Thursday, February 7, 2019

Classic Rewind: Execution Quiz from 2008

I picked up this nice hand at teams:

♠ 8
AK10974
AQ7
♣ AQ6

 RHO surprised me by opening 1. I doubled and LHO bid 2, nonforcing. RHO bid 3♣. I had heard enough and jumped to 4. All passed.

A spade was led and a weak dummy appeared.

North Deals
None Vul
♠ 9 7 5 4
J 6 5
J 8 3
♣ J 4 2

N
W
E
S


♠ 8
A K 10 9 7 4
A Q 7
♣ A Q 6
I ruffed the spade continuation (LHO played hi-lo) and cashed 2 rounds of hearts which picked up the trumps. What next?

I decided to lead a diamond to the jack to see what would happen. Not only did it hold, but RHO showed out! Hmm...now I have a count of the hand. (Pause here if you want to practice counting...)


RHO started with 6, 2, no diamonds and therefore 5♣. More importantly, LHO was 2-2-7-2. I started formulating a plan. Think about how to best play the hand before you read on.



I led a club to the Q and cashed the ♣A, thereby extracting the clubs from LHO's hand. Now LHO is down to all diamonds, so I simply played Ace and Q of diamonds and he was end played and forced to give me a ruff and sluff so that I made 5!

North Deals
None Vul
♠ 9 7 5 4
J 6 5
J 8 3
♣ J 4 2
♠ 10 3
Q 3
K 10 9 6 5 4 2
♣ 8 5
N
W
E
S
♠ A K Q J 6 2
8 2

♣ K 10 9 7 3

♠ 8
A K 10 9 7 4
A Q 7
♣ A Q 6

At matchpoints it would have been a top. At teams it was only worth an imp, but a well executed endplay is usually worth writing about!

See you at the table!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Classic Rewind: Slamming in Philly (July 2012)

****************************
Stuck 29 IMPs at the half and time was running out.  Jean Barry and I needed some good scores to advance to the round of 8 in the Wagar.  We were playing a good team (Moss, Glasson, Mancuso, Gwozdzinsky, Michielsen and Dekkers) and the two young women from the Netherlands had been brought in for the second half and were at our table.  Their job was to finish us off, and they clearly thought it would be no problem.  We were using screens so I could only see one of them for most of the match.

1. As they were settling in for the first board of the second half, non-vul. vs. vul., I opened 1 in 3rd seat with this raggedy collection: (Bd. 25, table 3)

♠ A62
86
98653
♣ K54

This had the desired effect. LHO overcalled 1, my partner bid 1, RHO jumped to 3, a mixed raise, and all passed.  They made 5 for a score of 200.

2. With 3 boards remaining I opened 1 with this nice collection: (Board 22)

♠ K5
K109843
A96
♣ AK

Pard responded 1 and I jumped to 3.  Pard rebid 3 and I bid 3NT.  She now bid 4NT and I paused to try to figure out what was going on.  Her bid could be Blackwood or could be invitational, but I liked my hand and was willing to carry on.  I hedged my bets by responding 5, showing 2 keycards, and was pleased when she jumped to 6NT.  A club was led.

♠ AQJ96
A
K75
♣10932

♠ K5
K109843
A96
♣ AK  

I only counted 11 tricks.  I counted again.  It looked like I would need something good to happen in the heart suit,  but the odds favored honor doubleton in hearts to drop which would give me 12 tricks.

I played a low club and RHO played the queen.  Eureka!  I could now see 12 tricks.  I wasted no time driving out the jack of clubs and scoring the 10 for my 12th trick.  Plus 990 felt like a good score.

RHO held: 108/J2/QJ10432/Q86 so the hearts would have come in as expected.

3. Then, the last board of the session. (Board 24) Partner opened 1 and I responded 1 with:

♠ KJ974
K7632
K5
♣ 8

Partner now surprised me by reversing into 2! If there's one thing I know how to do, it's count my losers, and I saw that I held a powerful 6-loser hand opposite partner's reverse.  I bid a temporizing, forcing 3.  Partner bid 4, but I wasn't finished.

I bid 4NT, Blackwood and when partner showed 3 aces, bid 6.

♠ A6
QJ84
AJ
♣AK642

♠ KJ974
K7632
K5
♣8

A heart was led and the opponents took their ace, but with normal breaks, the contract came home easily. 

We headed out of the room to compare.  It was wild and woolly.  There were 5 double-digit swings--4 going our way.  We won 10 IMPs on board 25 where I psyched an opening bid, as our teammates got to the game missed by the opponents at our table. We won 11 for bidding and making 6NT on board 22 and another 11 for bidding and making 6 on board 24.  This big second half lifted us to a double-digit victory and we survived!  

The next day our win was described in the Daily Bulletin as a "mild upset" and our reward was the opportunity to play the #1 seed.

See you at the table!