Friday, 6 November 2015

Thursday 5 November

Playing N/S came first with 67%.  Some gifts of course but managed to do the right thing mostly and found some luck as below..

Here was a bit of luck. Elizabeth opened a multi 2D and I overcalled 2S.  Sheila bid 3H and this was passed round to me. Now at teams I pass of course but hate to have our contract stolen at Pairs. Partner surely has some points and therefore at most 2 spades. He has at most 3 hearts.  So worse case scenario 2-3-4-4 and if I double he chooses 4C. A good rule in bidding states : 'You shouldn't bid games/slams in the hope Partner has the perfect hand', the Macdonald Corollary states 'Don't not bid in the expectation Partner has the worst hand'.
So I doubled.
Gerry bid 4C (oh no, I hope he doesn't just have 4).  11 tricks later we had a top as Gerry managed to set up a long spade to give 6 clubs, a heart ruff, 2 diamonds and 2 spades.

The Strange Case of the Missing Diamond
We all make mistakes, some stupid, sometimes we are still suffering from jet-lag having returned from San Fransisco the week before.

Ivan East, opened a weak NT and, after Stayman, Helen passed 2H. This prevented me coming in as Helen could be expected to be 4-5 in the majors and so, luckily, I don't get to push them into 4H.

As we can see 10 tricks are stiff, however, Gerry led JH and I ducked to Ivan's Queen.  Ivan decided to take an immediate diamond finesse and ran the Queen to my King.

So I gave this a little thought and reckoned partner can have at most QC or, twice as likely, one of the top spade honours.  I can see a chance of keeping this to 9 tricks, I returned a diamond.

Ivan played a trump from table, I jumped up with AH and under-led my AS, the 9 in fact (possible diamond preference?).  Ivan covered the 9 with the 10 (The dog that didn't bark in the night, Ivan didn't take the Ace, so he doesn't have it). Gerry won the King and returned a club.
To rub salt in the wound Helen remarked, 'oh, no diamond ruff then'.

What do you open the North hand? 3C is out of the question, no top honour and an AK outside, that is not a pre-empt.
I hate to pass, I opened 1C.
So 1C - 1S - 2C - 3N.  What now?
Gerry could have a great 17 count, equally a 12 count and some hope of a great club suit opposite. The failure to bid hearts made a heart lead look certain, so even with an excellent hand 3N might have no chance.  I bid 4C and Gerry bid 5C.

Talk about lucky, I can only lose 1 club and 1 diamond.

If I had passed 3N Partner would have started a blog entitled
The Strange Case of the Missing Opening Points
And no jet-lag to excuse it.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Wednesday 4 November

Playing a Howell with Gerry we came top with an amazing 69.5%.  Could have done better, there are always mistakes.  However obviously we got some gifts and just did consistently well on the majority.

This was the first board we played and got a top maybe via a little luck. Playing N/S.
Gerry opened 1D and Cathy bid 1S.  I doubled, Gerry bid 2H, Cathy bid 2S.  So what is going on, Cathy plays weak jump overcalls? Not sure, I doubled again.  Gerry bid 3C.
Well Gerry's hand is clear now, Cathy could have all the missing points and some sort of intermediate jump, what do I bid?
First of all I rule out 6NT, then 6H, this is far preferable to clubs at Pairs, however I fancy Cathy bid again because she is not looking at many hearts. A 4-1 (or even 5-0) heart break could make the slam too difficult.  The 9 card club fit looks superior and it might be that a reverse Dummy is the play.  So I bid 6C.
Cathy led a heart so nothing in the play.  Two pairs bid 6H and went 1 down.  Double Dummy this can make but it is a difficult contract. Ideally you would want to knock out AC before getting the hearts right, but you wouldn't want to lose a club ruff.
Cathy of course had made an error with 1S.  If she had bid 2S we would have been in 6H, but Gerry would have made it.

Another top for finding a better contract, though we pussy footed around to get there.
N/S again.
West passed and I opened 1C, Gerry 1H, I bid 1S.  Gerry bid 4th suit 2D and I bid 2N.  Gerry now bid 3S.  Yeas I can only have 4 spades but with doubleton diamond and as I will most probably have only Kx or Ax in diamonds offering the Moysian is a good idea.
Well if Gerry doesn't have anything in diamonds, I don't fancy 3N, however I gave him another choice by bidding 4C.
Gerry opted for the 4S, 5C is unlikely to make if there are 2 spade losers, you could however still make 4S with 2 spade losers if they break.
Anyway QD lead to my Ace and I played small spade. Mary took QS and played another diamond overtaken by Moira who played a third. The ruff and discard is no use to me, in fact it is a nuisance.  I discarded a club and ruffed in Dummy. I now ran JS which held and this is where that diamond ruff proves its nuisance value, I have no trump to play from Dummy (yes I can see I can play AH and heart ruff, play AS and crash both spades, but I don't know that) . I played A then K of clubs.  Moira ruffed with the King and I was home. I felt if AK of clubs held up then I would try to get back to hand with a heart and hope for 3-3, If the defender with a small spade had singleton club then that is OK, I can with the return, get back to hand and claim.  If a defender has two spades, they will possibly be singleton club and they can ruff if they like, as before I'll make the rest.
Of course 3N was a straightforward contract, but 4S scored more!

This was an interesting hand.  We were E/W and Gerry opened East 1C.  Maureen overcalled 1S and I doubled. Victor made a good bid of 4S.  Gerry thought about this and passed.  At Pairs I double here (not at aggregate), certainly not clear after a hesitation but I doubled.
How am I supposed to know what Gerry is thinking? 5C because he has a 10 count and 7 clubs? 5H because he has 4 hearts, 6 clubs and a very basic opener?  I don't see I am using any UI and I always think it damages the opponents not to do what you would normally do, 4Sx could easily be making.  Anyway nobody complained.
I led AC and gulped at the sight of Dummy, however I was rescued by Gerry dropping the KC.  I switched smartly to JH, AH, ruff. Gerry cashed QC, then AD and a third club.  I ruffed with the 9S and Maureen over-ruffed in Dummy.  She played KH, ruffed by Gerry, over-ruffed, ruffed a diamond.  Maureen made an error now and ruffed a high heart to ruff another diamond and went two down instead of 1 down.
5 of a minor makes our way if you guess the diamonds after AD drops the 10 from North.