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.

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.

Slow Start

Hi all

Last Sunday the teams season started for us, 13 and 17 don’t put us in the top regions. Oh well, we’ll recover. I played terribly, giving away a vulnerable game, completely mishandling one of my own. Pffff, I get sweaty thinking back to those and other horrible errors. Here’s a little success (my hand):

South
KT964
6
AT76
A43

René opened a strong and the relay sequence started with 1 (me showing ).

West
North
East
South
11
pass
12
pass
13
pass
24
pass
25
pass
36
pass
37
pass
3NT8
pass
49
pass
4NT10
pass
611
all pass

1. 16+
2. 8+hcp at least 5 card
3. relay
4. 12+ hcp
5. relay
6. exactly four
7. relay
8. 5-1-4-3 distribution
9. relay
10. Two Aces of the same rank
11. You play this! Either our together are good enough for discards or a finesse as backup plan.

This was the complete hand:

North Dealer
– Vul
North
A32
KQJT854
QJT
West
QJ
9732
KJ532
95
East
875
A
Q984
K8762
South
KT964
6
AT76
A43

I must admit I was a bit surprised finding only a thirteen count in dummy, but it’s a fair call with so much playing strength. René upgraded his hand the same way I did, are we in sync or what?!?

I got a trump lead for East’s Ace and back came a . Nasty! Now I have to finesse before I can check out the . Fortunately it proved to be onside. The current layout would have provided a parking spot for the as well, but these odds are a factor smaller than the finesse being right.

This one the opponents didn’t find, but they scored a couple of nice part score swings and finally the match tipped in their favor, 13-17.

Smokescreen

Hi all

Tuesday at Star. René was playing some tournament with Nira so substitute-time. I found Hans and we immediately agreed to not have a dull match. Fireworks, lots of them. First half we bid every possible game and defended mercilessly.

Second half. Less spectacular games with little room to score. There was one nice game where we pulled a smokescreen on our opponents.

East Dealer
– Vul
North
74
K865
7432
K73
West
KJT2
A942
Q86
J5
East
A3
J73
AJT95
A82
South
Q9865
Q8
K
QT964

East opened 1 and I overcalled 1. Not too happy with such a bad suit and soft values, but with ten cards in the black suits I wanted to do something. West doubled, showing four hearts and Hans (North) raised me to 2 (!). West ended in 3NT not worrying about the spadesuit.

But Hans did what he’s best at, do killing things to opponents. In other words: he found the lead. Declarer not blessed with second sight finessed into my bare King of and got beat one trick. Nice.

@Hans: thanks for playing and the big fun.

Placing

Hi all

Lack of nice games this week. So here’s one I can remember from the Open Pairs last year. And big thanks to Hoek for helping me out with bidding diagrams. Best viewed in Firefox.

I was holding a fairly nice hand:

South
AK863
5
AQ84
Q74

The bidding was quite jumpy (me sitting South):

West
North
East
South
1
pass
1
21
pass
2NT2
3
4
a.p.
 
 
 

1. Preempting them out of their contract
2. Showing a “good” raise, four card support

I got a diamond lead and dummy hit the table with:

North
J752
Q873
3
K965
South
AK863
5
AQ84
Q74

The diamond lead went to my Queen and I took stock. A crossruff seemed like a good idea and I played my small Heart, East winning cheap. He played back a trump but I rose and initiated my crossruff. Leading to this position:

North
J
7
K965
South
A8
A
Q74

I was in my hand with six tricks in my pocket. I cashed the Ace of (maybe trumps are 2-2) but East showed out. Now I had a complete count of the hand, West is 3-3-4-3 and East is 1-5-4-3, also suggested by the bidding. I cash the Ace and play a small to the King. West has to play small or he gives me my tenth trick immediately, but now I’m in dummy to ruff the last . Now West has two choices: discard and grant me my tenth trick with the 8, or overruff and being placed in .

Here’s the complete deal:

West Dealer
– Vul
North
J752
Q873
3
K965
West
Q94
K62
K975
AJ3
East
T
AJT94
JT62
T82
South
AK863
5
AQ84
Q74

A true gem

Hi all

Yesterday René (playing with Nira) got his hands on the next gem. It’s beautiful.

West Dealer
EW Vul
North
K854
KJ6
KT52
JT
West
AJ9732
T87542
5
East
Q6
Q3
Q9743
Q863
South
T
A9
AJ86
AK9742

I don’t know about the bidding, but looking at the freak distributions, there must have been some action involved.

René was on play in 6 and he got the lead of the Ace and another one. He discarded a on the King and led the Ten of (some good vibrations at the table), ducked all the way, West discarding. Next he cashed his Ace and King of and West discarded again on the second round. He grabbed his chance with both hands: a ruff, win the King of and then a small one to his Ace. He ruffed another and now a from dummy, overruffing East’s small trump. He had reached this position:

West Dealer
EW Vul
North
8
J
K
West
of
no
real
importance
East
Q97
South
AJ
9

He ruffed his last with the King of trumps, and now he was in dummy for the Grand Coup. I guess East must have felt sick underruffing four times!

I love relays

Hi all

Last night at Star. This is why I play a relay-system.

North Dealer
EW Vul
North
AJ73
A952
86
Q63
West
Q82
QJ84
Q4
K842
East
T654
KT63
T752
7
South
K9
7
AKJ93
AJT95

 

West
North
East
South
 
1NT1
pass
22
pass
2
pass
23
pass
2NT4
pass
35
pass
36
pass
37
pass
48
pass
69
a.p.
 
 
 

1. 10-12 balanced
2. Stayman, or initiating a GF relay
3. GF relay
4. Showing four spades
5. Relay for distribution
6. 4-4-2-3
7. Aces?
8. Two Aces, or
9. That’s all I wanted to know

I boldly leaped to the slam. With the Queen of trumps smiling in dummy it’s a grand on a finesse (and some more). Even with a trump lead there was no play to it, I just ruffed a in dummy, only losing a trick to the King of .

This one looks hard to bid in a natural system, no?

Trump Burden

Hi all

Here’s a deal I just cannot keep to myself. René played this one on a pairs night at BC Star. That also justifies his bidding… kind of.

West Dealer
– Vul
North
AKQ9
843
75
KQ93
West
J73
KQJ962
T4
A5
East
T642
A
QJ83
JT76
South
85
T75
AK962
842

West
North
East
South
1
1
Double
pass
2
2
a.p.
 

East led the Ace of and switched to a for West’s Ace. Two more rounds of , and look what happens to East. He’s squeezed in some weird kind of way! He can miss one , but the third round of just kills him, he has to let go of his guard.

It hurts to have too many trumps, doesn’t it? René ended up with eight tricks, losing three a trump and just one . Nice!