Inspired?

Hi all

Yesterday at Star I played like… like… in Dutch one can say “like a wet newspaper”. I guess that comes close. Defensive errors all around. Missed an easy biddable slam. Argh! And if everything goes bad, then I shouldn’t have tried this:

South Dealer
All Vul
North
KJ964
J76
Q63
AJ
West
Q87
Q84
742
K842
East
AT3
T952
J95
Q96
South
52
AK3
AKT8
T753

Sitting South I opened a 14-16 NT, René raised me to the NT game immediately without introducing his . I like that, North has more than enough (soft values) for game, and those , well, if we have a fit, they work in 3NT as well. And you keep them hidden from the opponents.

The defence kicks off with a . I ponder for some time, reviewing my chances. What am I going to collect? I need a favourable position for four tricks, one and two . I need more than just the Queen onside, I just don’t get to 9 tricks (unless the Queen of drops doubleton, of course). West having Ace-Queen of seems too remote a chance.

So I devised a cunning plan.

Back to the lead, East put in the  Queen and returned the 9 for dummy. Now I played a small from table, a surprised West winning the trick with the 7. Now when he returned another I had butterflies in my stomach, it looks like the are breaking and West is desperately looking for a way to put East on lead. So I put up the King.

Curtains!

East shoots back a and I loose six tricks in the black suits. Losing an additional 3 imp for all my efforts, cause all other pairs were only set one trick.

A warned man counts…

Hi all

Here’s a game from one of Dombo’s teams matches last week. It’s a nice deal to analyze. If I could only bring up the concentration to do this during a match instead of post mortem.

North
74
AJ43
K4
QJT95
South
A8
T985
A862
A74

South had to play 4 doubled. During the auction West interfered with some number of and East finally doubled 4. West starts with the King. Plan the play!

Let’s do this together. Trumps are very likely to be 1-4 both honours offside, a loser, are soft and the have to be tackled as well. Ducking the lead doesn’t do much harm, the continuation is for your Ace. Draw one round of trumps by running the Ten. East plays back a for the King in dummy. Tackle the now, the Queen and Jack hold but West discards the 2nd round. So trumps and are 1-4.

This gets complicated.

North
AJ4
4
T95
South
985
A86
A

Cash the Ace and ruff a small with the Ace. East discards something. Cross to the Ace and ruff a with the Jack. East will overruff, but now South has only trumps left, resulting in three trump tricks in your hand, one in dummy, three tricks, two in and the Ace of .

Full deal:

South Dealer
EW Vul
North
74
AJ43
K4
QJT95
West
KQT652
7
QT953
8
East
J93
KQ62
J7
K632
South
A8
T985
A862
A74

Without the double South will probably play va banque, double finesse in , and nemesis will overcome him. I wouldn’t double them, maybe it will gain +100 (or an unlikely +300), but warning the opponents into a thoughtful magic plan is a very bad thing.

Vikings without tools

Hi all

Last night René had obligations elsewhere. Lucky me, Elske agreed to sit opposite me. She bid like a true Viking, dangerously high. I like that, though it costed me some time and palpitations to adapt. But no relays, we agreed to something Dutch Acolish. And then this game came across:

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
Q94
A9653
K74
K4
 
 
South
AKJ75
8
QJT6
A76

We had an undisturbed auction (involving Check back Stayman) to 4. But both hands fit like gloves, no wasted honours, so 6 is a very good slam. But it’s quite unbiddable in a natural system.

What about Viking Precision? Would it have gotten us to slam?

West
North
East
South
 
1
pass
1NTGF
pass
21
pass
2
pass
2NT2
pass
3
pass
33
pass
3
pass
34
pass
4
pass
4NT5
pass
5
pass
56
pass
5
pass
67
pass
6
a.p.
 
 
 

South initiates a gameforcing sequence with 1NT, North obliges with:
1. minimum, balanced or sidesuit in other Major
2. balanced
3. 3-5-3-2 distribution
4. 1 Ace
5. 2 Kings of the same rank
6. 1 Queen
7. Queen

Maybe the last couple of relays are not obvious, cause slam without trump Queen is a no go, and finding out is not without danger. But during the sequence South must feel like: “Really? Really? Really? Can it be?” And then slam is unavoidable.

Razor Sharp

Hi all

It’s good to see I’m drawing more visitors over time. It makes me write more and better stories to keep my visitors happy. I have some ideas for improvements and enhancements, maybe a forum (or opening up comments), a reworked system corner. Offer better support for Internet Explorer, about 60% of all visitors still use it. Go get yourself a decent browser!

But all in good time. On a personal level, I’m on the lookout for a new (parttime?) job. My current job as a programmer at this internet pharmacy just isn’t working out for me. And if I could combine it with finishing my studies, well, that would be a blast.

You’re here for games. Here’s one. I could barely make out the details on the slip of paper I fumbled from out of nowhere. It is from a teams match some three months ago:

North
AQT4
Q8643
K5
95

I opened 2, showing 8-11 hcp and 4-5, 5-4 or 5-5 Majors. Now René bid 3. A trick, it shows an invitational hand with at least a four card suit fit somewhere. This gets doubled (probably lead directing), because of my maximum and wellplaced King I bid 4. You pick, partner! The auction ended in 4.

North Dealer
EW Vul
North
AQT4
Q8643
K5
95
West
K3
72
AQJ8
KQ862
East
752
JT95
T4
AJ73
South
J986
AK
97632
T4

René got a high lead and the continuation was for East. He rummaged through his cards for some time and played back a for the Ace. René’s Jack of got covered and the hand played itself. A back to the 9, King, small to table, a ruffed with the 8 and finally a towards the King. Claim ten tricks when the Ace was onside. I like René’s 3 bid, good fitting honours in the Major suits, so 3 will never be in danger. And opposite a maximum you are willing to try game. I agree it’s a lucky 19 point game we made, but then again, points have to come from somewhere, don’t they?

It’s very hard to spot, but the defence erred (missed an opportunity) this game. If a 3rd round of is played… yes, giving away a ruff and sluff… you have no loser to discard. You will lose control because the are 4-2, there’s just too much to do.

Update February 8, 2007: Martin has pointed out the ruff and sluff complicates things a little, but game is still on. I’m not infallible, he’s right.

Some Dombo clubnight

Hi all

I need a new head! Great fun last night and it ended with way too much beer, oceans of it. And now I’d like a new head. Once in a while overindulgence isn’t a bad thing, as long as you’re in a good mood and in good company. Without these criteria it’s a sad event. But last night was wonderful.

Yesterday:

South
AT74
AJT875
Q64

My RHO (Hendrik) opens 1 and I overcall with 2. Nothing special so far, but Martin jumps to 5 and Dennis doubles. Now what?

I put my pass on the table too quick, I should have taken some more time to think. Partner surely doesn’t have a stack of trumps, so his double is based upon points. And the jump to 5 suggests a freaky distribution. Your hand has a lot of offensive potential, so make a bid, any bid.

And if you do pass… be sure to lead the Ace of . Else you can write down two doubled overtricks. Full:

East Dealer
EW Vul
North
2
KQJ952
Q93
KJ7
West
QJ954
63
AT98432
East
AKT8763
8
K642
5
South
AT74
AJT875
Q64

Well done guys!

Here’s another freak:

North
K6
AQ93
AJ843
AK
South
T9875432
J5
7
64

South applied for the ugliest preempt of the evening when he opened a first hand 4 (all white). North, logically, pressed on to 6. About 30 seconds later we could write down -980. I was sitting East and I held a bare Jack. Did I mention that the King of was onside too?

Yuck!

I’m glad South is a member of my team, so his extraordinary amount of luck doesn’t work against us.

Teams January 24th (part 3)

Hi all

A final one from our last, succesfull teams match. I still don’t know what’s right, if you have strong and convincing suggestions feel free to tell me about it.

Your hand:

North
KJ98xx
x
ATxx
xx

Take a break and look at the hand. It’s nice. I guess opposite a scattered 10 count you have play for game. So this hand is worth a lot, it’s definite in the very upper ranges of a weak two. According to ZAR (or Wikipedia) it’s worth a regular opening bid (26 distribution points). But what do you do when your RHO opens a Muiderberg Two in (weak hand, 5 card and 4+ in a minor)?

I decided to overcall with 2. Because you are so short in enemy’s suit, you cannot expect partner to protect in 4th seat, he has too many for that. And game could still be on. But partner will account you for at least a King more in value, how to cope with that? You are (quoting David Bowie) "Under Pressure".

West Dealer
– Vul
North
KJ98xx
x
ATxx
xx
West
xx
QJ9xx
x
AT9xx
East
ATxx
A
Jxx
KQJxx
South
Q
KTxxxx
KQ9xx
x

The bidding resembles a runaway train:

West
North
East
South
21
2
32
3spade
pass
pass
double
pass
4
pass
pass
double
pass
4
pass
5
pass
pass
double
a.p.
 

1. Muiderberg Two
2. Asking for partner’s minor suit (?)

From here on there are no further agreements, just interpretations. René’s 3 call is about 80% forcing, but I got scared from my own 2 call. East doubled (probably for takeout), West running to his other 5 card suit. Time to come clean, I should bid 4 now, showing my anemic overcall. René’s double is for penalties, expecting in my hand and all suits breaking badly. I ran like the wind. Still expecting full values for my first overcall he raised himself to the game. Three Aces gone, so minus 100.

At the other table things were less hectic. Martin (West) ended up in 3 (a solid 5-5 fit), without a trump lead you can crossruff to eleven tricks. Gain: 2 imp.

Teams January 24th (part 2)

Hi all

Here’s another story from last wednesday, René preempted them out of their vulnerable game on an offshape hand. I passed first hand and he heard his RHO open 1.

North
KQJT6
QJT64
95
8

We have tools for twosuiters, but on agreement this hand is too weak for that. With an eye on the vulnerability and lady Fortune on our shoulder he jumped to 3. It shows that with a passed partner we rise pressure at every opportunity (alerted and explained to our opponents). It paid bigtime, for this was the full deal.

South Dealer
EW Vul
North
KQJT6
QJT64
95
8
West
5
A75
KJ874
AKQ3
East
82
93
AQT3
J9652
South
A9743
K82
62
T74

East had some values but the 1 opening was nebulous (3+ card suit) so raising was not without danger. His pass was a bit timid, but I can see no clear alternatives. With this trump support I had an easy raise to game. Now West’s pass was too conservative, with a stiff and significant extras he should protect with a double. My 4 call was passed out.

René had four top losers, but East led a for West’s Ace and now something went wrong, West got wrong count on his Ace of and when he tried to cash another one, René could claim eleven tricks (pitching dummy’s on his long ).

At the other table North overcalled just 1 and now East could show his support on a comfortable level, the auction eventually ended in 5. A double game swing, 450 + 620 totals a blistering 1070 points.

I have no clue how to get to the cold slam.

Teams January 24th (part 1)

Hi all

As I mentioned earlier, lots of stories. From our last teams match.

I hold a fairly nice red twosuiter:

South
Kx
AQTxx
KQ8xx
K

I open a strong 1, LHO enters the bidding with 1 (showing and a higher suit), René passes (0-4 hcp) and East bids a natural 2. Do I have enough to mention my suit? I suddenly liked my hand a lot less, breathing down my neck, partner nearly broke, so I dropped the hand like a hot potato.

I lead a high and dummy comes down:

 
West
xx
KJ986
AJTx
Jx
South
Kx
AQTxx
KQ8xx
K

I breathe with relief, a red suit monster was waiting for me around the corner. The defence is tight and we take maximum advantage of a small error leading to a one trick set.

At the other table things went differently:

West
North
East
South
 
 
 
1
pass
1
31
3
pass
3
pass
4
double
a.p.
 
 

1. Preemptive pressure

I do have some comments on N-S bidding, 1 was frivolous, but South raising himself to game still hurts my eyes. I guess West (Martin) felt like he had been invited to a butcher’s party (+800).

Full:

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
QTxxx
53
xx
QTxx
West
xx
KJ986
AJTx
Jx
East
AJxx
7
xx
A9xxxx
South
Kx
AQT42
KQ8xx
K

Them Vibes

Hi all

It seems everything is working fine again, and I have lots of stories to tell. So check back often. Tuesday at Star I played with Martin. I have to start with some apologies, I can count something like fifteen solid tricks during the bidding, but I miscount an Ace. No score for 6NT (back to primary school?).

North
A975
542
AKQ
A64
South
QT8642
863
742
9

We ended up in 4 and I know what’s technically correct. Go for the drop. But it was an opportunity for gallery play and I had good vibes at the table. So I played the Queen from hand and success was mine, East had a bare Jack of . Yay!

Some more vibes.

South
Q93
Q8
AQ7643
A9

I open with a 11-14 NT (though it’s a little too strong for that) and Martin transfers to . Not unhappy. But now Martin jumps to the game, according to our agreements this is mildly slam invitational (other hands go through Texas). Well, I definitely have extras so I cuebid 5 and Martin finishes off with 6.

Full deal:

South Dealer
– Vul
North
AKJT852
K65
9
84
West
7
T7432
T82
KT72
East
64
AJ9
KJ5
QJ653
South
Q93
Q8
AQ7643
A9

I ruff out the for 12 tricks. I was a bit surprised we were not alone on this one, but still happy with the 80something%.

On The Defence

Hi all

I have a small defensive problem for you. It occurred at Dennis’ table last Tuesday at BC Star.

East
A85
Q43
742
KQT4

LHO opens 1, a Bergen 3 on your right and left decides he has enough for game. Partner starts with the 2 (odd leads) and dummy hits the table. You take the trick with your Ace and return the King of .

North
73
AJT2
AT93
953
East
A85
Q43
742
KQT4

Declarer takes your King with the Ace and plays the Queen for partner’s King. The from partner is ruffed and declarer throws the remaining from dummy on his Jack of . Two top follow (partner following once) and declarer doesn’t look happy seeing he has a trump loser, but puts you in with a third round.

South Dealer
– Vul
North
T
AT93
East
742
QT

Declarer skillfully removed all the black suits. It looks as if you have to open up or give a ruff and discard.

Let’s analyze.

Declarer surely doesn’t have King-Queen in , else he would have claimed. What about distribution? This one is easy, declarer has a 3-5-4-1.

The picture is complete. A ruff and discard cannot help declarer, for he can discard just one . He will still be left with a loser in the suit or a complete guess about the Queen. Let declarer solve his own problem, maybe he’ll go wrong…

Full layout:

South Dealer
– Vul
North
73
AJT2
AT93
953
West
K9642
5
Q5
J8762
East
A85
Q43
742
KQT4
South
QJT
K9876
KJ86
A