Thursday, 16 July 2015

Wednesday 15 July

Playing with Gerry came second with 59%.

Got a top following a favourable lead on this board.  Most are in 4S and 12 tricks are always there with a 4th club following a ruff and a second heart.  A favourable heart lead would certainly help and some made 12.
I however opened 1NT and Gerry raised to 3N.  Barry led a diamond and Lester won the King returning a diamond to my Jack.  I crossed to AS and finessed JC then cashed AC, Barry dropping the Q (correct play if you started with three).  I tried KC but Lester has a winner. I now ran my spades and Lester has to find three discards bringing him down to KQ hearts and 10C.  I had 10H, AD and 7C in Dummy and AJ hearts and 9D in hand.  I crossed to AD and what could Lester throw?  He let QH go as keeping the club was essential but I crossed back to AJ of hearts making 12 tricks.
Not that I see this squeeze initially, just the beauty of, you have 11 tricks, you've lost one, run your long suit and watch the discards carefully seeing what happens

Another top here with a favourable layout.  I opened 1H, Gerry bid 1N and I bid 3D.  Gerry is a bit stuck now but has to bid 4D.  I fancied this might be 4 card support and therefore stronger than just bidding 5D.  I cued AS, Gerry bid 5C and I took 6D.
Issy led a spade which gave me a good start, just have to set up the hearts.  Normally you would just cash AH then ruff a heart, spade, ruff a heart to lessen the danger of an over-ruff.  However if I then run QD to Issy's K he might be able to play a 4th heart for Willie to ruff.  Whereas I can cash AK of hearts and ruff the 4th heart with QD for a safer line (assuming a 4-3 break).  So AK hearts (Willie dropped the Q, but I'm not having that), heart ruff. Back to a spade, planning to ruff a fourth heart with QD but in fact Issy shows out and discards, so small heart ruff. Run QD to Issy's King, spade back, ruff, draw trumps, claim.
Issy might have ruffed in with 8D forcing my Q, but no difference.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Friday 10 July

Directing at SBU Summer Congress I was asked to make up a team with Russell Frame.  We did well and came joint second.  Two interesting hands where I was perplexed on where all the hearts were.  The second one was a real blow as I got it wrong.  It was against the eventual winners Bob, Cathy, Peter & Willie and would have won the tournament for us.

The first one was a success.  I held

Russell passed and Derrick Peden opened 1H.  I doubled, Malcolm Copley passed, Russell bid 2D and Derrick passed.
So what is happening with all the hearts? In fact if Russell had bid 1S I would have suspected he had a 3 card suit and 5 hearts but 2D must be genuine.  However he still figures to have 5 hearts, 4 for certain.
I need to try something so I bid 2H, I expect Russell to bid 2N then I'll bid 3D surely showing something like the hand I have.  Russell bids 3NT, brilliant, let's play there.

This is the full hand, Derrick led a small heart to Russell's 10. Club to the Q.  He tries AK of diamonds, so no sure way back to hand and plays KC hoping for a stiff Ace.  However Derrick took the Ace and that was that.  A spade was tried, the King won and 11 tricks chalked up.

I must say I would have bid 1NT with Russell's hand however that gives me a problem.  Will we really have enough for 3NT?  I suppose West would bid 2N and then get there.

I opened 1C and Bob bid 3S.  Russell bid 4C and Cathy 4S.  I bid 5C, passed round to Cathy who thought for a while and passed.
Bob led QS.  Where are all the hearts here?

Now I see Russell's hand, 10 hearts are missing.  I imagine Bob to be 7420 / 7411 / 7321 sort of thing.  I took AS and cashed QC, so Bob is 7411 or 7321, surely Cathy would have bid hearts if she had 8 or more. With her pause I am hopeful that she might have AKx and Bob Qx or even AQxx and Bob singleton King. Either way I believe I can get her to crash Bob's honour. You are not going to duck here especially as I have not given anything away and she will be hopeful of a heart trick.

So I led a diamond from Dummy and Cathy took the Ace exiting with KS.  I ruffed and led another diamond but Cathy produces the Q and exits perforce with a heart.  I win and on the third diamond Bob shocks me by producing the King.  One down and unfortunately our other pair went to 5S going down.

Double dummy we can see this is an easy make.  Win AS, ruff a spade, club across, ruff a spade.  Heart to Ace, cross to a club, ruff a heart and now lead a diamond.  Cathy is end played to give a ruff and discard and Dummy's third diamond disappears.
I just couldn't place Bob with 3 diamonds and he was unlikely to have two honours in the suit.

A long time ago I was playing with Bobby Moore and in a similar sort of situation I failed to bid an 8 card suit and supported his weak two instead.  We missed a good sacrifice in my suit.  After it he asked me what is it you call an 8 card suit?  TRUMPS!