Ante Meridiem

Hi all,

I played both the Butler Pairs (with Kees) and the Open Pairs (with René) in Scheveningen. Last time I played there is a long time ago, in my greener junior years. Both tournaments (not limited to those) I suffered from the same affliction. Years from now scientists will confirm the existence of the “ante meridiem syndrome,” I’m sure. Before lunch I can summon no magic, none at all (emphasised with swiping arm movement). At best I’m rubbing against Zia’s second heat. After lunch the gloves come off. Butler before lunch: +3. After: +49. Pairs before lunch: 47%. After: 60%.

So far I’ve tried to remedy that with varying amounts of coffee, light or heavy breakfast, holistic herbalism, divinatory shamanism and [insert random “ism” here] …  It seems a Karapet-esque curse. 

Here’s a cute deal:

South
AJ7
JT864
75
AQ8
West
North
East
South
 
pass
1
1
DBL
RDBL1
2
pass
pass
2
a.p.
 
  1. raise with top honor

West leads the 9 and this is what I see:

North
9542
A72
A64
642
South
AJ7
JT864
75
AQ8

We’re deep in the afternoon already, so things click. West is holding exactly four , that leaves East with two. The 9 has the smell of a doubleton, so the layout condenses to West having a 4-3-4-2 and East with a 2-2-4-5. I have two losers in , one in and one in . That means I have to tackle the trump suit for one loser.

The double finesse only works if the 9 is doubleton. I can do better.

I win the lead with the Queen and duck a to East. The King of hits the table and I win the Ace, West completing the doubleton echo. I cross to the Ace of and request a little trump away from the Ace. East gives away the show by rising with the King.

Later I finesse against West’s remaining Queen doubleton, losing just one trump. Taking eight, for a 3 IMP gain.

North Dealer
All Vul
North
9542
A72
A64
642
West
KT83
Q95
K983
93
East
Q6
K3
QJT2
KJT75
South
AJ7
JT864
75
AQ8

Magnus is performing at Paradiso September 26th. I invite you.

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