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.