Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Monday 29 September

Playing N/S in an aggregate tournament came second.

There were two hands in the same set where 6C can be made.  Out of 16 tables only two were bid, possibly in the wrong one!

On this one Adrianne opened South 1S and neither opponent came in so our bidding went 1S - 2C - 2H - 3D - 3N - ?

Adrianne is most likely 5-4-3-1 with Ace or King of diamonds.  Can I make slam?  Well not opposite KQJxx  KQxx Kxx x.  Unfortunately we have no way in clubs to find if her hand is Aces or not.  After some thought I just decided to punt this, running an 8 card suit can always give defenders problems anyway.  So I bid 6C.

I ruffed the spade lead, ran 6 clubs when nothing really happened until West let a diamond go on the 6th one.  So I bit the bullet, diamond to Ace, small one back and the 9 from West, I put in the 10 and that was it, 12 tricks made.

Shouldn't have bid it, Adrianne had the perfect hand and the diamonds lay well. Only one other joined me and they got the diamonds right as well.

Nobody found 6C on this one.  Our bidding went

1D  -  1S  -  2C  -  2S
 P   -   P   -  3S   -  P
4D  -  P   -  5C  all pass

Can Adrianne bid 6C? The 3S bid helps, I can have at most two Jacks in the black suits.  Give me KQJxx(x) in diamonds then I'll hopefully have 4 points in hearts, KJx(x), that would make it 50-50.  However if West has 3 small hearts are they ever going to lead a heart?  Never, it will be a spade and 12 tricks will be cold with one proviso am I void in clubs, will the clubs run?

I think this hand is a better punt at 6C than mine above.

A Lightener double of a slam usually points to partner being void in a suit.  You look for length in your hand where partner might be void. If in doubt you lead Dummy's first bid suit. At aggregate / teams Adrianne and I apply that principle to doubling freely bid games.

Here David opened East 1C, Willy bid 1H, David 1S, Willy 2S, raised to 4S.  Round to me and I doubled.  I want Dummy's first bid suit led and I 'know' Adrianne has 5 spades from the bidding.

Adrianne might think of leading a club for a minute, but a) that is dangerous and if in any doubt, lead Dummy's first bid suit.  b) a moment's thought tells you partner is void in spades!

So 3H was duly led and I cashed AK.  I then failed to fully capitalise by leading JD, I'm afraid I continued 8H, ruffed and over-ruffed. Adrianne doesn't realise her partner's useless and went for the extra trick by exiting with KD so we only put it 2 off.
Good double, rubbish defence.
It is surprising how often this comes up.  Especially when you have say AQ in the suit first bid by Dummy.  Of course sometimes the game makes but at aggregate that doesn't cost too much and it is a great bonus if you defeat a game which might make on another lead.
Can also be used in a competitive auction when you don't want partner to lead your suit.  You need judgement though, if it appears obvious that opponents are sacrificing then the double doesn't ask for a different lead.  If they are bidding expecting to make then double would ask you to find partner's void or lead Dummy's first bid suit.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

League Match 22 September

Playing against Civic Gerry and I played N/S against David and Martin.  Our team won comfortably everyone recording a good score.

We did not get off to a very good start as I found a hand very difficult to bid.

This was our first or second board and Gerry opened 1H, I bid 1S and Gerry 2H. I bid 3D and Gerry 3NT, what now?
I bid 4D, Gerry 5D and I bid 5H. Now I see that as passable. I have shown a big hand, spades and diamonds with a doubleton heart honour.  However difficult for partner who must see this as likely forcing to slam and anyway his hand isn't bad for the minimum he's shown, quite good actually. Gerry asked me to pick a slam and I bid 6H.
West has an obvious club lead, so it actually turned on finding the QH but the finesse was the only logical way and so we went down.  Two other tables ended in 6S or 6H, only Ileen for Civic managed the sensible 4H.
Difficult not to get carried with the North hand after partner opens but after 3N some reflection should indicate that partner's clubs points aren't worth anything.

Martin opened West 1C and I Michaeled with 2C, 2D by David, 2H by Gerry passed round to David who bid 3N. Back to me and I'm not sure what to do. David will have a double heart stop but it might be AQ while it is actually Gerry who has the King.  Gerry should lead a spade and perhaps they can be set up while I have AC. I have no idea but am worried that there might also be say a 6 card diamond suit to run.  I decided green against red to take insurance and bid 4H, promptly doubled by David, leaving Gerry to worry about playing it!
A, then Q of diamonds, ruffed, KS to A and a third diamond ruffed. QS cashed then a heart ducked to David who returned a second heart, Gerry took the Ace, ruffed a diamond, ruffed a spade and all David could do is take the last heart. Gerry lost two hearts, a spade and a diamond for -100 rather than -600.

I opened North a Lucas 2H, Gerry bid 2N, Martin asked but passed.  I bid 3C (minimum) and Gerry bid 3H. Martin now bid 4S, passed out.
I find when people bid 4S like this they expect to make it.  I can see that trumps will split and he might well have a good side suit in diamonds. Nor is he worried about a heart lead.
I need diamond ruff(s) to beat this, so I led 2H!
Gerry, surprisingly to him, won KH, tried AD, small diamond for a ruff and AC for 1 down.
Yes a club lead could have defeated it as long as partner can find Ace and another diamond, but not certain. Anyway much more satisfying this way.

We were the only ones to bid and make 6D. At table two Civic bid 6H but went down on a club lead.  The other two stopped in 4H or 5D.
Our bidding went

1H - 2D - 3S - 4N - 5H - 6D

Martin led his singleton Heart which Gerry won with the Ace and AD, small diamond let him claim the rest.
David pointed out a club lead would beat it but Gerry asked who has KS? As David has it he said he always makes it.  AC, finesse QS, AS ditch the club.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Maccabi Bowl

Playing N/S with Gerry, Les & Shirish E/W came 5th of 17.  Feeling a bit miffed as Harry Smith came over at the end to check scores.  Gerry and I don't keep cards but I heard him agree with Les that Stirling had won by 5 imps.  The score had been us winning by 2 imps (11-9), this changed the score to 7-13 for Stirling and moved us from 3rd to 5th.  However as far as I can see we did win the match by 2!??

Anyway, over 28 boards we all did quite well, got a few good scores and could have done better on a few.

I lost us this match by a bad bid, though Myra made it difficult for me.
After two passes Myra opened West 1H.  So what is the best bid with my hand?
With AKJxxx   Ax   AQx   xx  I favour double and then bid spades on the next round, i.e showing a strong jump overcall.  I could have done this here but only have 5 spades.  I decided to overcall 1S.  Alan bid 2H, round to me.  Now what? Well with AKQxx  x  Axxx Axx, double would be perfect.  Unfortunately I chose that here, Gerry bid 3C and this went 1 down while spades will make 9 or 10.
Having chosen 1S the first time, I should just bid 2S the second time.

Made up for it against Cliff and Hugh.  I opened 1N, Cliff bid 2C (majors) and Gerry doubled, either clubs with reasonable points or enough for 2N, either way penalty orientated.
This was passed back to Cliff who bid 2S and Gerry bid 2N.  I don't have a particularly attractive 13 count but with knowledge of the East hand from the bidding decided to bid 3N.
Cliff led KH, I took Ace and led a club to K and A. Cliff led a small heart to Hugh's J and Hugh played QS which I won with the Ace.  I led a third heart, Cliff won, took AS and I claimed. I was relieved Cliff hadn't played a club before cashing a spade, but he didn't have one anyway.

This was a cruel hand.  Nearly all N/S made 3N as did our opponents when Shirish led JC.

Our bidding went 1D - 2C - 2D - 2N - 3N.
Can it go any other way?

Anyway I got the inevitable spade lead now which I won with the King. I decide to play for a singleton J on my right and led QD, no luck and I concede a diamond and 4 spades for 1 down.
I don't know why I played for singleton J like that, it has to be on my right, halving the odds.  Better to play for singleton King and lay down the Ace.  At least that didn't matter.