Splendor

Hi all, 

The madness of King’s Day is behind us. I never would have guessed Amsterdam would turn into such a steaming brew of people wearing various kinds of orange attributes. This Tuesday it is quite visible the city itself is suffering from a major hangover. Mental note for 2016 and above: increase personal crumple zone on this particular date. Other highlights from these past couple of weeks: for the first time in my life I visited Rome. Such splendor! The Pantheon, the Borghese Gardens, the Castel Sant’Angelo, the coffee & food… There might have been a small tear in the corner of my eye. This is what happiness is.

I have played a lot of bridge lately, so let’s cut to the chase. 

West
North
East
South
 
 
pass
1
pass
2
pass
21
pass
32
pass
43
pass
4
a.p.
  1. Denying a 6-crd suit, balanced or not good enough for a direct raise (the “Schuler Shift”) 
  2. Pinpointing the problem
  3. Weak hand with fit

After René bid 4 I had a pretty good idea of what was opposite of me. After a brief moment I opted for the 5-2 fit. West kicked off with the Ace of and this is what René had to work with:

North
A8
764
KQ86
KJ85
South
KQT64
9
T97
AQ94

René observes dummy for a while and I see he is immersed in projections and calculations. He ruffs the King of and immediately plays a towards dummy. West jumps in with the Ace and continues with the Queen of . She meets her demise with another little trump. Now things move quickly, René cashes both top and King and Ace of . Everybody following suit. A third towards dummy and West discards a after a significant ponder.

Now 3 rounds of trumps show that there’s still one out there. It is of no importance or consequence, there are ten tricks with 5 trumps, 3 in and 2 in .  

East Dealer
EW Vul
North
A8
764
KQ86
KJ85
West
J952
AKQ8
A43
62
East
73
JT532
J52
T73
South
KQT64
9
T97
AQ94

One wonders what would have happened had West ruffed the third . This would have been the position:

North
A8
8
J
West
J95
8
East
73
JT
South
KQT
Q

West could have exited with her 8 of but then dummy could have ruffed with the 8 of while René sluffs his winning (the other way around is possible and spectacular, too). His three top trumps bring home the contract then. Any inconsiderate remarks by East regarding the non-complexity of the deal were cast aside when the score for the deal showed, a flawless 100% for NS.

Why do I like this deal so much? I enjoy thoughtful bidding and watching competent declarer play (postponing drawing trumps until the very, very end). 

Last but not least: if “The B Movie Orchestra” is in your neighborhood, you should go check them out. The solid band plays brilliant tunes of old movies and blends them with fragments of said movies. The whole thing is a feast for the ear as well as the eye.

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!S 
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!C