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.

Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore

Hi all

Despite of my lousy play yesterday (minus 25 imp), I have a nice gem. Though it’s mostly declarer’s error, René and I gave declarer all the room he needed to go wrong. RHO opens a strong 1NT and everybody is silent.

You lead a heart (3rd – 5th) from:

West
JT
K9876
A62
A74

Dummy puts down a collection of garbage, including a stiff Ten of .

South Dealer
All Vul
North
763
T
JT954
Q962
West
JT
K9876
A62
A74
East
98542
AQ4
Q7
T83
South
AKQ
J532
K83
KJ5

We start with five rounds of (declarer throws a ), taking René’s signals into account I exit with the Jack of . Declarer tries the King and Jack of , but I duck both. A small to dummy is for René’s Queen and again a for declarer. He could have cashed out for down two now, but he exited with a small for my Ace.

South Dealer
All Vul
North
Q9
West
2
A
East
5
T
South
K
K

With a bang I smack down the Ace of . It’s a complete guess for declarer which King to hold on to. After some thought (or could it have been a prayer?) he discards the King of . With a merciless grin I put down the smallest in the pack for down three. Vulnerable. Yummie!

SixFifty

Hi all

Yesterday I played with Dennis. Me bidding like a hesitant snail on sedatives didn’t really work out for our score. Next deal is nice and compensates a little for all disasters.

South Dealer
– Vul
North
J65
AKT854
AQ72
West
QT94
AKJ732
96
J
East
A73
QT65
Q72
T85
South
K82
984
J3
K9643
West
North
East
South
pass
1
2
3
pass
4
4NT
pass
5
pass
pass
double
a.p.

Dennis showed a 6-4 with 4NT. East wasn’t happy with our bidding and showed his discomfort with a booming double.

I ruffed the Ace of and drew one round of trumps with the Ace, West playing the Jack. I took stock, E-W bidding game on such a low point-count meant that there was shape involved. I cashed both honours and ruffed a third round, West discarding. Another ruff in dummy and I started playing dummy’s high diamonds. East ruffed, I overruffed and crossed to the Queen of (extracting the outstanding trump in the meantime). After cashing the remaining , I led a towards the King for an unexpected overtrick.

Well, I guess +650 isn’t really uncommon, but I wonder whether a lot of people can say that they scored it in a contract.

Speeding… but no penalty

Hi all

Last Thursday the annual Dombo board meeting was scheduled. Talks and discussions for some two hours, so no time for a regular club night. Every year after the meeting it’s speedcarding, ten deals in twenty minutes. After two hours I’m totally exhausted and I feel like burning up, feverish. So no wonder the evening ended with too much beer, to cool down of course. Here’s an ugly one (for the opponents I mean):

AKQT84
AJT
J5
A6

René (North) opened 1 and I bid my . Now some funny guy interfered with 2. Why funny? I’ll show you in the complete diagram…

René told he had diamonds as well, and I finished the auction with a brutal jump to the grand in . I know, I know, it’s not really the scientific (Viking) way I’m known for, but remember, it’s speedcarding. There’s just no time for something unimportant like Blackwood.

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
7
KQ943
KQ94
Q82
West
952
76
83
T97543
East
J63
852
AT762
KJ
South
AKQT84
AJT
J5
A6

The Ace of beats it, of course, but there might have been fear of hitting a void in dummy. Or maybe the Ace was hiding behind another card because of the high, confusing speed. I don’t know. This is what happened after the lead of a trump. René drew three rounds of trumps ending in dummy, six rounds of followed, René discarding a and all his . Leading to this position:

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
K9
Q8
West
of
no
real
importance
East
AT
KJ
South
J5
A6

René felt everything right: after a ruff his last trump hit the table. Unbearable pressure on East. And this all was executed in less than two minutes. Chapeau!

Edit: November 1st, 2006.
After some thought and discussion I have to add something to this game. I agree, it sounds strange for a grand with an Ace outside, but there’s a better way to play it. You have to play four rounds of trumps before cashing six . Leading to this position:

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
K
Q8
West
unknown
unknown
East
unknown
unknown
South
J5
A

This position has some criss-cross-feeling, but ultimately it’s a variation on the trump squeeze (wikipedia). And it works against both opponents, you just have to read correctly who’s holding both keys.

Lovely Salad

Hi all

Here’s a salad for your pleasure and enjoyment. It’s wonderful.

2 hands of rucola (tear them a bit smaller)
1 or 2 Granny Smiths
Extra vergine olive oil
Parmigiano reggiano
A pinch of salt

Slice the apples in very thin pieces (remove core), peeling is optional. Mix the sliced apple with the rucola and add the salt and olive oil. Do yourself a pleasure and get good olive oil, it’s such a waste and loss if you use your regular cooking and baking oil. Pull curls of the Parmigiano with a sharp knife or a "kaasschaaf". Sprinkle them on top. Enjoy! 

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. René 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 René’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.