Friday, 2 December 2016

Thursday 1st December

Playing in the District Pairs Qualifier with Gerry we came first with 63%

Got off to a good start but on these two boards I don't know why we got tops or near tops.

After three passes Gerry opened South 1H, Gerry Sweeney overcalled 2C, I bid 2D and Alistair bid 3C  Gerry bid 3D to complete the bidding.                                                

Club lead to my Ace, club ruff, AH, club ruff, KH, heart ruffed with 8D, Alistair over-ruffed and returned a diamond to Dummy's Ace.  Only one small diamond to come.                                                                            

Ruffed another heart high, drew last trump and led up a spade. Alistair went in with the Ace but no matter, 11 tricks.

On the next board I opened 1D and Gerry bid 2S.  We play this as less that 6 points, 6 card suit.                      

I chanced 4S.                                                            

Gerry Sweeney led a spade, Gerry won in hand and led a diamond, Gerry Sweeney went up with the Ace, KH return won in Dummy, drew last trump and with all those diamonds made 12 tricks for a joint top.

Paul Maiolani had a tricky 4S contract here by East.  Gerry led QC taken by Dummy's Ace.  A diamond was led and I jumped in with the Ace expecting singleton Queen.  Anyway I played another club and Paul then took a very reasonable line, in fact probably the best line by cashing QD, playing KS, AS and then leading a diamond to discard a club.  This works most times as when QS falls doubleton or the player with QS has three diamonds as you discard a club on both diamond winners, they can trump the fourth if they want. Much better than a horrible guess with a two way finesse.
Unlucky, Gerry trumps, cashes a club and AH for a trick in every suit.
Half the field made it presumably by making a lucky guess in spades but superior play is its own reward.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Thursday 24 November

Small tournaments are a bit of a lottery at Match points. I think 4 or 5 tables are probably better just played as aggregate.  However this time we had 3.5 tables, so no option but a Howell and each board was 4, 2 or 0.
Playing with Gerry we came second with 57%.

 We were unlucky on this board.  I passed as North and Ian opened a Lucas style 2S.  Gerry chose to double and Bob bid 4S.
The 5 level belongs to the opponents but we are red against green, what will I get for a double?  Maybe only 100, 300 max.  I opted for 5H which turns out to be a decent contract except:
AD, small club, diamond ruff.  The rest defended 4Sx, 1 down.

We got our own back on this board.  Bob & Ian protect ferociously against weak NT and often it will work well for them, not this time
Gerry opened 1NT passed round to Ian who as it happens has good values, but protects with much less.  Anyway he bids 2D (D + a higher) and Bob bids 2H passed out.
I got off to a good start with a small heart to Gerry's 10. With no attractive return, Gerry followed this defence by returning the Queen to Dummy's Ace.
Bob ran QD, diamond to Ace and a club to King and Ace.  Gerry returned 6C and Bob didn't take a risk and went up with QC.  He now ran the 10 to Gerry's Jack, discarding a spade and Gerry played a spade to my Ace.  I cashed KH and played a spade, down 3.

Big hand with game making both ways.  I opened North 1H and Steve doubled. This gave Gerry a chance to bid 3H.  I could see Steve must have a big hand and surely they have a fit in a black suit, so I bid 4H.  Steve bid 4S, back to me.  Three small spades don't look good and Marilyn could be singleton.  Still I reckon 4S is making and 5H at worst is -500 so phoee to 5 level for opponents and I bid 5H.
AS led and I can't believe Dummy, we certainly don't have more than three defensive tricks and can't go more than one off.  Steve switched to a club, ruffed, spade ruff with 9H, small heart to Ace and that was that, spade ruff,  QH two top diamonds, claim.  The rest defended 4S.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Monday 11 July

Playing N/S with Adrianne came in the middle with a Butler -2 score.

This is not a hand you see very often, eleven top spades.

Lester opened 2C, I bid 2D and Barry 3D.  Lester bid 4NT, two Aces reply and assuming I had AD, Lester bid 6S.
Out of fourteen tables only six made a slam.  Four were in a grand and four in game.

This sort of hand hardly comes up very often but when it does the thing to do is open 4NT.  This asks for SPECIFIC Aces.  5C none, 5D/H/S or 6C is that Ace and 5NT is two Aces.
In this case you get a two Ace answer, unfortunately you cannot find out which two, but at least you are in slam.

Thi sis the sort of aggregate game you should bid and the play here is interesting as well.
I opened 1S, that looks minimum but the spade sequence, the intermediates and 5431 distribution makes it anything but.  Adrianne bid a common or garden Acol 3S and I raised to 4S.  As I said I am not minimum, I have a 9 card trump fit worth extra and I am hoping my singleton is working.
Only 4 out of 14 are in 4S.  Some play in hearts, that is dreadful.  If partner opens 1S you should never contemplate 2H,in fact Acol relies on limit bids to work and you have a simple 3S limit.

Now the play.  Mervyn led an unusual TD to Lewis' Jack and I ruffed the diamond return. I played QS, covered and can now guarantee my contract whatever the heart disposition.
I drew trumps in two rounds, cashed AC, overtook QC, played JC and ruffed TC.  I now led a heart and just have to cover whatever Lewis plays.  He put up the Ten, I played the Jack and no mater where the Ace is, when Mervyn wins the Q he has to lead back a heart towards my King or give me a ruff in dummy and a heart discard.

Another wild hand.
Adrianne opened 1S and I bid 2C.  Adrianne bid 2H (2NT is OK but we don't play checkback) and I bid 3D (4th suit for now).  Adrianne bid 3NT and I now showed my hand with 4D, natural and slam interest.  Adrianne cued 4H, I bid 4NT and 5C reply (0 or 3) tells me a keycard is missing as one of her three is AH.  I bid 6D.

JH lead won in Dummy, I then played a spade to the King.  Missing K and J in a suit is always a nuisance, when you have the Q,T and 9 you are best to play the double finesse.  This is a 75% chance when the suit breaks and takes away the horrible decision you have to make if you play AD and small towards QT when no honour has appeared. So I ran QD and it was not covered, I finessed 9D in case the 8 had been singleton and that was my only loser.
Only 5 of us in a slam, I'm the only one in diamonds, the rest are in 6NT or 6C, much more sensible when you have 12 top tricks and don't have to find any diamonds!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

CLub Pairs CHampionship 8 June

Playing N/S with Gerry came 2nd, something to be pleased about, though of course you berate yourself for the ones you could have played or bid better.

Our very first board got us a complete bottom.  Gerry opened 1H, I bid 1S and Gerry improvised with 3C, I bid 3H and after 4NT Gerry bid 6H.  As you can see there are 13 tricks if you guess the spades but after Norma led 3D to Q and Ace, Gerry drew trump ending in hand, played AS and ran JS.  One down.

Two others bid 6H and made 13 as did most who bid 4H.
Don't understand that, if you end in Dummy and play KS then finesse, you've blocked the suit.  Taking an immediate finesse is inferior as you might lose to singleton Queen. As is playing on spades before drawing trumps and risking a ruff.

A complete 0 for what looked like the correct line.

I opened 1D, Raymond bid 2C and Gerry doubled.  Alec bid 2H, I bid 2S and Gerry raised to 4S.  A bit frisky but it played well.
Heart lead to T, J and A. I need the diamonds to make this so QD, covered and Ace.  Now I ran 7S, Raymond played a club to Dummy's Ace, I ran another spade, Raymond won and exited with a spade.
Now JD, ruff a diamond, back to hand with a club ruff and claim 10, conceding a heart.
I can see double dummy that I can make 11 by way of another club ruff by taking AS on the second round of trump, but making game is going to be a good score which it was, three others in game, one going down.

A tricky game to reach when after two passes Sheila opened 1H.
I doubled, Gerry bid 1S and I bid 2H.  Gerry now found the excellent bid of 3S so I had no problem bidding 4S.
Four other pairs managed to bid 4S and three went down.

Sheila started with three rounds of hearts, Gerry ruffed and played KS, QS overtaken by Ace and JS drawing all the trumps.  He then ran TC and tried QD for an overtrick but that was 10 tricks.

Note if 10C had lost, there were two discards for diamonds and the diamond finesse would have been certain as Sheila had opened the bidding.  Taking the double diamond finesse does not guarantee the game and of course you go down here.
Very well played.  Those who went down weren't necessarily wrong, many players open 1H in 3rd seat with AKQxx and JD outside, but Gerry's line is superior.

Nobody passed this hand out.  East was dealer and passed as did Gerry, I suppose some Souths might have opened.  West might have opened in 3rd seat and although 1C doesn't impede the opposition much, at least it gets you the lead you want.  So three passes to me and I could pass as partner will have about 10 points and if he has both minors we end up too high and a negative score.  I could open a weak 2S (via our multi) but this hand is not suitable for that. However I prefer to play and opened 1S.
Gerry bid 2D, I bid 2H and Gerry bid 4H.  Well we have a fit, but surely too high. Four others were in it, two made.
Mervyn led JD and I took the Ace.  Spades will have to come in so I immediately played QS, covered by King.  Lewis returned a diamond, I ruffed and ran JS discarding a club.  Another spade ruffed.  I ruffed a diamond giving me AD, JS and two ruffs so far and with AKT hearts in one hand and QJ9 in the other I simply claimed another 6 tricks by a high cross ruff. Alternatively I could have drawn 4 rounds of hearts instead of ruffing the diamond and claimed my 3 spades.

Nearly missed a good score as Gerry after three passes opened South 1D.  I thought I might have a chance at improving the contract by bidding 1H rather than passing.  Just as well as Gerry now bid 4H!

Nothing in the play, just find QH which even I managed.  Only one other pair reached the game.

In my simple bidding I open South 1H which I thought everyone would.  North has a raise to 2H or 3H if you play that pre-emptive.  Either way South has a 4H bid.

This was strange hand, Kevin opened a weak 2S and Gerry bid 3S.  Not a bid that has come before, but looking at my hand I had no problem seeing it was a Michaels.
I gave some thought to 3NT but even with a bad heart break, 4H is surely better, so that is what I bid.
Kevin led 9D and Gerry's 7-5 hand went down.  I discarded the spade and took AD.  I played KH and took Kevin's Jack as genuine.  I ruffed a diamond and played AC and QC, discarding two diamonds.  Nat's TC was very welcome, but I won't relish another diamond (though I still make).  Instead Kevin played a spade, I took AQ of hearts and played club winners.  Nat can ruff when he wants, Dummy is good for the rest and 11 tricks.
There is only one other pair in 4H, also making 11.  A few 5H or even 6H all going off.  Two are in 3NT by Norrth and luckily got a spade lead to give them the top. Five others in clubs, from 3C to 6C.

This was an arrow-switch and I am West.  The horrid 4441 hand. I never lie about majors and so I have to open 1D.  Of course Gerry bids 2C and I have to bid 2D (ugh!).
Gerry now bid 2H and I know he will be at least 5-4 but perhaps more likely 6-4 as we always try to bid the major first, so I am hoping for a diamond shortage in Gerry's hand.  Therefore I bid 4H.  David produced a very clever double.  Martin laid down AS and switched to a diamond.  David won the Ten and returned a high diamond.  Martin over-ruffed Gerry and led QS for David to ruff. So that was four tricks to the defence.  Gerry made the rest via AK of clubs and a cross ruff.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tuesday 25 May

Playing N/S with Gerry came 2nd in the Club's Men's Pairs Championships with 58%.

The second hand we played against Bob & Ian was very interesting after Ian surprised Gerry by opening East 1S.  This was passed round to me and I am too strong to bid 2H so start with a double. Gerry bid 2D and now I bid 2H showing good hand / good hearts. Gerry bid 3D and now my turn to surprise Gerry, I bid 3NT.

Ian just went for the spade lead, I knocked out the Ace, he then switched to a club and I had 10 tricks.
Most were in 4S by South, but 10 tricks there wasn't as good. How do you defeat 3NT? Well a club lead is quite possible on the bidding.  If you lead the Ace, North simply holds up and still makes 10 tricks. However what if after two clubs West switches to a diamond to Q and K.  There are many variations but they all lead to 3N making (double dummy of course).
Lead 2C and North can duck (double dummy), but now to defeat the contract, West must switch to a diamond to kill Dummy.
Of course North will read 2C as 4 cards, win the King and play on spades, one off.

A tricky hand against David and Raymond.  I opened 2NT and after a heart transfer ended in 3NT.
David led 4S, looks sure to be 5 spades, maybe 6.  I won the Queen.  If I can find QC I have 6 black tricks, AD and two sure hearts.  I decided to try A and J hearts first before looking for QC. There is a fair chance that JH will be ducked anyway.  However Raymond naturally took JH as David showed out and returned 3S.  I now know David has 5 spades and 1 heart so 7 minor cards to 4 in Raymond's hand.  I therefore cashed AC and finessed 10C and cashed my 9 tricks.  I was quite happy with that but poor score, others are making 10.
Playing Match Points I should perhaps have thought more rather than just trying to ensure my contract.  The way to a top score might start with an immediate finesse of TC, then run TD, though West should cover. So after T,K,A,2 of diamonds, exit with JD.  Win spade return, you have 9 tricks, do you now finesse a heart in the hope of 10? Psychologically you never risk a game contract like that, so you end with 9 tricks.
Alternatively, win spade lead, finesse 10C and finesse JH.  That sets up 9 tricks, play 7C to King and run TD.  This way you will come to 10 tricks. Probably the best way though it is a blind choice on the club finesse but if it loses and the spades are cleared, then a doubleton KH onside gives you another chance of 9 tricks.  However still not displeased with my line, you always concentrate on making these contracts rather than overtricks despite the scoring.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Thursday 7 April

Playing N/S with Gerry, came 1st with 64%.

An interesting board I played against Paul & Nat just got us 50%.

We bid 1S - 2C - 2S - 3H - 3NT and Nat led 3D.
When Dummy went down I was thinking 4S could have been better, but concentrating on this hand:

1. Likely 5 card diamond suit, so I held up till 3rd round, discarding club from Dummy.
2. East the danger hand, so led JS intending to run it to West.
Nat decided to cover, I won Ace and a spade back to the King showed that I had only 3 tricks in the suit.
Now I need 5 tricks from hearts and clubs.  I cashed my spades and Ace of clubs knowing that East still can't get in. Next finesse QH which Paul took.  He can't exit with a club (he is in fact completely end played), so came back with 3H hoping Nat has the ten, I went up with the Ten and as Nat followed to both hearts it is all over now. I played a third heart to Ace and exited with 9H.  Paul only has clubs left and has to lead into my KJ.
4S went 1 down so beat those pairs however one pair is in 3N by South and got a heart lead for 10 tricks.  Another is in the same contract and lead as me and made 10.  What do I know?

We were doing well enough but finished with a lot of tops on the last 6 boards. This one was lucky.

After Bobby opened 1H and Ian responded 1NT, Gerry bid 2H.  Bobby doubled (take out) and Ian left it in.

Bobby started with AK of diamonds and Ian must have got his signals wrong as he switched to a spade.  Gerry won in hand and led up his club, Bobby took and played another spade to Dummy allowing Gerry to cash two clubs and discard his diamond and spade loser.
Now TH, J, Q, then a heart to the 7 and 8. Gerry ruffed the diamond return and exited with a small heart. Ian is end played to lead away from Kx.

What should have been an average board was a top.
I opened 1D and although you sometimes can bid 1NT with a 10 count, Gerry is too strong for that, an AK and a K as well as good intermediates, so made his only bid of 2C. I reversed with 2S as I'm strong enough after a two bid. The other options of 2D or 3C could both be on an 11 count and shouldn't be considered. Gerry bid 2NT to show his minimum and I raised to game.
The lead doesn't really matter but Gerry's bid of clubs avoided a club lead and then a heart through, so he got an easier ride with a spade lead.
He won in hand with the 10, diamond finesse, cashed a spade, diamond finesse, cashed third spade and just cashed his 10 tricks.

Only one other pair found game and they got a club lead. Although they can still make 10 tricks they were held to 9.

The last board was fun and games. Our bidding went:

1C - 2Na - P - 3D
 P  -   P   -  x -  P
 3S -  P  -  4S - 5D
 x  -   P  -   5S - ap

E/W lose 500 for 5Dx, so vulnerable game is important for us.

I won the diamond lead, spade to Ace and KD discarding a club.  I ruffed a diamond and led the last club from Dummy.  Laura had to take the Ace and with the clubs breaking all I could lose was the AC and QS.
Only a joint second top, someone was doubled in 4S!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Wednesday 24 March

Playing N/S with Gerry came first with 61%. A lot of big hands and long suits and got some good scores when running suits and making discards difficult for opponents.
Managed to let a 3NT make which we had beaten.  Well I was on lead half way through and it goes down automatically if Gerry has AH or AC. A problem is, if he has KC I cannot lead that suit. However in the bidding Declarer who had opened 1H had had the chance to rebid them on the way and hadn't, so with 4 hearts I can count she is a trick short, so it is safe to play the heart.  Duh! Opponents were playing 5 card majors, she had 9 tricks.

East passed and Gerry opened 1S.  I don't think 1NT is appropriate with my hand, 2D is surely the only rational bid. Gerry bid 2H and I bid 3D which describes my hand perfectly.  With the singleton club Gerry raises to 4D and liking that singleton I bid 5D.

Nothing to the play really.  Issy led KC which held and played another club which I ruffed.  AS, discarding a heart, AK of hearts, spade ruff, club ruff, spade ruff, club ruff, spade ruff and claim.

Note you always make 12 tricks.  Let's say diamond led, with 9D, play AS discarding a heart, ruff a spade, AH, ruff a spade, KH, ruff a spade high, exit with club.  Diamond back, win KD in Dummy, ruff a heart and Dummy is high, bit lucky though.

Thought I had blown it here.  Our bidding without interference went:

1S  - 2C - 3C - 3NT

I prefer to open South 1C to make sure I can bid both suits, but as bidding is so competitive nowadays, it lets West in too easily with a red suit.
Anyway I am sure Gerry would have preferred a black suit contract but despite everything trust me and passes.  I know South has 5 spades but I am 3433 and really would prefer a heart lead towards my hand rather than through it.

Joyce led a heart to Raymond's Q and although it could be right to duck twice, if I get it right I can make 12 tricks, so I took the King.
I played AK of spades then a club to the Ace.  I then ran the spades, Joyce shedding a club.  I feel the best chance now is dropping QC so lead KC, Q appears and as I put my card down I realise I have played 9C, not the Jack.  Oh no, blocked.  I ttok my 10 tricks thinking spades will make 11, bad score.  However everyone in 4S only made 10 as of course they took the club finesse.

When West passed, I passed as well.  You are just as likely to be pre-empting your partner in 2nd position and a pre-empt without any top honours is just plain wrong here, especially as I can easily play this in spades.

Aileen opened a multi 2D, Gerry doubled and Jill bid 2H.  Now I can bid my hand!  So 5C from me and Gerry raised to 6C.

Easiest hand of the night, won KH in Dummy, played A then Q of clubs and claimed.
Sure if I had opened 4C or 3C Gerry would have bid 6C, but more often he'll have a big hand with one or no clubs and I would stymie him.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Thursday 10 March

Playing in a Howell with a Gerry we came in second with 56%.

We had (sorry, I had) a very unusual bidding sequence. Without interference I opened West 1C and it went:

1C - 1D - 1N - 2D - 3N

2D is of course to play. However Gerry must have 6 diamonds and something like a King outside or at worst QH and JS, so I fancied my chances.

Mary led QS to Davina's Ace, they can cash 3 hearts now to keep me to 9, but the spade return is more obvious and I ran 10 tricks, Davina threw a club too many and there was 11.

Making 9 would have been a top anyway.

What a brilliant hand, three of us ended in the granny, one poor pair in 7NT (a club cue bid?), losing the first 8 tricks.  We were in 7H as were Ian and Cathy.  However Cathy got AC lead, diamond discard in HER hand, draw trumps, two diamond discards on the long spades and 13 tricks.

As E/W we bid
1H           - 2N* (game raise (+) in hearts)
3C* (4C) - 4N   (3C shortage)
5S           -  6C (no agreement!)
6H          -  7H

Gerry assumed I had singleton club, Bobby had length with the Ace, all consistent on the bidding.  I must have 5 hearts if I have a singleton club, so 5 hearts, 6 spades, AD and a club ruff equals 13 tricks.  Expertly worked out but not to be!

Bobby led 9D against me, no option but to let it run, I conceded another one down for a spade ruff.  C'est la vie.

David opened 1C and Gerry found an off kilter double.  Katie bid 1D and I bid 4H.  Even if Gerry passes, Katie bids 1D and I'll bid 1H, I reckon Gerry is bound to go to 4H anyway.  However we were the only ones in it.

Diamond led to my King, heart to Ace and finesse a heart back, draw last trump.  AC, AD, throwing a club, spade off table.  Most holdings look like 3 losers as I can't get back into Dummy but as Katie has played her lowest I tried the 9.  David won the 10, returned a club which I ruffed.  I now played QS which David took with Ace, crashing Katie's King and 11 tricks.

Gerry opened East 1S and I bid 2S, Susan came in 3C and Gerry bid 3S passed out.
Club was led to Ace, a spade return is going to lose the trump trick and North tried a heart.  Gerry won, ruffed a club, diamond to King and Ace, ruffed a club and cashed KS. A heart from Dummy now gives 10 tricks as North can just ruff a diamond or take a spade.

A top but others weren't in spades and I suspect some West's might have bid 1NT leaving them to defend 3C.  This is a mistake with a distributional hand and 3 card support.  Yes partner might have only 4 spades (they are guaranteed to be 15+ points if they do) but you'll find a 1S opening is 5+ most times and if you play checkback like Gerry and I do, then 90+% of the time 1S is 5+ cards.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Tuesday 1 March

Playing a match against Stirling we lost 10-6 (960 aggregate).  Gerry and I were E/W and actually had a great score due to some luck.

A rather pushy 4H that two other tables were also in, but they went down.
KC lead, I won Ace and finessed heart. First decision, do you use diamond entry for second heart finesse and lose options in the diamonds? Well I decided HK was more likely to be in a hand with three.  So I crossed to AD, took second finesse and drew last trump.
I didn't reckon opponents were going to fall for a spade to the Queen, so on a diamond guess.  I tend to favour QD in these situations, it's more flamboyant pinning the doubleton Jack, however I always get it wrong!  Anyway I just played a small diamond from hand, South won KD perforce and 10 tricks made.

Big, big swing here for us.  Gerry opened 1H, South bid 2H and I toyed with a jump to 4H but what happens is North bids 4S and neither Gerry or myself know anything about each other's hands.  I decided on 2S, surely game going values and lacking 4 hearts.  North decided to double (3S much better) and Gerry bid 3C.  South passed (again 3S better) and I bid 4H.  Possibly North saw defence, this was passed out.
South found small spadde after the double by North to King and spadde back to Ace.  After some thought South exited with small diamond. It is irrelevant but Gerry tried KD and ruffed North's Ace.  Heart to King, 9, T and J back.  Club finesse, heart to Ace, QC, KC and AC and claim for the loss of two spades and a heart. 4S makes the other way as long as you play for the double finesse in diamonds (see previous post!) and not AD and another.  It was 4Sx at another two tables for 790 against our 620.

John and Nigel made 3NT+2 by North on a favourable diamond lead.  At the other three tables it was played 4S by South all on a heart lead.  Alex Wilkinson made it.
At our table the heart was won in Dummy and QS played.  Declarer took four rounds and threw two clubs from table giving up her chance of making it.
She now played diamond to 10 and Q, club back to singleton Ace, heart ruff, diamond to J and Ace, heart back, ruffed, two clubs to lose to go with the two diamonds.
Now there is only a 25% West has KQ clubs and a 50% chance you will get a diamond trick (with a doubleton you just guess for either Q or A in West hand).  However, there was no point in throwing the clubs, throw the hearts on the trumps.  Now when you mis-guess the diamonds (well it's always wrong), East returns a heart which you ruff, now try West for KQ clubs. Play a club, West puts in Q and you can duck or win it.  Either way it a diamond next, Gerry wins and plays another heart, you ruff and another club guarantees the contract.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Wednesday 24 February

Playing E/W with Gerry,  finished well down with 47%.

Holding something like A x x  opposite Q T x x x you play Ace then low to QT. When LHO plays small you basically have a 50-50 chance of losing one trick. Overall it is better than 50% as an honour might have appeared but it is a horrible choice when, as usual, one doesn't.
Things change when you have the 9 in either hand.

A x x  opposite  Q T 9 x x  gives you a double finesse. Run the Queen then run the Ten. This gives a 75% chance of just losing one trick as it only loses two when both K and J are in RHO's hand.

Against Anne & Malcolm Tyre we picked up the cards the wrong way round so I had Gerry's West hand and was soon in 3NT.
Anne led her 4th best heart so Dummy's 9 held the first trick.
I tried a diamond to the Queen and it held, Anne playing the 9.  I never dreamt that the Ace would be there and thought 9x most likely so decided to play on clubs for an extra trick.  Having QT9 I went for the double finesse starting with running the Queen to Malcolm's King. A heart came back to my Queen, I crossed to AS and ran the Ten, no luck this is the 25% of times when you lose two.
The spades broke and I made 10 tricks for 50%.

At the next table against Maureen and Victor I opened East 1NT.
Only 11 points but better than a lot of 12 point hands.
We're not reserved even at pairs so Gerry raised to 3NT, a 2NT contract should be illegal anyway.
This has good prospects even after a small heart lead to King, heart to J ducked and Maureen cleared the suit.  I just need Victor to have AC and he signals clubs on the third heart.  Great, QT9 of diamonds again, double finesse into the safe hand, 75% chance of making.  Oh well I lost two diamonds two hearts and a club, who said 2NT was a daft contract? A complete 0 this time.

I fancied that hearts were 5-2 although Victor always returns the 7 with K73. However even if I take the second heart, I only have 8 tricks with only three diamonds.

It was never going to be our night.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Tuesday 9 February

Playing a match Vs GUU we played E/W against Jim Forsyth and Jim McMahon. We won by 1290 giving us a 10-6 victory.

There were quite a few swingy hands with some big distributions.

After two passes Jim M opened 1D.  I have a choice here, punt 4S or double and bid spades to show a strong jump overcall (here I can jump rebid). However I chose 3NT, this seems to me to have better chances all round.
Jim F quite rightly avoided the diamond lead and led QH, I won, crossed to JS and led a diamond.  Jim M immediately went in with the Ace and tried AC, getting an encouraging 2C, that was me down 1, the same as everyone else who bid 4S for a flat board.  I still prefer my chances.  Partner could have had 5 small clubs, the clubs could be blocked.  I don't expect a diamond lead really, but sometimes North is stuck, South has to be alert and jump in with AD, even so he might have AQ of clubs and be unsure what to do.

Gerry opened 1H and our bidding went

1H - 2D - 3C - 3S - 3N - 6C

3C is an overbid but 2H is under, so better choice at teams. However I was hoping for a bit more.
As it happens it is a good slam 3-2 clubs or AH on a ruffable finesse look like good chances.  However both are wrong but a third chance arose after the spade lead, as North was guarding both red suits (as well as needing to keep a spade honour!) and 12 tricks materialised.
Nobody else bid that.

Gerry opened a Lucas 2H, Jim M passed, what to do? Will 4H buy the contract? I doubted it, North is probably a decent two suiter and I'll have to bid 5H anyway, they might even be making 4/5S.  I bid 5H.  We have no agreement, not something that crops up. If it has a meaning, a jump to 5 usually asks for 6 if you have two of the top three honours.Well I knew Gerry didn't have that!
North wasn't so good and 5H was passed out. Jim M led QS and Gerry wrapped up 12 tricks.

Every N/S made 3NT here except against us.
Gerry led 4H and Jim put up the Q from Dummy.  Lucky for me, I have a terrible decision if he plays low, has Gerry led from Kxxx or Jxxx?  I am also aware it can be a three card suit, South had bid spades twice so Gerry is bound to have 4 or 5. BTW, if Declarer had played low and I had taken 20/30 secs to think about it, there is no UI.  Everyone is allowed to pause at trick one, so unless Declarer pauses for 30 seconds, defender can take their time.
Anyway, nothing to pause about, I took the Ace and returned the 5 to the Jack, Gerry cleared the suit.
Jim probably doesn't fancy his chances now, but my hand might be 'safe', Gerry having the hearts, so he ran 10C to my Q and I cashed the hearts.

Very unusual to pick up 7 - 6 in the reds and great news when partner opens the bidding then supports you.
I opened 1S, Gerry bis 2H and I bid 4H.  Gerry now bid 4N and it actually crossed my mind to bid 6H. I must have a very suitable hand and QH might not matter, however it is much more sensible to answer the question, so I showed two without and Gerry passed the 5H.
Only the KH to lose for an easy 12 tricks but Gerry was berating himself, 4N with two voids!  He should of course have cued 5C, I bid 5D and I must be hot favourite for a top heart.