Friday, 19 September 2014

Thursday 18 September

Playing in a small Howell with Gerry came second with 60%.
There were a lot of tricky hands for both sides.

I went too far on this board playing North.  Great hand but 1D the only opening option.  Gerry bid 1H and I reversed with 3C. Gerry sensibly bid 3N.  That's usually a good place to be in Pairs but I couldn't resist showing my shape and values by bidding 4H.  Gerry bid 4N, now this was to play (again very sensible) but I thought it was RKC ans bid 5D.  Gerry gave this some thought and passed. Just where you don't want to be in Pairs, 5 of a minor.
Kevin led a spade which immediately cut me off from Dummy. I led a club and Nat went up with the Ace to lead a diamond. I won, played another trump then club to the Queen.  I cashed a second spade pitching a club, finessed JH and just had to concede JD.

Gerry used considerable talent to bring home a simple 1NT in the next hand.  Kevin had opened 1D, Gerry overcalled 1N and that was passed out.
Nat led a diamond to Q and A and Gerry led KC. Kevin naturally ducked this. Declarers should always remember that defenders can't see their hand, surely Kevin thinks that lead is from KQ.
With a club in the bag, Gerry led a heart to the 8 which won. A heart back to K and Ace, diamond to K (Kevin should play the 9), now the 9D and Gerry wins the Jack, a heart from hand, Nat can take the Q but has to exit with a spade or heart and Gerry has 2 spades, 2 hearts, 2 diamonds and a club. 1N made 7.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Monday 16 September

After an exhausting week directing at the Commonwealth Championship, back to the club.  Playing N/S with Adrianne, came first with a big Butler score.  No thanks to me misplaying this game.

Our bidding was straightforward enough after Adrianne opened 1D.  1D - 1S - 4C - 4S.
Steve led QC to K and A and Marilyn played back 9S.  I finessed the Queen and cashed my five red winners. I then made a big mistake, on the play of the cards I tried a heart back to hand but it was ruff and over-ruff. I can only make 9 tricks now.
If I had played a diamond to ruff, club ruff and then a spade (but only a spade), I make 10.
Counter-intuitively (at least to me at the time), the best play after the five red winners is spade to the Ace. You must make 11 tricks now.

Pre-empts often lead opponents into high level guesses, unfortunately for the pre-emptor it also pushes them into contracts they would not have bid.
Adrianne opened 1D, Helen bid 3S and I doubled.  Ivan bid 4S and Adrianne bid 5D.
Well my hand looks very good now.  Adrianne can expect decent values as I'm forcing her to bid at the four level, she might also be able to reckon I've singleton spade. However I see her with six diamonds to AK and if she has no wasted values in spade surely top honours in clubs and hearts.  I bid 6D.
An initial club lead would have been a bit more testing, but Helen led a spade, Adrianne ruffed her second, drew trumps and found the QH for 13.
Left to our own devices we'll most likely be in 4H or 5D.