Monday, November 9, 2009

3 Hands to Drive you to Drink

Playing in the Swiss Teams at our local sectional over the weekend, we had 3 back to back hands in 1 match that produced interesting results, even if they were somewhat unfair to our team. But if you make errors, no matter why, it is nice to see them punished.

First hand, you pick up --- Txxx AK8xx AKxx in first seat and open 1D. This goes 1H on your left, 1S by partner, 2H on your right. I really thought 3C was going to get me into trouble on this hand, since partner will likely bid 3S leaving me with no real valid options, so I passed. This went P to partner who bid 3H. I bid 3N over this and partner now jumped to 5D. So thinking about this, I assumed partner had something like 5-5 in the pointeds, with 0-1 Heart, leaving 2-3 Clubs in hand. Since this meant the hand was fitting like a glove, I decided to push 1 more and bid 6D. This went P-P-Double on my right, oops, oh well. The opening lead was the Q of Clubs and partner put down AK876 x Q9xxx xx, a REAL nice version of what I expected, but the double was a real worry now. I played low on the Club, and RHO followed with a small non-descript Club while I won the A. First test was the Diamonds, since if both followed to the first 1, I can claim, but LHO pitched a small Club as expected on the Diamond.

I now figured I had 2 main options for trick 12, try to set up Spades on board, or try to do the cross ruff that I had intended when I bid 6D. The problem was that RHO was a VERY good player, who did not double on 3 Diamonds and the fact his partner had bid, there were other pitfalls waiting for me on this hand, I had just not discovered them yet. The fact the Club survived the first round is a bit of a surprise and not surprise, since was LHO 7-5 or 7-6? I decided to see if could combine some chances (probably stupid) and led a Heart at trick 2. LHO played a fairly high Heart, but RHO won and played the J of Diamonds, which I allowed to run to the Q while LHO pitched another Club. I now cashed the AK of Spades, pitching a Heart and a Club, while LHO followed with the 10 and the J? LHO was also a good defender, and they would not be doing me any favours in the Spades, so what was the JT, were they real or not. I now had 2 options to try to set up Spades, run the 8, or ruff another, hoping for 4-4 Spades, which was looking less and less likely, unless they were trying to get me, also a possibility. Not being able to decide, I finally went back to plan 2, and led a Club off board, Since this now got ruffed, the hand could always be set after the Club lead on my line, if LHO was left on lead. So this was a version of the Grosvenor that I was supposed to get right, sigh. Anyways, RHO held Q9xxxx Axx JTx x, to make the hand, I had to cash 3 Diamonds ending on board, cash the AK of Spades, then run the 8. And LHO had also participated by not bidding 2N over 1D with 5 Hearts and 6 Clubs. At the other table, the opps bid 3N after our partner bid 2N with the W hand, and he found the Club lead, not the Heart, so 3N actually made, instead of going down 1, lose 11 Imps.

Next hand, RHO picks up Qx AKT AKT8xx AK and hears it go P by pard, 1S on his right, double by him, P on left, 2C by pard, 3S on right. He doubled again and pard bid 3N, ending the auction. The opening lead was the J of Spades, and pard held Kxx xxx x QJTxxx. 6C looks like a pretty nice contract, and 3N has many worries, but declarer won the Q of Spades on board, cashed the AK of Clubs in case the opps screwed up, unlikely when LHO pitched a Spade on the second Club, then cashed the AK of Diamonds, LHO dropping the Q on the second round. By force he led another Diamond, and was able to claim 9 tricks when RHO won the 9 of Diamonds but did not have a 2nd Spade to return. This still looked like it should be a loss, but at the other table the strong hand doubled the 1S opener as well, and after 2C by pard, 2S on his right, leaped to 5D. This had no play at all, and another 11 Imps out the window.

Third hand, W picked up AKxx Axx AKQTx A and in true Canadian fashion opened 1D in first seat with the 2 suiter. This went 1H on his left and 1S (!) by partner. Losing patience early in this hand, he bid 4N and got the expected (!) 5C response from partner. Problem is that he now lost track of the auction, and bid 5D, intending it to ask for the Q of Spades. The problem is that when 5D and 5H are available for this kind of ask, and 5D is a possible place to play the hand (4N could be asking about Spades when you intended to play in Diamonds), the ask should be 5H. As I said before, E was a good player, decided this was what it should be, and passed 5D. And since N was endplayed on the opening lead, 5D also happened to make when E held QJTxx Qx xxx xxx and N held 4 Diamonds to the J. At the other table, our partners got to the 7S contract, but made a small error in the play, ruffing the 3rd Club with a low Spade, allowing N to overruff and beat 7S 1 trick, losing another 11 IMPS.

So in 3 hands, we managed to lose 30+ Imps when the opps played in the sub-optimal contract 3 times, instead of winning 30+.

The only thing you can say to that is Sigh :)

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