I had some fun hands playing matchpoints with Bob at our weekly Friday afternoon game.
1. Vul. against not, I opened 1D and heard LHO overcall 1S:
Pard made a negative double and RHO jumped to 3S, preemptive. I passed and hoped that pard would reopen with a double. Instead he bid 4C. Hmmm...now what?
4C rated to be a lackluster place to play so I bit the bullet and bid 4H. At least I wouldn't get tapped in spades! A spade was led and the sight of dummy didn't exactly fill me with confidence:
I won RHO's jack and paused to consider the play. It looked like I needed to set up clubs in addition to drawing trumps. To accomplish this I needed to lead toward the dummy 3-4 times but I was sorely lacking in entries to my hand. Well--let's see what we can do.
I pitched two diamonds on the remaining spade honors and ran the 9 of clubs. RHO won the ace, paused and played the ace of diamonds. LHO and I both encouraged and she continued diamonds which I won with the king, while LHO played the Q. Good--back in my hand.
I led a heart to the K which held. The only way back to my hand was to play the CK and ruff a club. All followed. So far, so good. I led another heart and the Q held. Now was the moment of truth.
Let's see. LHO started with 5S, 2D, 3C and therefore 3H. If this analysis is correct, I can merely play a trump, with the J and the ace falling on the same trick and the dummy would be good--making 4. I check my analysis. Would RHO really have made a preemptive jump raise with Jxx of spades and two aces? Highly unorthodox, but it was the last board of the last round against friendly rivals. Was it possible that LHO overcalled 1S with 10xxx? Even more unlikely. After double checking the count, I exited with a heart and claimed the contract. Plus 620 was a top and a satisfying finish to a good game.
2. One other hand from midway through the game. None vul., the bidding goes pass, pass to you:
Certain the opponents could make a game, I surprised myself by opening 1D--now the adventures begin!
LHO makes a takeout double and pard bids 1S. RHO bids 2C, I pass and LHO raises to 3C. Pard, who I wish would be quiet, bids 3D. RHO now bids 4C and LHO pauses for a while before passing. Good--they can make a game but are going to play in 4C!
But wait--pard, not in on the joke, starts thinking. (PASS, I think--let them play 4C!) But no--pard bids 4D and RHO doubles quickly. Uh oh--what have I done--how bad will it be?
LHO leads the ace of diamonds and dummy isn't so bad:
Actually I rather like my chances--particularly after the DA lead crashes the king! The club ace is cashed and diamonds are continued. Another defensive slip occurs, the heart king is onside and I end up making 5, for the unlikely score of 610. Most of the other pairs holding the opponents' cards were plus 420 in spades, but pard picked off the spade suit in our auction. Whew--that was nerve wracking--I'll think twice before I do that again...:-)
A note on the bidding: After 1D, X, 1S,--double by 4th hand should show spades. Beware playing this bid as responsive. Double, showing spades, prevents the theft of the spade suit and also exposes a psych. Discuss this with your partner.
See you at the table!