Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to Complete a Match

Playing in our weekly IMPS League, against the best team there, had these 3 interesting hands come up to end the match. We did not know it till later, but going into the last 3 boards, the match was deadlocked at 0-0.

On the first, you pick up, All Vul, J --- AT975 QJ98632 and hear partner open 1H in first seat, P to you. We play a 2/1 system, and the void in partners suit does not help, so I get to bid the wonderfully descriptive 1N forcing on my 7-5 hand. It now goes 4S on my left, and a very surprising but interesting 5D by partner! While I am thinking about what to do over that, RHO joins the action with 5S, sounds like everyone has some fun distribution. The general rule on IMPS is that you bid 1 more on distributional hands, since you are not sure who can make what. But then there is the other rule that the 5 level belongs to the opps, and I do have the wrong major suit holding. But I am almost always a bidder on these type of hands, so 6D, ended the auction. On a side note, RHO thought for quite some time before passing.

The opening lead was the 3 of Spades, and it turns out partner had made a very aggressive call, but now held the perfect hand for us. The 2 hands were

J --- AT975 QJ98632

6 QT975 KJ863 AK

Partner won the shift to Clubs at trick 2, and when he played the K of Diamonds, his RHO showed out, so it was a simple matter to pick up the Q of Diamonds and claim 6.

I had decided when I heard 4S that if partner had passed, I was bidding 4N, so we would have got to Diamonds anyways, but perhaps not to the slam. At the other table, they played in 5C making, so we picked up a somewhat lucky 13 IMPS.

On Hand 2, NV vs Vul, I held KJ AK853 752 J83 and opened a 12-14 HCP 1NT in 1st seat. We have a rule on opening 5 card majors in our weak NT system, if you would make a game try over a constructive raise, then you can not open 1N, you must open the major, since that was not the case on this hand, we open it 1N. The reason for this is that with a constructive raise of a major, partner is going to pass 1N, and you have the potential to miss a lot of major suit games.

Over 1N, LHO bid 2N, alerted and explained as showing 1 of Clubs or Diamonds. Partner now bid 3N, to play since we did not have 2N available for Lebensohl. To make the hand just a little more interesting, LHO doubled when it came back to him. I briefly regretted not opening 1H on this hand, but partner had not asked me about a suit here, so I sat the double, and LHO led the K of Diamonds. These were the 2 hands.

Q64 J76 QJ6 AQT2

KJ AK853 752 J83

Decide how you will play the hand before reading on. LHO plays the KA and 10 of Diamonds, RHO pitches 2 spades on the 2nd and 3rd Diamonds.

I perforce won the 3rd Diamond on board, and needed to find some tricks outside of Spades, since LHO was not being subtle about his probable entry. I decided there was 1 hope on the hand, since the Heart spots were very interesting. If I could find LHO with a stiff 9 or 10, the hand actually had some possibilities. Playing for this, I led the J of Hearts off dummy, covered by the Q and K, and was very happy to see the 9 of Hearts fall on my left. I now led the J of Clubs back, and LHO covered this (?) with the K, the A winning on board. So now I was at the moment of truth. Did I play LHO for a doubleton, either 10 9 or 9x protecting partners supposed 10, or play the 9 for an honest card. Deciding that it looked like a fun board, I played the 6 of Hearts off board, and both RHO and I played low as LHO pitched a small Spade. It was now a simple matter to claim 10 tricks with the Hearts and Clubs running (Clubs were 3-3), for a nice +650.

This was another 13 IMPS our way when the opponents at the other table played in 4H, down 2. The opening Diamond lead and ruff, followed by the A of Spades, meant that the person with my hand was down in 4H before they got in, and when they did not pick up the Hearts, went down 2.

The third hand of the 3, I picked up, Vul vs Not, 983 --- 9654 AQ9763 and passed in 1st seat. It then went P on my left, 2C (Strong) by partner, Double (Clubs) on my right. I redoubled this (too suggest a place to play) and it went 2H on my left, 2S by partner, 4H on my right. Sounds like RHO has an interesting hand. I bid the easy 4S, and LHO now went 5H. Partner thought for a minute over this, but did not give me a problem on what to do when he emerged with 6S, which ended the auction.

The opening lead was the 5 of Hearts, and these were the 2 hands.

983 --- 9654 AQ9763


Partner ruffed the opening lead, played a Diamond to the A, ruffed another Heart, and played the AK of Spades, LHO showing out and pitching a small Club. Partner then played the Q of Spades, went to board with the A of Clubs, and when RHO popped with the Q of Diamonds on the 2nd Diamond off board, claimed 6. Turns out 6D is a better contract, but the opps can counter that with 6H, which goes down 4 for +800.

I do not know the auction at the other table, but they stopped in 4S, making 6. so we had another 13 IMPS to the good, satisfying the laws of symmetry with +13 on each of the last 3 boards. Winning 36-0 was enough to propel us to the win for the week, since they had been a little in front of us going into the set.

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