Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Monday 25 May

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 5th with a Butler score of 9.

As usual with this scoring a big swing on one hand transforms your score.  As usual it was to our detriment.

Adrianne opened 1D, I bid 2C, Adrianne bid 2S, strong (ish), unbalanced.  I can't ask in diamonds now but even so, although we could be missing AH and KD or even AK hearts, we are just as likely to be making 12.  I just bid 6D.
Rod led AH, continued with another and Alex ruffed for 1 down.
-13 was our score instead of +12 for making it.  25 Butler points on one hand.
Two pairs though bid 6NT and deservedly got the big score. Adrianne could have rebid 3N over my 2C and that would have got us there, or I could have bid 1H over 1D and Adrianne rebids 2N making 6N by me easy to bid.  Alternatively I could have bid 3H 4th suit forcing. However when Adrianne then bids 3N I am not really any the wiser about 6N or 6D being superior.
I'm happy in our sequence I just blasted 6D.  A spade ruff might have been the 12th trick, or ruffing a club to set up 4 tricks might have been necessary. However bidding 1H might have been best.
C'est la vie.

Some people got a great score on this hand (6H!), others went down in 4H.  Nobody doubled 4S.
Alec opened East a multi 2D, Adrianne doubled, Raymond bid 2H.  What do you do with my hand?  5C is very tempting but what has Adrianne got for her double and which major does Alec have?
Raymond's 2H implies <4 4h.="" 6="" alec="" and="" badly.="" be="" bid="" break="" could="" don="" even="" has="" have="" he="" hearts="" it="" must="" nbsp="" not="" p="" spades="" t="" the="" too="" urely="" void="">This was passed round to Raymond who bid 4S.  Icouldn't resist bidding 5C, Adrianne converted to 5H and Raymond doubled.
I got a spade lead, took the Ace and discarded a diamond.  I think hearts are going to be 3-2 but even so I worry about the other distributions and can't see how I can set up a minor to make this.  I can't set up diamonds and draw trumps and take care of spade losers. I can't see how clubs can be set up either.  However with 2 Aces and a cross ruff for 8 trump tricks I am 1 down.  No point in risking anything when I am doubled.  So I ruffed a spade, ruffed a club, Cashed AD, ruffed a spade, ruffed a club and claimed another 4 on a high cross ruff for 10 tricks.
Ian Burn made 12 in 6H on the AC lead.  Now you can set up clubs! However should I have passed 4S and let Adrianne double?  I lead a club, ruff, AH I drop the Queen, small heart to my Jack, club ruff, AD and AS to come for 3 down ( 4 down if you can underlead AK hearts twice)
Another lost chance, 14 points of a difference.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Wednesday 6 May

Playing N/S with Gerry came 1st with 64%.  A few ups and downs as is our want but luckily more ups.

A very lucky early board where East opened 1S and Gerry bid 3H.  That came round to me and as Gerry was red against green I hoped for an excellent 6 card suit or a good 7 carder.  I bid 3N.

Club lead and that was 9 tricks.
Fortune definitely favoured the brave, looks like 1 off on a spade lead, however if I win third spade (West is unlikely to find the killing QC switch) and run the hearts, East discards three clubs and a spade.  I let 2 clubs and 2 diamonds go. I run the 10C to bare Ace, East cashes spade and I let diamond go. Exit with diamond and I have two minor winners.
East has to keep another spade and come down to singleton KD, very unlikely.  However I wasn't tested to see if I could manage it.

We overbid an earlier board against Fudge and Alan but came back with this one.  Charles passed and Gerry opened an inventive 1H.  Alan doubled, I bid 2H and Charles doubled.  I think Gerry now bid 3H (well it keeps them out of a diamond contract!) and Alan doubled, passed out.

Double Dummy this can be beaten but West unlikely to lead a heart. It was AS then a fortuitous club switch. Gerry won the QC and ruffed a spade, AC, ruff a spade, KD, AD, ruff. Ruff a third spade, which cannot be over-ruffed as Charles only has diamonds left.  Exit with club and a fourth club but all Gerry loses is a spade, club and two hearts.   3Hx made.

Playing 4 card majors and weak NT it is usually best to open North 1N which, after three passes is what I did.  (It also makes it harder for East to overcall spades).
Gerry bid Stayman and although the soft values in the minors might not be worth much, the spade suit looks great, so he raised to 3H.  I like 9 card fits, I often give myself 3 extra points, so raised 3H to 4H.
Again I wasn't tested as East led JH.  I won QH, crossed to QS, finessed a heart and cashed AH.  Another spade and defence could just take their three Aces.

Most people defended a spade contract going down.  Presumably two passes, 1D - 1S - 2C - 3S and there it might subside or North goes to 4D and E/W bid 4S.
Not at our table.
I opened 3C and Gerry raised to 5C, passed out.
Derek led 4S to David's K and David thought and thought.  I thought 'please don't lead a heart' as I counted my sure 11 tricks even if the diamond finesse fails.  Eventually David put down KH, Derek played the 2.
Now the diamond finesse must work or I am down, however what if hearts are 3-3, as it appears.  If I lead a heart from the table and David takes his supposed QH I have the extra chance of the JH and 4th heart coming good, I can discard a diamond on that 4th heart and so don't need a finesse.
That is what I went for, David and Derek cashed their two hearts for 1 down (a diamond went on that 4th heart).  I would actually have been two down if I had drawn trumps and finessed a diamond.  Brilliant heart switch and no, I'm never finding the doubleton QD for 12 tricks!

Got one back again on David and Derek shortly after. David opens 1S and I overcalled 2D ( I don't like using Unusual NT for powerhouses). Derek bid 4S, round to me.  Now Derek's bid could be quite weak with 4 or 5 spades (they play 5 card majors).  I feel I must bid 5C, well that's why I didn't use 2NT. Derek doubled expecting me to have some diamond losers and this was passed out.
Derek led a club to cut down on diamond ruffs but I took two rounds of trumps, AK of diamonds, 10D, covered, ruffed.  I exited with a spade to David who came back a heart.  I won AH and led 9D, covered and ruffed.  I just lose 1 heart and 1 spade.

Everyone is in 3N on this deal and almost everyone makes 11 tricks.
Gerry opened 1D, I bid 1H and Jennifer came in 2C.  2D from Gerry and I bid 3N.

Jennifer led KC, John played the 5 and I ducked.  Jennifer continued QC and John played the 2.  I asked about showing count and it looked like it was the doubleton it appeared.  You are not playing aggregate so no point in another duck for safety when you have the chance of the rest of the tricks.  So I took AC, ran QD, 10D and cashed all the diamonds.  John is squeezed, he can't come down to singleton KS (I checked by cashing AS) and had to let a heart go so I made 12 tricks.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Monday 5 May

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 5th with a Butler score of 14.  Should actually have been 3rd but I put in a 1NT made when it was 1 off,  Accuracy with that machine is part of the game now, just my own fault.

Adrianne got us off to a great start with a bit of over-bidding.

I opened 1C, East bid a spade and Adrianne 2H. Double or 1N would have been my choice but anyway I now have a 4H bid.
West led JS to Q, K and A.  AK of hearts then JD. East took AD and then both defenders made a simple mistake. East cashed QH and West discarded 3D (McKinney probably).
East now played 9S to Dummy's 10 and Adrianne finessed 10D. Now a club to King and diamond to K.
When Adrianne leads her last club, West takes Ace but only has clubs left (that diamond discard) and QC wins and Adrianne discards her spade loser.  Game made.

Great hand that I have, I just open 1C.  East overcalled 1H and Adrianne bid 2C.
I bid 2S and Adrianne bid 3C.  I thought about 3H now but partner can never show me anything, I just bid 5C.
Nothing in the play.  KH lead to my Ace, club to K and I finessed QS.  Cashed AC and I have 12 tricks just losing to KH.

Looking at my hand I should really have thought more about 6C more rather than just a passing thought. Sure Alistair has overcalled 1H on my left but he doesn't have to have both KD and KS. I'm expecting no club loser and even if both Kings are offside, Adrianne could have say Jxx in spades giving me extra chances of a diamond discard or even one of those Kings.  6C is always going to have a decent chance.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Thursday 30 April

Playing N/S with Gerry came first with a whopping 73% after a little help from our friends with that score. Still some good boards of our own making.

Our bidding unopposed went:

1S - 2D - 2H - 3N

Gerry paused for a while then produced 6S.  This looks like a pure punt but it is quite reasonable.  I have shown opening points and have 5 or 6 points in the red suits, so about 7 points in the blacks. True it might be AK of clubs but a) a lucky lie of the spades could still make slam or b) it is just as likely I have a spade honour and slam becomes an excellent prospect.  The punt really comes from I might be singleton spade however if it is an honour, slam is still a real prospect so 6S certainly isn't a wild bid.
I could of course have made things easier by bidding 4th suit 3C rather than 3N, Gerry bids 3S and I could bid 4S making 6S easy to bid.
Alternatively over 3N I like bidding 5S with this hand, asking partner to bid 6S if he has useful trump support which in this context QT is maximum.

We got an easy top here and I don't really understand why. Gerry opened 1N, I transferred and the 2S went round to Steve who bid 3H.  Gerry bid 3S and this was passed out.

Gerry received a heart lead, drew trumps and as only West gets in, Marilyn can never lead a club without conceding a trick. She exits with a heart. Gerry then conceded his two diamond losers again never receiving a club which would have been too late now anyway and having set up diamonds could discard two club losers and made 10 tricks.

Perfectly played of course but seems a reasonable outcome.

I didn't really know how to bid this hand but when in doubt, just go for slam.

Gerry opened 1C, I bid 1D and Gerry 1H.  My only real option now is 1S 4th suit, Gerry would probably bid 1N and what would I do now (likewise over 2C)?  Slam must be close, 5H is surely making.  If I am going to ask in hearts, it must come now, so I bid 4N. Gerry replied 5S so 6H looks good, I bid 5N for a specific King (if KC I will think of bidding 6N or maybe even 7H).  Gerry had no King so 6H it was.
JS lead, Gerry took the King and played A and another club.  When Steve's King appears the hand is over, a spade ruff and a ruff of a club with the King gave Gerry 12 tricks (2 spades, 4 trumps, 2 ruffs, 2 diamonds and 2 clubs).  Just make sure you ruff a club, don't cash Q until trumps are drawn!

Monday 27 April

Playing N/S with Adrianne came 2nd with a Butler score of 35.

We got a very lucky big swing against Cathy and Bob.  Cathy opened East 2D, Bob bid 2H and I bid 4S.  Adrianne with her three bullets couldn't resist 6S.

Cathy led QH which ran to my King, drew trumps, finessed 10H, cashed AH to discard club loser and claimed 12 tricks.

Thing was recently I was defending a 6D contract and had a similar holding of QJxxx in spades.  So often you lead the Q and KTx goes down in Dummy and Declarer has the Ace.  I led a trump.  Of course Dummy was Kx and Adrianne had the Ace. Declarer managed to discard a spade and the slam made.
Swings and roundabouts.

Like Adrianne, most South's were in 4S on this deal.  Like Adrianne, they all made it.
QD is a good start for the defence but let's say they just start with a trump.  If AD is onside you are home but if not you have to play hearts for one loser.  There are two ways for that to happen, KQ in East's hand or a doubleton honour.  You probably have to do something now rather than come back to hand with a trump and try diamonds first (spade back, diamond to K and A, diamond to Q, JD forced to ruff and you can't afford to draw last trump to get into Dummy).
So I would probably have tried a heart to 10 at this point and fall back on doubleton honour in East's hand.  I would have been down 1. Adrianne got a defensive error to make it,  I can only assume everyone else likewise got a poor defence or tried J, K A of hearts and played West for doubleton Q.