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.