Monday, 4 August 2014

Success at the seaside

Me and Anna were on our summer holiday in Suffolk last week, and revisited the Sole Bay Bridge Club in Southwold. Anna made her usual complaints about not having played for ages but actually it was fine, she defended well and was dummy for most of the hands anyway. Here's one she did get to play:

Dealer South
EW Vul
♠ Q x
♥ K x
♦ A Q J x x
♣ A K x x
♠ A
♥ Q J T x x x x
♦ K x
♣ J x x
♠ K x x x x x
♥ A x x
♦ x x
♣ x x
♠ J x x x
♥ x
♦ x x x x
♣ Q x x x

West opened 1♥ and I was sitting North with 19 points. I doubled, planning to bid NT later. When it got back round to me it was at 3♥, and I doubled again. Next time it was at 4♥ and I doubled a third time, this time expecting that I could beat 4♥. Anna finally cracked though and removed my double by sacrificing in 5♣. I'd accuse her of hogging the bidding, but this was virtually the only hand she played.

5♣ actually went pretty well, and Anna lost just two Spades and a Heart for one off. How would 4♥x have gone? To beat the contract I need to cash my ♣A, see Anna encouraging, then cross to her ♣Q and she plays a Diamond through. Not sure if we'd have managed that or not. Our score on the hand of -50 points was worth exactly 50% of the matchpoints, as on every other table East-West played the Heart game and half of them made it. It's good bidding from everyone sitting East-West to get to a decent 4♥ with only 18 points between them.

Me and Anna had a pretty good run in defence. The highlight was when the opposition scrambled into a dodgy looking 2NT and I doubled on principle. They ran to 3♥, which Anna was happy to double with six of them. The lowlight was when I had to get up and stretch after an auction because I had cramp from swimming in the sea.

Finally here's a hand where I thought I was being clever, but actually I was being foolish:

Dealer South
EW Vul
♠ Q 9 x
♥ x x
♦ K 9 x
♣ A Q T x x
♠ x x x
♥ K J x x x
♦ x x x
♣ K x
♠ A J x x
♥ Q x x x
♦ J x x
♣ J x
♠ K T x
♥ A x
♦ A Q T x
♣ x x x x

I opened 1NT and Anna raised to 2NT with exactly 11 points. I should have passed but made a poor raise to 3NT. West lead a Heart which I won with the ♥A because if I duck it will be obvious to them to continue Hearts next time. Things are looking bleak.

I played a Club up to dummy and West immediately played the ♣K. I beat this with the ♣A and had a think. It was clear to me at the time that West had a singleton ♣K, so Clubs were only going to give me two tricks before I let the opposition in. I figured if I kept playing Clubs I would lose one Club, four Hearts and one Spade, for 3NT-2. So I cunningly decided to play on Spades now, so that I could collect a Spade, four Diamonds (hopefully), one Heart and two Clubs for eight tricks and get out for 3NT-1. This would actually be an OK matchpoint score as I'd tie with everyone in 2NT-1. So I lead a Spade up to my ♠K, which held the trick. I then took my Diamond tricks, and when taking my Club tricks I found the Clubs were splitting after all, so I ended up with a surprise 11 tricks. 3NT+2 gave a matchpoint top, but was very lucky. If East had of seized her ♠A the defence could have cashed five tricks and I'd have gone down in a 3NT which was cold.

Thanks to the Sole Bay Bridge Club for another fun evening.

Anna lost in the Southwold Maize Maze

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