Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Team Rowan vs Team Buchanan

There are two teams from the Buchanan Club who both play in the Glasgow League Division One, and last week we met in a grudge match. Hopes were high for our first match of 2015, but hopes were dashed and we lost 11-5.

Me and Anna played against Fergus and Lina Kerr, who have been doing well in the Buchanan Competitions this year. It was a very enjoyable table and they were charming throughout, even maintaining good grace as me and Anna bumbled into a very poor 6♠:

Game all
S deal
♠ T x x x x
♥ K x x
♦ A K x
♣ x x
♠ A K x
♥ A x
♦ Q x x
♣ A K Q x x
-2♦*- 2NT
-3♥*- 3♠*
-4♦*- 4♥*
-4NT*- 5♣*

I had the 22 point South hand, and decided to upgrade to open 2♣. I did this because I thought with my good clubs I could have eight tricks in my hand, so it doesn't need much from Anna to let me make 3NT. Plus this was aggregate scoring which is an excuse for overbidding. Anna replied 2♦ and now I had to lie a bit with 2NT showing 23-24 balanced. Anna transferred into Spades and then things went a bit haywire. She bid 4♦ as a cuebid thinking Spades were agreed. I didn't know this and stalled for time with a general 4♥ cuebid, then when she bid Blackwood I guessed that she intended Spades as trumps and showed four keycards.

Since we had never agreed Spades but Anna bid 6♠ anyway I was expecting a long Spade suit, and was a bit disappointed with the dummy! Luckily trumps split 3-2 so it was OK and we were the only pair to make a slam.

We've since agreed that in this sort of situation over 2NT if the strong hand completes the transfer (i.e. here bids the normal 3♠) it shows three card support, else they'd just bid 3NT.

We needed that good slam score to compensate for the disaster below:

All vul
E deal
♠ Q x x x
♥ x x x
♦ T x x x
♣ x x
♠ K x x
♥ T x x x
♦ x
♣ A Q x x x x
♠ J x x x
♥ A J
♦ K J x x
♣ K J x
♠ A x x
♥ K Q x x
♦ A Q x x
♣ x x

All vulnerable, still aggregate scoring. East dealt and opened 1♦ ahead of me.

1. What would you bid with the South hand?

I went for a simple 1NT. I did wonder about the Club shortage, but thought they'd probably lead Diamonds. Looking at the hand now since I've got 4-4 in majors I could have made and off-shape double and saved myself the following embarrassment.

After my 1NT West doubled, which was passed out. Anna and I play a Helvic escape to 1NTx, but neither of us was sure if it applied here. I did think about redoubling with the South hand, but was scared of playing 1NTxx. Our best suit is actually Diamonds, which we're never going to get to, but actually any suit contract will stop the run of the Clubs.

West was doubling on the strength of her Club suit, and lead a low one. She hit the jackpot as East was able to win the &clubs:K and continue Clubs. After the first six tricks I was in a spot of bother with discards from my hand. I've already lost six tricks and was certain to still lose the ♥A and the ♠K. In fact to get out for only two down I think I need to dramatically throw away my ♠A, so I can then get to dummy to take the Diamond finesse for my fifth trick. I obviously didn't do this though so never got to dummy and only got four tricks - one Spade, two Hearts and one Diamond. A crushing -800 for 1NTx-3.

As for the other tables I know that on one of them East-West played 1NT+2.

At the half way point we were miraculously only ten points behind. However, things fell away in the second half and the original Buchanan team scored a deserved win.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Saturday Aggregate at Buchanan

Team Rowan are having a poor run in the Glasgow League, and after the last loss our captain made a little hint that maybe we'd benefit from a bit of practice at the club. Consequently me and Anna took advantage of the once monthly Saturday bridge at the Buchanan to try the aggregate tournament.

When we drove up there was a crowd outside. Smokers? No, they were locked out. After a few minutes someone produced both a set of keys and the code to the alarm and we got inside. The Club President was very apologetic, and decided not to collect any table money and give everyone a free drink.

Although it's been a month or so Anna and I had no preparatory discussion and were soon in the thick of it. With no one vulnerable (and aggregate scoring), your right hand opponent deals and opens 3♠.

♠J3 ♥AQ732 ♦J ♣AQT93

1. What do you bid with this hand?

Before you suggest it, we do not play Non-leaping Michaels, and Anna won't even let me finish explaining what it is. I went for a double. To my surprise, the pre-emptor's partner then pulled out the Stop Card and produced 5♦! This was the full auction and deal:

No one vul
N deal
♠ A K T 9 8 6 5
♥ 9
♦ 6 5
♣ 7 6 2
♠ Q 7 2
♥ K T 8 5 4
♦ T 4
♣ J 5 4
♠ J 3
♥ A Q 7 3 2
♦ J
♣ A Q T 9 3
♠ 4
♥ J 6
♦ A K Q 9 8 7 3 2
♣ K 8

Anna lead the ♣4 against 5♦. I won the ♣A and went into a think. I could think of good reasons to lead a Club (maybe we have two winners to cash), a Diamond (cut down on ruffs in dummy) and a Spade (cut off the long suit). I agonised for a bit then returned a Club. Turned out it didn't matter, declarer always has 11 tricks. 4♠ also makes exactly. In the seven tables in the event North-South bid and made game on four, and on the other three East-West found a Heart sacrifice.

After this me and Anna had a run of good results, including doubling the opponents in 5♣. We took this off five, with declarer only making her six Club tricks, for a useful 1100 points. Our other doubles weren't so good. Anna doubled 1NT which made, then on the very last round came the tragedy below, against Mandy and Ronnie:

EW vul
N deal
♠ T 8 7
♥ Q J 9 7
♦ Q T 8 6
♣ J 6
♠ A 6 4
♥ 8 5
♦ A K 9 7 5
♣ Q 9 4
♠ K Q J 9
♥ 6 2
♦ J 4 3
♣ 8 7 3 2
♠ 5 3 2
♥ A K T 4 3
♦ 2
♣ A K T 5

South opened 1♥ and I had the West hand.

2. Do you agree with my first bid of double?

After I did double North made a pre-emptive raise of 3♥, and Anna weighed in with 3♠. North bid 4♥ and I thought Anna had more Spades and more distribution so went for 4♠, which could have been expensive (three off). South saved me by bidding 5♥, which I eagerly doubled, then bodged the defence horribly.

First I cashed the ♦A, then the ♠A on which Anna played the ♠9, which for us is discouraging. Then I then continued with the ♦K, which declarer gratefully ruffed. He can now draw trumps and throw away his remaining two Spade losers on the two Diamonds. A disaster, conceding 5♥x= for -650. Every other table played the hand in a partscore. I wish Anna had played the ♠K on my ♠A to show me she had the ♠KQJ, but even so my defence is mad and if I just keep it cool and don't set up the Diamonds we take it two off.

After this I was a little on the tilt. The next hand was passed out and then I picked up the ideal hand for someone on the tilt. Anna dealt and opened 1♥, and I had:

♠5 ♥Q76432 ♦AQ53 ♣84

If you apply the losing trick count, it's a monster hand, and I soon got us to 6♥:

Game all
S deal
♠ 5
♥ Q 7 6 4 3 2
♦ A Q 5 3
♣ 8 4
♠ Q J 4 2
♥ A K T 5
♦ 8 7
♣ A K 9
- 3♠* x 4♣
- 4NT* - 5♦*
- 6♥ - -

Anna received a Spade lead, messed around for a while ruffing in both hands [Edit - ruffing in the North hand a lot], then finally took the Diamond finesse. It won, so we made the slam. Everyone else was in 4♥.

In the end we finished as the 2nd East-West pair behind Pauline and Ian Foulds. Mandy and Ronnie were the top North-South pair. Full results here.