Monday, 21 April 2014

Thwarted in Sicily

Me and Anna just had a one week holiday in Sicily. I'd found Bridge Clubs in both Catania (here) and Palermo (here) but sadly we didn't make it to either club. They both appeared to meet every day, with sessions at 1730 and 2130, but on the day we wanted there was only attività sociale which we didn't fancy.

Mount Etna

By way of compensation, we played on Bridge Base on the first day back. Here's a hand I bodged horribly, in both the bidding and the play. The Italians would not have been impressed. IMP scoring, everyone vulnerable:

Anna sitting South opened 1♦, and West overcalled 1♥. I now have a bit of a dilemma sitting North. I have Diamond support, but after the overcall if I bid either 2♦ or 3♦ that's weak. Since I had weak Diamonds, and a balanced hand with a Heart stop, I instead bit 2NT (11 points is too good for 1NT). What I maybe should have done is make a cuebid of 2♥, which we play as good support for opener, after which Anna would have possibly signed off in 3♦, or bid 2♠ after which I bid 2NT then she signs off in 3♦.

Against 2NT East inevitably lead a Heart, the ♥T. I could have taken this but felt confident of getting my ♥Q in the end, so ducked the first three rounds of Hearts and won the fourth. I can now make the contract fairly easily as Diamonds are 2-2, by just giving up one Diamond, which along with the four Hearts means the defence only have five tricks. If it turns out that Diamonds don't split I can switch to finessing in Spades and Clubs, which will also get me up to eight tricks if both finesses work.

Instead, I went for the finesses straight away. After winning my Heart I wanted to keep East off lead so lead up to the ♣A then the ♣J, losing to East's Queen. Although the Club avoidance play makes sense, keeping West off lead, it's much better to take the Spade finesse first, keeping your Clubs to help you unblock the Spades. Even if my Club finesse had worked I still wouldn't have been able to get all my tricks as the Spades are tangled. After the Club lost I switched to playing on Diamonds, and when they came in went one off, in total losing four Hearts, one Club (un-neccesarily) and one Diamond. 2NT-1 lost about 8 IMPs, as a few North-South pairs were actually making 5♦. A lucky contract but at least they had the right trump suit.

Next week the Melville Congress in Edinburgh with Jake, John and Martin.

1 comment:

  1. John and Jake have both said to me that I'm totally wrong about a 1NT overcall being 'too good for 1NT', and that 1NT would have shown 8-11 points.