Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Blyth Valley Bridge Club #3

This week Anna and I were back in a bridge club together, for the first time since last August, which was also in Blyth Valley Bridge Club in Walberswick. As before, we went for the afternoon game and the grand parents had the pleasure of looking after our little monster.

It's a lovely place to go for a game, and lots of people recognised us and gave us a warm welcome. There was also a slight undercurrent of suspicion, as we had won the last time we were there (see here) and in fact the time before that too (see here). We now had a reputation, which I think became slightly self-fulfilling as people played worse than normal against us.

Anna and I defended most hands, and defended them pretty well. Overall we didn't make too many mistakes, and of course benefitted from a few gifts as is the way with matchpoint scoring. The only hand where we thought we could have done better was when Anna made two overtricks in 3♥, and we then found everyone else had bid the game.

After a surprisingly chilly week on the East coast (colder than Scotland) suddenly the sun came out, and with the heating on full blast, it got pretty warm. Sitting by the window I felt I was getting a tan on the back of my neck. Then someone decided the glare of sunlight was too much and moved the table ten feet into the middle of the room and closed all the curtains too.

At the halftime break I went to check my phone for any news of the baby, and when I returned found I had last choice of the biscuits. Still, it was a delicious cup of tea.

There were two hands of interest:

No one vul
W deal
♠ A K J x x
♥ x x
♦ A J T x x
♣ x
♠ x x
♥ K x x x
♦ K x x x
♣ A T x
♠ Q x x x x
♥ A J T x x x
♦ x
♣ J
♠ x
♥ Q
♦ Q x x
♣ K Q x x x x x x

I had the nice North hand and opened 1♠. East decided he was too weak to overcall and passed. Anna was South and made a very disciplined bid of 1NT (Bernard Magee would be proud). But on her next bid she weighed in with 3♣ I reluctantly passed as North with a singleton Club, and was even more nervous when she bid 4♣,. But Anna knew what she was doing, 4♣ is a good contract and since East-West had a massive heart fit they can make ten tricks easily.

In 4♣ Anna got a friendly Spade lead, and was able to discard her singleton Heart and make the contract comfortably. This got us a good score when the deal really belonged to East-West.

On to my second chosen board:

No one vul
W deal
♠ A K
♥ Q x x
♦ x x x
♣ A K x x x
♠ J T x x
♥ A K J x x
♦ J T x x
♠ Q x x
♥ T x x x
♦ A K x
♣ Q x
♠ x x x x x
♥ x
♦ Q x x
♣ J x x x x

West took a bold view and opened his hand 1♥. I might have done the same. I had the North hand and decided to bid 1NT instead of 2♣. East raised to 3♥, natural, where in fact double would have made more sense as she knows her side have the majority of the points so I'm not likely to be making 1NT.

When 3♥ came back round to me I really thought about doubling, reckoning I had four tricks with my two AK's and perhaps a trump trick. I passed, but when I saw dummy wished I had doubled as I could now see that my ♥Q was going to make a trick. I cashed my ♠KA (with the ♠K first to show it was a doubleton, but I don't think my partner would have cared anyway), then started on Clubs. When the very first one was ruffed I was glad I hadn't doubled, but also saw we had a ten card Club fit so wished I'd overcalled 2♣.

Needless to say, when I played these hands at home with my parents there were totally different contracts on both - I think that's what makes them interesting hands.

In the last few hands of the afternoon I had the opportunity to bid fairly aggressively, and put some pressure on the opponents. On the first hand they bid to a very reasonable game that went off on a bad trump break, and took this to heart. So on the next board when West was invited to game she accepted, but then informed her partner and the table "You're not going to make this!", which we thought was unduly pessimistic. As it turned out she was right, with another bad trump split he didn't make it (six off).

In the end we finished with the top score of 64%, so I was slightly embarrassed about winning again but glad that it was such a nice afternoon.

I got stuck with the Fruit Club