Friday, 31 October 2014

Thursday 30 October

Playing E/W with Gerry came joint second with 58%.

Two hands against Steve & Marilyn got us a top and bottom via playing Lucas Twos.

I opened this rather anaemic looking East hand 2S which stymied the opposition into passing it out.
Marilyn lacks any attractive lead and chose a heart which I won with the Queen.  Short of entries to hand and wanting to lead minors to Dummy I played KS to Marilyn's Ace and won the heart return in hand. I played a club now and Marilyn won her Ace and played a trump to Steve's Queen. I ruffed the club return, drew the last trump and led a diamond to J and Ace. I just lost two spades, two diamonds and a club for a top.  Luckily opponents hadn't forced me earlier in hearts.

On the very next hand I am Dealer.  Now if I open 2S on the last hand, I have to open this 1H.  There is no keeping out of game now via 1H - 1S - 2C - 2D(a) - 2S - 4S.
Steve led a spade to the 10 in Dummy to kill any diamond ruff, though there would have been two spade losers that way. There was no avoiding a spade, two diamonds and a club loser and Gerry was 1 down for a joint bottom.

We were in some hopeless 3NT contracts on the night with 25/26 points.  This hand with 25 was a good 3NT.  After 1C - 1D - 1N - 3N, Victor made it even easier with a perfectly reasonable 2S lead which Gerry won in hand with the 9.
He now played a club to the J, club to the A and diamond to K and A.
Phil Played a heart back to 10 and J, Gerry finessed 9H and then finessed 10D.
Now QD both Gerry and Victor discard a spade, heart to Ace, Victor letting go a club.
Now Gerry has a complete picture and plays A and another spade to Victor who has to return a club from Q7 into K8. making 11 tricks. Great stuff especially as even 10 would have been a top!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Monday 20 October

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 2nd with a Butler score of 21.

Out of 13 pairs 9 played this in a small slam, 2 played 7NT (a dreadful contract at this scoring) and only two of us played in 7D.

Adrianne and I found the bidding straightforward
1S - 2D - 4D -

The grand looked certain to me now. Partner doesn't by-pass 3NT just because they've got good points.  No, this is good distribution. Just check for AQ of diamonds and bid 7D.

We are in 4H making when nearly everyone is off or in a poor 3N contract that had no chance.
David led a diamond, Katie won her Ace and switched to a heart won by the 8 in Dummy. I led my club and Katie again takes her Ace (a duck is interesting, but if my Q wins, then a club ruff and I see J10 from Katie, I should be able to guess singleton Ace left). Katie again exits with a heart to Dummy's King, David discarding a diamond.
I ruff a diamond and cash AH, David discards 7S. I now cash KQ clubs and exit a heart to Katie's Q, David lets go JD. I've lost three tricks and the situation is as shown.  David has had to cling on to that 9C and been squeezed.  Katie exits with a diamond (note how an unlikely spade beats me), I ruff, finesse QS and Dummy is high.

So we were scoring very well but lost a bad one near the end.
Raymond decided to open West 1D, I bid 1H and Charles bid 2H.  Raymond bid 3C, Charles 4N, Raymond 5D (0 or 3 -- in clubs?) Charles bid 6D.
I led KH, three round of diamonds and Raymond runs KC successfully. Can't stop 13 tricks now.
Nobody else near it, in fact others are in a part score.  Ruined our score.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tuesday 15 October

Playing N/S with Gerry for St Mungo in the Jackie Josephson knockout teams, our team lost but we had a good score mainly helped by two second half slams.

As you can see three tables bid a slam.  Our team mates Les and Shirish were very unlucky with the break in 6D.  Bob & Nat for GUU bid the only making slam, 6S. Double Dummy even on a club lead (AK of hearts, ruff a heart, three rounds of spades and you have 12 tricks).  We were in 6H after 1H - 1S - 2H - 4C - 4D - 5H - 6H.
Now QC lead will put paid to this, however Cathy led her singleton diamond.  Gerry won in Dummy and finessed JH. QC came back, won in Dummy and now he finessed 9H, drew the last trump and used spade entries to set up diamonds for 12 (though spades were 3-3 anyway).

Ian as East opened 1H and Gerry with his whopper of a hand doubled.  Cathy passed and I bid 2D.  Gerry gave this some thought and reckoned I can't have too many hearts, I have bypassed spades and clubs, I must have five diamonds. The Queen won't even matter, so if Ian the opener has AH and KS, even if I have nothing I can make 12 tricks.
So he bid 6D!

Now as we can see AH lead defeats this but Ian with his two Aces thought long and hard but discounted AH first of all as Gerry might be void there and I could have some good hearts.  In fact he decided against either Ace and led a trump.
No problem for me, won in Dummy, second diamond to hand and took spade finesse right away. Cashed AS, spade ruff, heart to K, spade ruff, heart led and Ian has to take Ace and I can claim as I can ruff 4th heart.

So 1900 on these two hands which could just as easily have been -100 on different leads.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Monday 13 October

Playing E/W Adrianne and I came second last with a -21 Butler score.  We were never getting a good score as our opponents had this annoying habit of doing the right thing.  However we managed to shoot ourselves in the foot a few times as well.

This is a good example of me going wrong.  After three passes I opened 1D, Adrianne 1S, I rebid 1N and Adrianne raised to 3N.
Alistair led 8C and Dave played the 9 while I won the King.
I have 8 tricks and a heart finesse gives me 9.  However if I can duck a diamond I give myself the combined chance of a 3-3 diamond fit and if that fails I can take the heart finesse. This is a 70% chance rather than just 50%.  So what is that 8C lead?  I soon dispelled the idea of 4th best because with say AQT8 say, Dave would have played the Jack. So, is it a doubleton or MUD? After some thought I decided on MUD and ducked a diamond. Down 1 in a stiff contract.

On this hand I needed two defensive errors to help me home after one error was letting me make it but I contrived to throw the chance away.  It's complicated.
I'm in 5D and South leads away from their AH, so I win with my singleton King. Now all I have to do is cross to Dummy twice with black Aces to lead diamonds and I lose two diamonds for 11 tricks. Why make life easy for yourself?  I looked at all the distribution and decided I should ruff a club as they might well be 5-2.  So at trick two I crossed to AC, ruffed a heart and ruffed a club.  I now led a diamond to my King, South playing the 8.  Now if diamonds are 3-2 it doesn't matter what I do next, just two diamonds to lose. However, I realise it is probably the diamonds that break badly, too late.  I exit with a small diamond to the 10 and the 4-1 break means two more diamonds to lose --- unless.  North exits with a heart and I ruff.  As I am down to two diamonds the same as North I realise that a trump coup is possible. As long as the lead is from Dummy at trick 12 I only lose 1 diamond. Now I need an exact layout of cards.  I cashed two top clubs, finessed QS and bingo!  Dummy on lead with AS and two other cards, North with a heart and AJ trumps, I have KC and Q9 trumps.  I lead AS and North is snookered. Throw the heart and I lead from dummy at trick 12.  Ruff AS with J and I over-ruff and play KC, either way 11 tricks made.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Thursday 9 October

Despite my attempts to the contrary (two inept bids rewarded with two complete zeros against Steve and Frances), Adrianne and I came top in a Howell with 61%.

Only two pairs found 4H on this board and only Adrianne made it. Adrianne opened South 1D, Gerry bid 2S and I doubled.  Adrianne bid 4H. Although I am forcing a bid at the three level, we double with 8 points at the two level and anyway KD and AS are good cards.
Gerry didn't want to give away a cheap spade trick and led 3H to K and Ace.  Adrianne crossed to JH and played K and diamond finesse. Gerry exited with the last trump. Adrianne cashed AD and ruffed a diamond, ran 10C to King, won the KS return, 9, J and AC gave her 10 tricks.
A spade lead would have made life harder, you have to finesse QH (not run the Jack), but the key is not to draw three rounds of trumps or you will eventually lose a spade.

I played this hand badly yet got a top, such is bridge.
Adrianne opened South 1N passed round to Steve who bid 3C.  Back to me and I bid 3D.  Marilyn gave this a lot of thought before passing it out.
KC lead taken by Ace.  Diamond to Q, 10D back to Marilyn's Ace as Steve drops QC.  Marilyn exits with a diamond. I take out the last diamond and confident Steve has AS after QC discard I played KH and finessed JH. Oops, JC then QS back and I'm two off. I would have played hearts the other way round if I'd known and Marilyn would have been end played in spades to give me 9 tricks.  No matter, everyone else is making in some number of clubs, -100 is a top!

An interesting hand at the end which gave us a top and let us win. I opened 1H and Joyce overcalled 1S. Adrianne doubled promising both minors. I decided 1N was my best rebid and Joyce bid 2C.  Adrianne bid 3H and so I bid 4H.  I asked Raymond if they played Michaels which he confirmed.  If Joyce leads her two Aces, end of story, but she led JD. When I saw dummy I decided it would be 5-5 rather 6-4 but no matter, three red cards was the most likely.
I won AD and played KH, then AH.  I now played KD and so the three red cards were confirmed and I was in a great position. Two more winning diamonds let me discard KC and and a spade. I played the last diamond, ruffed and over-ruffed leaving me with Kxx spade and the last three trumps, dummy has a trump, a spade and the clubs. I envisaged Joyce with AQJ spades and AJx of clubs.
So I played a small spade and Joyce went in with the Jack. Now as it happens Raymond can overtake with QS and play a black card back to keep me to 11, but not so easy for him to see. Joyce is now scuppered.  If she plays AS I ruff in dummy and have KS and last three trumps.  If she plays AC I ruff in hand, ruff spade in dummy and throw the last spade on QC. Not certain on the whereabouts of KS she chose the spade suicide and I made 12 tricks.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Thursday October 1st

Playing N/S with Gerry came first with 60%.

On our very first board I opened North 1NT which was passed round to Michele who doubled.  I bid 2S and Mike doubled, passed out.
Michele thought her double was weakish in the protective position, Mike thought it was strong.
Anyway Mike led 2H to Michele's King and back came club to Q, A and ruff.  Four tricks down, Ace of trumps to come, not looking good especially as I would have made 1Nx.  Michele now plays KD which I take with the Ace. I can see now that Michele does not have 15+ and thankfully Mike isn't doubling just because of spade length.  I could see a slight chance of at worst 1 down and maybe even making it if Michele started with Ax in trumps as I can discard two losing diamonds, or even sneaking it if she started with Axx by conning her not to bother ruffing JC. I finessed JH and threw JD on the Ace.  I now played the master JC, Michele discarded and I threw my last diamond.  I only lose Ace of trumps now and made it.

Some fun and games against Len and Russell.  On this board our bidding went:
1D - 1H - (1S) - 2D - 2H - 2N - 3N

I reckoned I could chance 2N to show a double spade stop and if Gerry is looking at a diamond honour he'll have no problem bidding game which is how it was.
A club lead defeats the contract but Russell led the inevitable spade and I had no problem making 10 obvious tricks, never touching clubs and just cashing AK of hearts.

The boot was on the other foot this time. Gerry opened 1D, Len bid 2C and Russell 3C.  Len bid 3S and Russell 3N.
A diamond lead defeats this contract but doesn't present itself.  Gerry led AH and switched to 5S to Russell's Q. Russell gave up his club loser, Gerry cashed AS, but that was 9 tricks now.
Gerry could have done better by exiting with a diamond, but Russell reckoned he would get it right after cashing the clubs.

Len opened West 1S, I passed and Russell bid 3S.  Gerry found a 4H bid, Len bid 4S and I bid 5H.  Russell went to 5S and Gerry doubled.  When this came round to me I had to think what on earth was Gerry doubling with?  Has Russell got nothing, has Gerry got great cards in the minors? However Len opened, he must have points there and they are behind Gerry.
It turned out Gerry doubled to stop me thinking of any higher!
So it was one of those cases where we both make 10 tricks in our major, 5Sx gets a joint bottom.  However 5Hx would just have been a second bottom.  As soon as Gerry bids 4H we are getting a top score.