The fall nationals in Phoenix were a great success. Good weather, good playing site, good partners and good bridge.
A fun fall event is the Senior Mixed Pairs. I had the pleasure of being paired with a fine player – Peter Benjamin. We qualified 23rd the first day and were in decent shape for day two. An average first final session dropped us way down in the standings, but a strong 63% game in the evening bounced us up into 10th place.
Here's a hand I liked from the final session. (Bd. 23, Both Vul). After two passes, North opened one diamond and I overcalled one heart with this hand:
LHO bid one spade and partner jumped to three hearts which ended the auction. The heart queen was led and I saw this dummy:
I won the heart in my hand and drew the second trump ending in dummy. When I let a diamond from the board LHO won the queen and returned a diamond. I won the king and led a low club off the board. LHO rose with the ace and returned the queen of spades.
It was now time to get serious in studying the hand. I had lost 1 diamond, 1 club and I had two spade losers. Or did I? I mentally reviewed the bidding. LHO had bid 1 spade after my overcall, almost certainly showing 5 spades. That would mean that RHO had only a doubleton spade. If RHO's doubleton was the QJ, he could be endplayed!
I rose with the spade ace and set about stripping the hand for a possible endplay. I ruffed the my last club and ruffed the last diamond from the board. Now I simply exited with a spade. If RHO did, indeed, start with the doubleton QJ, he would have to win the trick and give me a ruff-sluff. LHO could not effectively execute a "crocodile coup" (rising with the king, dropping partner's honor to take him off the endplay) because I had the spade 10 which would have been good.
Great! RHO won and gave me a ruff-sluff and I scored up 170. This was worth 46 of 64 matchpoints--better than a 70% board.
See you at the table!