Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Festival Teams 25 August

Playing N/S with Gerry and partners Les and Shirish we came 2nd. We won 7 of our matches and lost one  -- by 19-1!
An interesting match against the winners Jim and Paul (Ian and Bob their N/S pair).

Gained a few imps when Paul opened 1H and I bid 2D.  Jim thought and passed.  Difficult to decide on a bid here, 2N even 3N possible, 3H even 4H? but pass is sure to get a re-opening double as partner can't have many diamonds and South can't have points to say anything.
Right enough Paul doubles, I had been wondering why I hadn't bid 3D, so might as well do so now.  Jim decides to double and I made the obvious 7 tricks for -500, better than -650. So 4 imps up.

The next board however is a disaster as we wound our way to 6H.  Great contract on a club, diamond or heart lead, one off on the inevitable spade lead.
-11 imps, so 7 down.

Third board of the match. We play multi and Lucas but don't open a weak two in a major without a top honour. So in theory I have a pass.  However we can Lucas 5-4 green vs red, especially with a good minor so I rated my hearts as 5 cards and opened 2H.  Jim passed, Gerry bid 4H and Paul couldn't find the 4S bid for their making contract and passed.
If our partners make 4S we have won the match, unfortunately they ended in 5S down 1, so we are doomed, or are we?
Jim led KD taken by Ace and I led a small heart. Now I have 5 hearts for my Lucas bid, Paul put up the Ace and crashed Jim's King. Paul took KS and played his second diamond to the Queen leaving Jim on lead. Can't lead a club, even a small diamond doesn't look right as a diamond can be set up to discard my 'second' spade.  So Jim led a spade to Paul's known Ace. Ruff in hand while discarding a club from Dummy, 10 tricks made. 8 imps we won the match by one!

Our final match was against John Di Mambro and Ronald (partnering Sheila and Maida).
Ronnie opened 1H and I ventured 3C leading to an inevitable 5C, down 4, -800 against 680 so 3 imps down.

Ronnie opened 1S and I doubled. John bid 2S and Gerry bid 3D.  3S from Ronnie and I am wondering what is going on.  Has Ronnie really got an opening bid? I'm not sure what to do so temporised with 4S.  Gerry bid 5D obviously, back to me and I gave this some thought, probably shouldn't have thought, there must be play for 6D.  I thought for too long, I reckon if I'm this unsure then I shouldn't bid slam, I let their bidding put me off and passed.
Gerry had no problem just losing a diamond.
3NT at the other table making 10, so flat but you suspect you have a bad score.

John opened 1C, Gerry doubled and Ronnie bid 1H.  I should really pass but Gerry rates to have 4 spades and I can't resist 1S.  2C from John and 4S from Gerry.  This is a good shot, if I have few point then I will have 5 spades, with 4 spades I should have my points (such a trusting partner).
Anyway John cashes two clubs and I can see they are 5-3. He now switches to 8H and I can't imagine that being singleton (no chance if it is).  So I ducked that to the King and Ronnie has a long pause, this gives me hope, I think he can see this making!  Anyway he eventually exits with a heart and I took the Queen.  AK and a diamond ruff to set up the suit and I have a complete count, spades are 3-3, miracle!
Draw trumps, end in Dummy, cash the winners.
1Nx by East minus 1 at the other table for 11 imps and an 8 imp victory.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Thursday 6 August

Playing N/S with Gerry came second with 56%.

Board 1 got us off to quite a good start. Gerry played in 4S after

1D - 1S - 1N - 2C (checkback) - 2S - 4S

Sandra led a small heart and Dummy's Queen held.  Gerry crossed to AS and played a diamond to the Ten and Ace. Gloria returned a heart and Gerry cashed KD discarding a club then ruffed a diamond felling the Queen. He crossed to KS and led TD discarding another a club. That gave him 11 tricks just losing the diamond and the trump.  Very neatly played.
Of course the contract goes down on a club lead but who'll find that lead from KJ2? Strong NoTrumpers will pay 4S by North, now East could find a club lead, just your luck.

In a round about way we managed to settle in 3NT.  As it happens 4S makes with the 3-3 break and that makes 3N straightforward as well for 10 tricks, though that's not how I played it.

Gerry had bid diamonds so Robina favoured a heart lead into my Jack.  Going by the pips clubs were a better bet to provide 9 tricks rather than relying an odds against spade break.  So I played Ace then 9C which Phoebe took with the Q and returned a heart to the Ace.  I crossed to AS and forced out KC, Phoebe returned another heart which  took with the King leaving Robina with QH.
I cashed my clubs giving me 7 tricks.  I had AD and could have led to Q hoping KD was onside, however it is better to exit with a heart which leaves Robina on play. Robina plays a small diamond, now if I go up with Q and it wins I have 10 tricks.  However if Q loses to K and a diamond comes back with the J offside, I am down. If however I play a small diamond I am guaranteed 9 tricks. So I played small, the 10 won and I had AD for 9.

How to misdefend.  This was classic bad defence by me. Phoebe (West) is in 4S.  I didn't fancy any lead and seriously considered each suit (8S lead doesn't cost if West has KS).  However I decided on 2C.  Phoebe went up with the Q in Dummy and lead a spade to J and my Q.
What to do now? I know from Gerry's 3C at trick one that Phoebe has 5 spades and 3 clubs.  If she has 3 hearts then my club is going on the 4th heart.  If she has doubleton heart, then if Gerry has KD he will get it eventually anyway.  I decided to continue clubs hoping Gerry has JC and we have a club trick set up while I have AS.
So I continued clubs, what a disaster! Phoebe won the Jack, gave me AS, no use leading a diamond now, four round of hearts got rid of the diamond loser and 11 tricks made.
I don't mind not finding a diamond lead but should have thought out my second lead when in with QS.  However what about the initial lead.  I did not want to lead 2C and 8S would have been better.

However the best lead is AS and that didn't cross my mind.  Why is it best, well a) you still have 2 spade tricks when the K is on your right and b) you see Dummy and a diamond switch will look best now.  There is a third reason which works when KS is on your left.  If declarer has JTxxx   opposite K9x they will run JS and you will only make 1 spade trick but lead AS then switch and I bet they won't play you for AQx and will cash KS when they get in!

7D, 6H, 6S and 6N all make on this hand.  I went down in 6N.
Gerry opened 1C, I bid 1S, Gerry 2C and I bid 6N.
Issy led 10C and things didn't look good.  How can I make 12 tricks?  If I can find QD ( and I hate having a two way finesse, bound to guess wrong), I then need diamonds and spades to break. Not likely. I would have played that way on a heart lead but the club lead intrigued me as it went 10, 3, 2 and Ace. Has Isssy led from 1098?  It certainly looks that way.  I crossed to KH, played KC and Mike dropped JC and Issy the 8. Surely that is it, I played a third club and that was one down.
I also didn't like trying diamonds first as I reckoned we are all in 6 of something and it looks odds against making so ensuring 1 down rather than 2 down is a good score.  Would I have got the diamonds right?  Well I'm in hand with AC, I tend to favour playing from the hand I find myself in and would have finessed the Jack.