Monday, 4 March 2013

Too good for Benji

Went for a romantic night out with Anna at the Bridge Club last Tuesday. She didn't fancy the No Fear Tournament, so we headed upstairs to Norman's class. Tony had saved a seat for Anna, and when Norman asked Anna where she was going to sit Tony quickly offered the spare seat and Anna sat down. I sat on another table, back to back with my date. How did this happen?

It was a typical madhouse at Norman's Class. On Anna's table Alan was on fine form, and on my table Elma and my partner were in a riotous mood too.

Here's a board where, with Norman coaxing the bidding along, we got to the right contract:

Love all
S deal
♠ K Q J x x
♥ 9 x
♦ J T x x
♣ x x
♠ A x x x
♥ K J x x x
♦ x x
♣ Q J
♠ x x x x
♥ x x
♦ K Q x x
♣ 9 x x
♠ -
♥ A Q T x
♦ A x x
♣ A K T 8 x x
1♥1♠- 3♣
- - -

I had the big South hand and didn't know what to open. I thought the hand was strong enough, and the Clubs good enough, that I ought to open a Reverse Benji 2♦. Norman advised against this though, saying that as my hand also had good Hearts I'd be better opening 1♣. I approved, as I never like opening Benji Twos.

West overcalled 1♥, partner bid 1♠ and I had another dilemma. Norman says never to bid 3NT with a void in partner's suit so I went for 3♣, passed out.

I could potentially lose two Diamonds, two Hearts and a Club, but actually it went a lot better than that. West led the ♠A, which I ruffed. I now had three top Spades in dummy, but no way to reach them. I played two rounds of trumps, then gave up the third round of trumps to East. She recklessly played a low Diamond, which I won in dummy, and cashed three my three Spade winners, throwing two Diamonds and a Heart. The only suit left was Hearts, and I still had ♥AQT in hand. Playing up to the Queen forced West to win and lead round another Heart into my Ace-Ten. So I made 11 tricks, just losing one Heart and one Club.

On the other table Tony and Anna had the same North-South cards. Tony was South and opened 2♣, and despite Anna doing all she could to slow down the auction, ended up in 5♣. Tony did not get such a favourable defence and finished in 5♣-2, duly recorded by Alan in his score sheet.

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