Unmatched

Streets damp and warm
Empty smell metal
Weeds between buildings
Pictures on my hard drive
But I’m the luckiest guy
Not the loneliest guy

Steam under floor
Shards by the mirrors frame
Clouds green and low
No sign, no nothing now
But I’m the luckiest guy
Not the loneliest guy

All the pages that have turned
All the errors left unlearned, oh
Well I’m the luckiest guy
Not the loneliest guy
In the world
Not me
Not me

David Bowie – The Loneliest Guy

On silent sad days mister Bowie can be really… confronting

Vienna No More

Hi all

Last night advanced course at Dombo. I prepared some games at home and with exactly four students the table was complete. Here’s one of the prepared games where I found out my first analysis wasn’t completely correct.

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
J93
K2
J63
AKJT6
West
QT82
QJ94
95
982
East
654
853
AKQT72
4
South
AK7
AT76
84
Q753

The bidding isn’t really interesting, South opens a natural 1, North answers inverted, East interferes with some number in and eventually North-South will end up playing 5.

Now my original plan was to ruff the third round of high, cash both Ace and King of (the Vienna coup) and then drop all trumps on the table. West is squeezed in the Majors. This works because East has both honors, but if one of them is transferred to West, then this line is doomed to fail. West can unguard his without problems.

A trump squeeze is the true solution. Same as before, you ruff the third round of high, West discarding a (a is immediately fatal). And now you play four rounds of trumps, leading to this position:

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
J93
K2
6
West
QT8
QJ94
East
of
no
importance
!
South
AK
AT76

West still has to find a discard. If a is discarded, you cash both in hand, enter dummy via a ruff and the Jack is your eleventh trick. A goes away? You can ruff out the remaining with the Ace as an entry. This line of play works too if both honors are divided and therefore the better play.

Edit 06-12-2006:
If East switches to a after just one high then you only have the Vienna coup to revert to. The opponents are already halfway in destroying your communication for the trump squeeze, but I guess your opponents are called Belladonna or Forquet if they do.

“You’re not my type anyway!” “Smart?” “Single!”

Hi all

Yesterday I saw Daniel Craig performing as the new James Bond in Casino Royale. What can I say, he’s blond, but if that has ever been a bad thing, then I can live with that, and the next couple of movies as well. Solid “Bond” attitude and definite physical presence and capabilities, I’m satisfied with Daniel as the new Bond. He’s less sophisticated than Pierce, but it certainly didn’t bother me.

I guess no money was spared on explosive action, there were some real over the top adrenalin pumping scenes. Now before I reveal too much, I would like to end this small article with a photo. Because a picture says more.. yeah… Eva “Vesper Lynd” Green. Sighhh….

Eva Green

Natural or conventional?

Hi all

No money at Star yesterday. René had troubles with public transportation so he asked me to find a substitute 40 minutes before kickoff. Yikes!

@Remco: Thanks for playing on such short notice.

No real misunderstandings, but we just didn’t score much. Add the few disasters we encountered and the minus 30 imp has been explained.

South Dealer
All Vul
North
KJ86542
Q9
K4
AJ
West
93
K42
QT953
K52
East
Q
JT873
862
T987
South
AT7
A65
AJ7
Q643

Our opponents couldn’t get to the good slam. After a strong 1NT in South you have problems in describing your playing strength. I guess the most reasonable (natural) sequence to slam is something like this:

West
North
East
South
 
 
 
1NT
pass
2
pass
2
pass
4
pass
6
a.p.
 
 
 

This is only playable if you also play transfers on the four-level. You need them for hands that are just worth game. Via a transfer on the two-level and then bid game like above is mildly slam going. South has a true fit + three Aces and should advance to the slam. Holding three keys I wouldn’t even ask for Aces. Have a little faith.

Now how would I bid this one with René? Probably something like this.

West
North
East
South
 
 
 
1NT
pass
2 1
pass
2
pass
2 2
pass
2NT3
pass
3 4
pass
3NT5
pass
4 6
pass
4 7
pass
6 8
a.p.
 

1. Stayman or GF relay
2. GF relay
3. No 5 card minor
4. relay
5. 3-3-3-4
6. relay
7. 3 Aces
8. This should have play, but you’d better not have that wasted Queen of trumps!

It’s so simple.

Squeeze Potpourri

Hi all

There was this 3NT Wednesday that has been bugging me. Itch, back, you know what I mean. Taking nine seemed possible, I just couldn’t get to the solution. Here’s the full layout.

South Dealer
All Vul
North
A7
QT84
AT965
Q3
West
942
J962
QJ4
KT6
East
KJ653
A5
72
J954
South
QT8
K73
K83
A872

Our opponents had an undisturbed auction to 3NT. I could have interfered by bidding my , but my holding was so anemic I threw it away. Declarer didn’t have any trouble on a non lead. At the other table though, they did interfere with 1. And the lead ducked to the Ten to keep communication intact left Sjoerd in a very miserable position. Eventually leading to one trick short.

So what to do?
You should take the lead with the Ace, and play a towards the King. It doesn’t matter if East rises or not, so let’s assume he ducks. Now play a small to dummy and finesse the Ten (or duck if your psychic). East will again play a small (communication!), but you take it with your Queen and then exit with your remaining .

East has to take his two because it’s the last time he’s on lead. Now the spotlights go to West, what to discard on the next two ? One small is easy, but on the 5th West is squeezed in three suits.

South Dealer
All Vul
North
Q8
AT
Q3
West
J9
QJ4
KT
East
72
J954
South
7
K83
A8

West still has to find a discard. Impossible!

A or a is immediately fatal, so West discards a . East plays back a trying to disrupt communication, taken in hand. Now cross over to the Queen and cash the other high as well. You discard your remaining small and West is now caught in a criss-cross squeeze.

South Dealer
All Vul
North
A
Q3
West
QJ
KT
East
7
J9
South
83
A

That’s nice, first your partner murders you with too many , then declarer shakes a criss-cross squeeze out of his sleeve. I think I would stop playing bridge if I couldn’t see the beauty of it.

I need to practice, then practice some more and then just for the fun of it even a little bit more. Because three days to formulate a winning plan isn’t exactly winning bridge.

Edit: 26-11-2006
Kees-Jan has pointed out there is no three suited suicide squeeze if East doesn’t take his 5th . So you’re still stuck on just eight tricks. There is a way, though, and that is being crystal ball psychic when touching , so small to the King and then ducked to the bare Ace. Now if West refuses to take all his , you have three tricks in , two in and the Ace of . The necessary tricks in can be developed safely.

Outgunned?

Hi all

We scored 10 victory points yesterday against fair players from Culemborg. After the first twelve boards we were ahead by an incredible 7 whole imp. Then the second half started. René played a boring 3NT and all other boards were for our opponents. And these opponents were solid, I mean solid. With gentle touch they maneuvered every contract home. Even strong defensive carding they could handle. It’s so frustrating when you recognize you’ve lost all grip on the match.

I have a nice game where Sjoerd and Wim had a little success.

North Dealer
– Vul
North
KQJ93
KQ
Q4
Q832
West
42
952
A763
J974
East
AT
JT873
KJT982
South
8765
A64
5
AKT65

West
North
East
South
 
1
2
41
double
4
5
5
pass
pass
double
a.p.

1. Splinter

Wim led the 2, obviously asking for a ruff. Sjoerd didn’t disappoint him.

At our table the auction proceeded a little different.

West
North
East
South
 
1
21
42
4
4
5
double
a.p.
 
 
 

1. Twosuiter, including
2. Fitshowing jump

René kicked of with a high . Declarer took it and played a trump, René took the trick with his King and cashed his high . The continuation was ruffed in dummy and again a trump. Looking for a ruff I rose with the Ace, crushing René’s Queen. I couldn’t believe my eyes, West bid 4 on three small . Daredevil!

So the result was +100 at both tables. Well it’s a plus, but not really satisfying. Were we outgunned? I think not. Outplayed I can live with, but I have to say that stocks dropped badly on our shares of luck.

Naked Viking

Hi all

It was so easy, I just had to sit back and let René do his thing. His true Viking nature showed. No fancy bidding involved, just bid the level you value your cards for. Then add some because you’re a Viking, and your name is René, and because you feel like you hit the jackpot.

West Dealer
All Vul
North
AK863
7
JT64
852
West
Q975
J8
Q
AKT643
East
J4
5432
K82
QJ97
South
T2
AKQT96
A9753

The bidding was easy, we were done in approximately 37 seconds. West opened 1, I overcalled 1, East passed (didn’t feel like introducing his collection of garbage) and René bid 6. Yes, you read it correctly: 6. There was no play to it.

So this story isn’t about bidding or playing. It’s not about style, tablepresence or luck. It’s just the naked Viking approach, blunt axe involved. Tow away the 15 imp you butchered from the opponents. Thanks, goodbye, and have a wonderful evening!

Reliving the crusade

Hi all

Yesterday “Kruistocht in “Spijkerbroek” opened in Dutch theatres. I guess the international title must be something like “Crusade in Jeans”, based upon the book by Thea Beckman, probably familiar to every Dutch boy and girl. The first time I read the book I must have been something like 10 years old and I loved every bit of it. I remember devouring all books by Thea, but “Kruistocht..” and “De gouden Dolk” I have very fond memories of.

So what about the movie? Well… well.. it’s fair. The storyline is fairly true to the book, but American money has been injected into the project, and it shows! There is this absurd 20-second shot of a Mars candy bar, Nike makes an appearance and so does Google Earth (wtf?).

Reliving the book and resurfacing memories played bigger roles in the wonderful evening we spent together than the movie itself. So that’s what I would recommend: read the book, then go enjoy the movie and fill in the gaps with memories and fantasies.

Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek

@Claudia: Thanks for the wonderful evening, taking me there was a heartwarming present.

Definitely not so Sober

Hi all

Dennis, Claudia and myself arrived at Ahoy a little after 8. Outside we could hear (feel?) the support act. We found out it was Mastodon on stage. I know little about them, but it’s just not my cup of tea. If I have time and the peace I’ll give them a try, they must be worth something, otherwise they wouldn’t be supporting Tool, would they?

Maynard, Danny, Justin and Adam appeared on stage and they kicked off with Stinkfist. From there on it was like a dream. With jaw dropping precision they did what they do best. Blow people away with a spectacular mix of audio and visuals. At least that’s what they did to me. I wish I could give you some details of the concert, but the whole evening is just covered in some post orgasmic glowy feeling thing.

Tool

It was a memorable day, the 9th of November 2006, and with their promise “See you next summer!” I really have something to look forward to. Maybe they will be at Werchter again.

Viking Defence

Hi all

I found this one while cleaning my room and reorganizing my personal administration. So before it gets lost I have to document it here on Vikings In Space where it can shine on for eternity. Yeah, I’m proud of it, did you notice?

No one vulnerable, it’s up to you after pass – pass:

West
Q73
A4
9854
A862

I couldn’t find a bid with this holding so I passed as well. The opponents have an undisturbed auction: 1 – 1 – 2 – all pass. Now what to lead? In a moment of divine inspiration (insanity?) I led the 4 of . Yes, a trump. This was the complete layout:

East Dealer
– Vul
North
J85
K875
AKJ72
J
West
Q73
A4
9854
A862
East
AK92
QJT
3
97543
South
T64
9632
QT2
KQT

Declarer, still unconcerned, played small for René’s Ten of . I saw a small twitch in his eyebrow when the Ten held. Three rounds of followed and I was on lead again. I cashed the Ace of and exited with a .

Now declarer really dug his own grave by taking the in dummy. But without this error there wouldn’t have been a story, now would there? After some thought declarer decided he wanted to lead from his hand so he played a towards his Queen, René ruffed in front of him.

East Dealer
– Vul
North
K87
KJ7
West
A
98
862
East
9
Q
Q753
South
963
Q
KJ

Now René put the icing on the cake by playing the 13th . I ruffed with the Ace of and played another for the final blow on the chin. Declarer dazzled and confused wrote -150 and left the table somewhat trembling.

I try to be a nice and friendly opponent, really I do. But this time the “High-Five” was truly unavoidable.