Thursday, April 26, 2012

Off to the CNTC

I will be in Montreal this week for the CNTC's, Canada's annual week long extravaganza to select Team Champions in Open, Women's, Seniors, and Flt B/C groups. Will try to post a few hands and results as it goes along.

If want to see results, they are available here

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What to Lead?

Have a couple of fun hands from our recent Regional. On the first, I have 2 stories on 1 hand. From several points of view. For the first part, I will give you a lead problem. You hear the auction 2H (Weak)-5N-7H (DBL) by partner. Your hand is JT63 J4 Q2 QJ864. What is your opening lead?

Here is the whole hand. At the table, there was no actual double, so on the Club lead, it was easy to ruff out a Spade and claim. The partner of the opening leader decided not to double and put more pressure on the opening leader on a blind auction. What does everyone think, if you have a void, should you double these auctions, to make partner think?

At the other table, regular  team mates of mine held the NS cards, and after a different and more complicated auction, got to 7S from the N hand. The opening lead was a Club, and my friend, without thinking about the possible problems on the hand, ruffed it on dummy. When he now played a Spade to the A, he found there was no way to make the hand. Sometimes there is no justice, the makeable Grand went down, while the easy to beat Grand made 7.

The next hand is from the finals of one of the KO's. With the opps Vul, you pick up K75  A984  T7  8643 and hear it go 1D on your left, Double by Partner, 1N on your right. You pass, and RHO raises to 3N, passed back to you. You decide to Double, ending the auction, and have to find a lead. You try the 5 of Spades, and this dummy tracks.

Declarer plays low on the Spade, and Partner wins the Q. Partner then cashes the K of Clubs, before leading the 10 of Spades back to the A. Declarer leads the 6 of Hearts off dummy to the K. But you win the A, cash the Spade, and lead a Club to partner for down 1 and +200. At the other table, it was played from the other side, and on a Spade start, declarer won the A of Spades, and played a Heart to the K, when that was allowed to hold, he claimed 9 tricks for 13 Imps.

The last board was another slam hand. With no one vul, you pick up --- AKQ95 74 KQJ984. Partner opens 1S in first seat and you bid 2C, which happens to be GF, nice on this hand. Partner bids 2D, and over your 2H, bids 3C. You show real Hearts with 3H and partner bids 4C, what now?

At the table, partner bid 6C, and quickly claimed 7 when dummy tracked with A8753 6 AQJ5 AT3. The main part of the discussion afterwards was did 4C promise extras, since partner had taken the scenic route to show real Club support. I think N should not give up on the grand with all the extras still in the hand, and try something like 4H or even 4S here. There is no way these are to play when there is solid agreement on Clubs. so they must be looking for controls, which S has an abundance of.

At the other table, they got to the Grand, which provided most of the winning margin, when S directly raised 2C to 3C. I am not a fan of this, or of the later Key Card ask by N with the void, but it worked when S showed all of the missing Key Cards, not the 2 N deserved to hear about, so there was a known parking spot for the 2 Diamonds and an easy 7 bid.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Do You Have Enough

Playing IMPS with an unknown partner on BBO, you pick up the following hand with no one Vul, and see this auction.

The question now is, do you have enough to go 7. Partner has forced to slam after showing Hearts and Diamonds, and you have both outside A's, instead of slow cards, good Diamonds, and a Heart card.

So what does partner have, he should be at least 54 in Hearts and Diamonds, if not 6-4, and probably has 0-1 Club for this auction, with a good hand. If he does not have a Spade card, then the 2 red suits in partners hand have to be very good.

I think it is a bit of a push to bid 7, depends on how much you trust partner. And that is the problem just playing a few random hands, you do not know partners style on these hands. So would you accept the push on this hand yourself?

These were the 2 hands.

Partner passed 6D, and 7 was claimed on the opening lead. Turns out 7H also makes, but having the 5th Diamond to pitch the Spade loser on is a lot to hope for, 7D seems like the right contract. Just not sure of an easier way to get there.

Turns out though, in the wonderful world of BBO IMPS Scoring, if you are not in a straight team match, 6D scored a win of 5 imps, as just under 1/2 the field did not get to a slam, and 1 person managed to play in 3H after the auction 1D-3H-all pass. The only 7 bid was the person who checked for A's, found all of them, and barged straight into 7H, not worrying about the 2nd Spade loser or if partner had real Diamonds to take care of the little Diamonds. Hey, it worked.