Thursday, 26 March 2015

Thursday 25 March

Playing N/S with Gerry came first with 61% though we did have our ups and downs.

I have a problem with Lucas Twos as when partner opens one I am never sure whether came is on or not. Don't know why, I am a reasonable just with weak twos but Lucas seems to give me rose tinted spectacles.
Anyway Gerry opened 2S as South and I have a nice hand. I thought about passing 2S but I do have a lot of trick taking ability in no trump and decidded to ask with 2N.  Gerry bid 3H showing upper range and clubs and I bid 3N.
Anna had no problem finding a club lead and this contract had no chance. In fact I was very lucky to win 8 as Catherine discarded a heart on the 3rd diamond meaning I could lead the suit from hand and when in with AH she exited with KD.
Have to write a note to myself with Lucas, don't go for game unless you have a fit or a very good hand.

This was a tricky hand.  Our bidding went :

 P  -  1D  -  1H  -  2C
 P  -  2S  -  4H   -  x (hesitation)
 P  -  4S  -  all pass

I meant to ask some players at the end if they would have bid on after a slow double but forgot.  Anna and Catherine wouldn't say anything.

Anyway AH lead, a trump looks the best switch but Anna played 4D.  Decision time. As we can see the clubs all come in, but my problem was if I go for clubs once trumps are drawn I have no entry if I don't find Kx onside. I also expect trumps to split  4- 1.
I let the diamond run by discarding a heart from Dummy and Catherine won the Ace.  She returned a heart and I ruffed.  I led a small diamond and Anna's 9 appeared, so things were looking good.  I ruffed in Dummy, ran JS, 10S covered and I cashed AK of trumps. I played KD felling the Q and ran the diamonds until Catherine took her trump and I claimed the rest.

You sometimes play against new or weaker players and watch them lose control and they don't seem to have any idea of what is going on.  The trouble is it happens to me sometimes as well.
I opened a Lucas 2S, Jim overcalled 3C and Gerry bid 4S. Notice partner knows when to go for game over a Lucas.
Anyway, AD lead, switch to a small club and Dummy's Jack won. I counted my tricks 5 spades, 4 clubs and AH will have to be onside.  Note FOUR clubs, I thought the Q had gone?!?
I can't remember the exact order, two rounds of trumps and a heart which Jim took and exited with a black card.  Anyway, in my head I had my 10 tricks, had lost two and in robotic mode I unblocked AC and ran my trumps to see what happens.
After the last trump I suddenly realised I hadn't seen the QC, the 10C is not a winner, I should have ruffed it!
O me miserum. How did I get to here, was there a recovery? Actually there was, Dot had discarded all her diamonds and was down to the King.  If I had exited with 10D and ducked in Dummy, Dot would have to return a heart to my King and my QD was the 10th trick. As I sat there in my anguish I just couldn't think straight, I gave up, cashed my KC and KH and conceded the last two tricks. All at sea.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Thursday 19 March

Playing N/S with Gerry came 1st with 64.5%.  We had a poorish start, OK middle and a storming finish.

The very first board Nat took a complete top off us.

Jim opened 1D, Nat 1H, Jim bid 3C and Nat 3S and Jim 4H.
I led a trump to J and Q.  Nat has two spade losers, a trump and maybe a diamond.  However the diamonds can take care of the spades if he sets them up before drawing trump.  So what is the best way?
Nat chose to play AK of diamonds felling Gerry's Q.  He now ducks a heart to me and I am powerless.  There is still a trump in Dummy to ruff a spade, Nat is getting rid of two spades on the diamonds, he has 11 tricks.
Well played.

We had four complete tops out of the last 5 boards. The exception was this one.
After two passes I opened 1S, Katie overcalled 2H and Gerry bid 2S.  I felt I had to give partner some leeway at Match points and I bid a conservative 3S. Gerry also decided to downplay his hand and passed.

As we can all see 4S is stiff even losing a spade as the heart loser goes on the KD.  That wasn't quite what I managed to do.

Katie led 10H and I see the hand as win K, lead a diamond and as Katie is likely to have Ace either she fails to rise or if she takes it I win the heart continuation and throw my heart loser on KD.
Now the first trick went 10, 3, J and K and I realised right away that Edna will be singleton. Better see about spades first.  I laid down AS and Katie shows out.  This hand is falling apart. If I lead a diamond now, Katie wins, heart ruffed, club back and with no entry to Dummy QS and a heart still to lose, down 1.  I've really blown it.
I decided the only way to recover is hope that Katie has AC, if I get into Dummy, finesse a spade and draw another then Edna is ruffing with her trump winner.  I led a club to the Jack but Edna wins Ace and the rest is as expected.
My initial play is quite reasonable but maybe I should have thought more at trick 1. Katie is likely to have 6 hearts as her suit is poor. Moreover when Dummy went down I thought we should really be in game.  If others have bid 4S I should be playing assuming it goes down and concentrate on 9 tricks.  I should have gone up and with AH right away and with a 6-1 heart split and again playing for 4S to go off, I should finesse a spade at trick 2.
Maybe easy to see now, but I should have thought more when Dummy went down. That's what separates the winners from the losers more than anything else.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Monday 17 March

West District Sim Pairs playing N/S with Adrianne.  Average score of 51% but mostly tops and bottoms.

The result on this hand could all depend on your opening bid. E/W always make 6D but are extremely unlikely to make 6S.
I opened a Texas 4C, Shirish bid 4D, Adrianne 4H and Les 5D, passed out.  Finding the slam looks just too difficult.
If you open 4H and East doubles, being vul South should pass. West is just too strong for 4S, so maybe 5S and East will bid 6.
Strangely 7C is the optimum contract.  heart ruff, 4 clubs, 6 diamonds and AK of spades.

On the next board Shirish opened 4NT with the perfect hand for specific Ace asking. Adrianne bid 5C, Les passed and as I know Shirish must have at least 11 tricks, I bid 6C as I am always going to do over 5D or 5S.  Shirish bid 6S and this was passed out as I was looking at AS and unsure whether he was certain of making.  An easy 12 tricks.
Of course I should have bid 7C but my obvious mistake was bidding 6C.  Shirish either has 11 top tricks and needs a specific Ace for 12, OR, 12 top tricks, looking for a 13th.
I should have passed to find out which, when he shows 12 sure tricks with 6S (obvious club void), it is then clear to bid 7C, only two down.  Very poor by me.

Managed a top by bidding and making 6N against Ian and Bobby. I opened North 2N, rather dubious with 19 points and a stiff QJ. Adrianne counted 33 points and didn't bother with Stayman at this scoring, she just bid 6N.
Ian led 8C which ran to my 9. I cashed AQJ of diamonds and now had to figure on playing the hearts.  I reckoned I had two option, play towards the Q and if it holds duck a heart coming back hoping for a doubleton Ace or finesse 10H.  The first option seems rather poor ( I lack the entries to enter Dummy, heart to King and options coming back).  I plumped for the 50-50 10H finesse.  Bobby won the Ace and returned a club, but I let that run to the Jack and I have the rest.  Very lucky.

Another slam when half the field aren't even in game!
I opened 1S, Mary overcalled 2H and Adrianne of course passed.  Back to me.  Now I didn't really want to defend and if I double and Adrianne is dubious about 2Hx and bids 2S, I'm unsure of bidding on.  I just prefer to bid 3D, showing a big hand and two suited.
Adrianne bid 5D.  OK she has hearts but still, with my excellent trick source and her presumed lack of black cards, I just went for 6D.
TH lead to J, ruff, over-ruff., diamond to Ace and desperate for a spade ruff Mary tried a club but that was it, I can draw the last trump, get two ruffs in dummy and a discard on AH.