find tricks or certain cards in partner's hand and give away tricks.  At Pairs you have to play canny and avoid that.  Gerry cashed Ace and another heart to safely get off lead.  Donny won in Dummy and led a club to K and A.  Now if I don't have the JC it is no matter, if I do we have the chance of another trick so he exits with a club.  Donny thinks about it (at Pairs you must try for the overtrick) but goes up with Q and just cashes his 9 tricks losing a diamond at the end.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Monday 14 July

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 3rd with a Butler score of 30.

As North I was in 3N on a spade lead.  Half the field went down but there seemed to be only one line to me.
I ducked Jennifer's spade lead and won John's continuation in hand followed by a successful heart finesse.
It seems I have 8 tricks, 2 spades, 3 hearts, 2 diamonds and a club.  A heart break will give 9 or an extra diamond trick. The extra diamond trick can come home in lots of different ways and is well odds on as Jennifer is holding in both majors.  My problem is when Jennifer gets in she will clear the spades and if she has the club Ace I'm off.  However there is no other way I can see, AC will have to be with John.
So at trick four I led and ran 7D which held!  Now I don't care who has AC, 10D to King, heart finesse and club to Q for 9 tricks.  If John had split his honours I would still have 9 tricks.  If Jennifer has singleton or doubleton diamond honour (even J8) I still make as when the 8 wins, I win spade return and play AD, 10D for the extra diamond trick.

After 1H -2D - 2H, Adrianne bid 4H
Katie led QS and I cashed AK to discard a club. With seven running diamonds you have tricks galore but, how do you play the hearts?  Can I make it against a 4-1 break. Can I go wrong against any 3-2 break? Don't think so, even KJ10 over the Q I don't see how I lose more than two hearts and a club.  Just don't play AH first as then West can draw my trumps and cash two clubs.  So I played a small heart to the Q at trick three, as it was there were no worries, Katie has to rise with the King and it is all over.
KJ10x over the Q would have been too much. 4-1 the other way should be OK, only a singleton King with West would have been a killer.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Thursday 10 July

Playing N/S with gerry came joint 1st with 60%.

Gerry got us off to a cracking start.

I opened 1C, Gerry bid 1H and Bobby came in with 1S.  I bid 2C, Ian (Howie) bid 2S and Gerry 3D.  I bid 3H, Gerry 4N and over my two Keycard response Gerry went for a top with 6N.  He needn't have bothered 6C or 6H would have done the business as nobody else bid the slam.
Bobby avoided the spade lead and led a deceptive 2C.
Gerry soon cashed six clubs and when led AH and another claimed 13 tricks.

We did not have a good set against Danny and Helen.  I chickened out of bidding a good slam.  Gerry could have found the right line to make a game that went down. Then a real disaster when I opened 1N, Helen bid 2D to show a single major and Danny with six diamonds and heart void has an easy pass.  This leaves them in a making contract compared to the inevitable deficit in hearts.
Then there was this hand where Danny brings in 11 tricks.  Danny had shown 18/19 on the way to 3N.  I led 10S and could see immediately partner has nothing. Danny won JS and finessed a heart.  I reckon I just have to avoid being end played to keep this to 10 tricks.  I played back a heart taken in dummy.  Now a club finesse to my Q and another heart exit. Danny took his hearts, AD, diamond to my Q and K.  he now knows all about this hand.  Gerry had let a spade and diamond go on the hearts. Now Danny leads a spade from Dummy to his Ace and Gerry has to surrender.  Let a club go and Danny has all the clubs, same with diamonds.  What I really liked about this hand was the necessity of keeping the KC entry to Dummy.  Normally you cash KC before finessing the J in case QC is singleton.  If Danny had done that he would have had no entry to Dummy and Gerry could just let a diamond go and keep his clubs.  You don't mind a bottom against such fine play, pity about the other three boards.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Monday 30 June

Playing N/S with Gerry came third with a Butler score of 30.

I played this in the obvious contract of 4S and received 9H lead taken in hand. Now most people seemed to have no problem with this hand, making 11 was quite common. What I saw was 9 likely tricks, 4 likely spades, 4 red suit winners and AC.  A club ruff was the simplest way to set up a tenth and so I immediately played Ace and a club to J and K. Back came a heart to my K.  As I planned a few ruffs, cashing AK of diamonds is always sensible first.  Unfortunately the KD is ruffed, heart back, ruff and over-ruff. Another diamond ruffed and over-ruffed by me.  I cash AS and both fall, two club ruffs gives me the rest for 10 tricks Q actually falls). So I made 6 trumps, 3 red suit winners and AC.
Of course winning AH and cashing AK of spades gives you an easy 10 tricks, but where is your 10th if the Q doesn't fall? And what chance have you now if spades are 4-1?

Like most we found ourselves in 4S by Gerry but most went down.  We got the best and worst defence.  Moreen led 9C ducked by Ernestine to keep her AJ over Dummy's King. This is the best defence. Unfortunately when Gerry led a club from hand, Moreen ruffed a loser with a trump trick giving away the contract.
What if West takes AC and gives partner a ruff? East can return a diamond to Q and A, South plays KS which East must take and has to exit with a spade or they give away a red trick. But now declarer can ruff a heart and discard the other on KC for 10 tricks.

I got us a bad score at the end  by bidding the wrong contract.  Gerry opened 1S, I bid 2D, Gerry 2S and instead of the obvious 3N, I tried 3C just in case partner can bid 3D as 6 might be on.  However getting to game is all that Gerry can see with his poor 11 count and he bid 3H.  This is usually Jxx, Qx(x) and I could still have bid 3N but decided on 4S. A heart lead from West set up that trick and three spade losers put paid to that. 3N has 10 top tricks, 11 by North on a heart lead..
Let's say however I bid 3S, Gerry will now bid 4D and say I venture 6D. West might lead a club, win the Ace, Ace and another spade won by the 9. Heart back won by Ace, KC, spade ruff high, AD, diamond to 10, spade ruff high, diamond to Q and two long spades to discard a heart and club for 12 tricks. Minus in spades was not good.