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!