Sunday, 2 December 2012

Danny the Champion

Me and Anna came top at Buchanan matchpoints! Our final score was 60%, but it was a game of two halves. After much analysis I calculated that we averaged 74% in the first half, and 47% in the second half. Also there were a couple of hands that were accidentally rotated, that we benefited from, including a bad hand where both opponents and partner pointed out to me that I should have taken my Ace of Clubs.

Here's a hand from the second half, where I transformed a good board into a bottom. The opponents looked like resting in 4♥, but I kept the bidding open, forced them into 6♥, then found the lead to let them make it.

Love all
N deal
♠ J 8 3
♥ A Q T 6
♦ K Q 7 4
♣ K T
♠ K Q 9
♥ 8 7 5
♦ J T 5
♣ J 8 6 2
♠ T 6 5 2
♥ -
♦ 9 2
♣ A Q 9 7 5 4 3
♠ A 7 4
♥ K J 9 4 3 2
♦ A 8 6 3
♣ -
4♣4♥ - -
5♣5♥- 6♥
-- -

North opens the bidding 1♦. Then Anna sitting East weighs in with 3♣, which shows either a six or seven card suit. Ideally without a four card major, but I think she definitely has to bid here. South has an easy 3♥ bid, and I have my first quandary as East. I went for a pitiful 4♣. "Automatic 5♣" I can hear Ben Paske saying.

North bids 4♥, and South, with a monster hand including a diamond fit, thinks for ages, picks up a bid, puts it back down, then passes. She's obviously thinking about bidding on. This is Unauthorised Information for her partner North, but is authorised for me. So I decide to take advantage of it, and bid 5♣. This is because I now know that South will bid 5♥ over it, and I'd rather defend 5♥ than 4♥. But to my surprise, it's North who bids 5♥. This is not really allowed, as bidding on has been so strongly suggested by South's long think on the previous round. South duly tops up to 6♥, and I'm in trouble. Now I've helped them get to slam I really need to take it down. This needs a killer lead.

I find the disastrous lead of ♠K. My thinking is that we've hopefully got one ace (probably Clubs), and so the ♠Q will be the setting trick. But declarer just takes my King with her Ace, draws trumps, and finally leads up to the ♠J in dummy for the twelfth trick.

The score of -980 gets us a joint bottom (two other pairs conceded 6♥). In fact, the slam can be made by South on any lead. Declarer has to eliminate the other three suits then lead a Spade to West, who is then endplayed, so declarer can always get two Spade tricks.

See this deal (Board 17), and the full results from The Buchanan here.

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