Saturday, 9 March 2013

Friday night fools

At the end of a long week me and Anna took on the Friday night game at St. Andrew. We were both very tired. On arrival I claimed I'd never been there before, but I have, several times.

For the second session in a row I bid a Grand Slam while missing a key card. Last time I played it and got away with it, this time I landed Anna in it. She didn't like it. This was her trump suit in 7♠:



The only hope is to play for a singleton King (or singleton Jack). Anna played for a singleton King and cashed the Ace. The King didn't drop and my foolish bidding had doomed us again.

The good news was that we didn't lose all the Matchpoints as some people went down in 6♠, because the King-Jack were both offside. Anna wisely said that if she was in 6♠ she still would have cashed the Ace first, rather than finessing twice. I disupted this, thinking the finesse was better. Just now I looked up the correct way to play this combination on Suitplay. Anna was right of course, with nine trumps holding AQT9 between the hands you cash the Ace first, with only eight you finesse.

Here's a hand where we were both a little silly (Board 2 here).

NS vul
E deal
♠ 9 4 2
♥ Q 9 5 4
♦ T 9
♣ 8 7 5 2
♠ A K 7 5 3
♥ A T 6 3
♦ 8 6 3
♣ K
♠ J T 6
♥ J 8 7 2
♦ Q 5 4 2
♣ Q J
♠ Q 8
♥ K
♦ A K J 7
♣ A T 9 6 4 3
1♠-2♠ 3♣
3♥ - 4♥ -

South opened 1♣. I was sitting West and overcalled 1♠. Anna was very courteous and gave me a courtesy raise of 2♠. South came back in with 3♣ and I had a decision to make. With a sixth Spade I'd bid 3♠ straight away. As it is I have 14 points but lots of losers. I didn't like my three small Diamonds, but in the end I liked the idea of making a descriptive 3♥ bid so much I went for it. Anna had a total minimum but liked the double fit so much she found a raise.

That was the final contract, 4♥ by West. North lead a Diamond, and when I saw dummy it was pretty clear I was going loads down.

The defence was good. They quickly took three Diamonds. Then South shrewdly cashed her Ace of Clubs. This was necessary to stop me throwing away a losing Club on a subsequent Diamond lead (Anna pulled a similar move later on in the evening). So the defence already had four tricks. Then South played the killer fourth Diamond through. I was on the ball (it was still early) and envisioned the Heart layout. I ruffed with the Ten and West over-ruffed with the Queen. I then won the Spade return, cashed the Ace of trumps, dropping Souths's King and finessed North. Bingo! Still two down though.

Such is the power of a double fit that even though we went two off, we didn't get too bad a score on the hand. -100 compared well with -110 for North-South making 11 tricks in Clubs. Overall me and Anna got 48%, for 5th place East-West pair.

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