The Victoria syndrome

Hi all

There is this club in Woerden (BC Victoria) that gets under my skin. Months of preparation, psychotherapy, the works, it’s all in vain against them. These people get under my skin so easily it’s frightening. Timed remarks and comments take my blood to boiling point in seconds. Argh! But this year was different. RenĂ© took almost all pressure away during the match, so I could keep my concentration. After twelve boards we gained a substantial lead (some 30 imps) by bidding careful part scores and staying out of bad games. It was good bridge.

The second half I took off badly with a misplayed slam. Shaking and trembling, but I was able to keep my cool. Look here:

West Dealer
EW Vul
North
A84
742
KJ85
843
West
T53
KJ93
92
Q762
East
KQ62
Q86
63
KT95
South
J97
AT5
AQT74
AJ

I opened the South hand in 4th position with a strong . With RenĂ©’s positive response the no-trump game was truly inevitable. Any plans after a lead? You have eight tricks with very small chances of developing a ninth. Kees suggested post mortem taking the second heart and exiting with your last heart. While this certainly has some merits, I don’t think it’ll work in this situation. You just have too little tricks to take, and there is very little pressure to exert.

This was my plan: I ducked the two times and was kind of happy that West didn’t shift to a , so the third round was for my Ace. I played the 7ducked to East’s Queen, and back came the Ten of . I took it and five rounds of followed. I watched the discards carefully and read the end position correctly, at least I hoped I did:

West Dealer
EW Vul
North
A4
8
West
3
Q7
East
K6
K
South
J9
J

I exited with my Jack of and East was thrown in for the ninth trick. Yummie!

I enjoyed West’s angry explanation about unblocking and placings, I just wrote with a large smile my +400. At the other Wim found the lead and the contract was immediately without chance.

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