Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ahh.. watching teenagers play bridge. well, 2 teenagers and 2 early 20's kids. 2 awesome auctions in a row:
P - 1D - P - 1H
P - 2N - P - 3C
X - XX - P - P
Making 3. Doubler had a 6 count with KJ doubleton of clubs.

1C - 1S - P - 1NT
2H - P - 6H - P
P - P
Cold for 7. Dummy has 100 honors in spades, Axxx in hearts, and the Q of clubs for good measure. 1NT bidder has a yarborough

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


14 tables tonight at the Macon club.
North-south: 9 A, 2 B, 3 C
East-west: 3 A, 5 B, 6 C
hmm. clearly I wasn't in charge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flannery, Exclusion Blackwood

Yesterday in the Swiss teams at the Macon sectional, Sean and I had the following auction:

1C*-(2C)-2D; 2H-3C; 3H-3S; 5D
* any 16+hcp
2C overcall was natural
2D was natural game-forcing.
What does 5D mean?

Sean intended for it to exclusion keycard blackwood for spades. I’m not sure if I agree or not. I mean, if anything, I think it should be exclusion for hearts because bidding 2H and then 3H should set trumps. It doesn’t make sense for it to be to play 5D because he would have supported diamonds earlier or bid 4D, which certainly would be keycard for diamonds. Actually, I don’t think you should be bidding exclusion to exclude partner’s first suit. 7 of my 10 points were in diamonds. His hand: AQJx, AKQJxx, -, Qxx. At the table I passed 5D thinking that he’s now decided to play diamonds since we have no major suit fit and no club stopper. My LHO rescued us to 5H, which went down 1, for lose 12. In one sense, it’s fortunate that 5H didn’t make or the exclusion misunderstanding would have potentially cost 12 imps (-650 at the other table compared to +650 or -400 at our table) instead of only 2 imps (-620 compared with -100 or -400). It's amazing how much exclusion blackwood has come up or potentially come up lately.

Friday night, playing with Bob Pearson, he picked up: AKxx, KQTxx, xx, Kx and I had: Jxx, x, AKxxx, Qxxx. What contract would you like to be in? How do you suggest getting there, with Bob to bid first? It’s hard to stay out of 3NT, which looks like you might scrape up 8 tricks if you’re lucky. We actually play Flannery, a convention I am normally not fond of, but it worked here, until Bob decided to bid again over my 2S signoff. This here is the very reason why people do like Flannery. After 1H-1NT forcing, there are major flaws with any rebid you make, but I guess 2C is the lesser of evils. 2H emphasizes the heart suit too much, the hand isn't strong enough for 2S or 2NT, 2C could be passed in a 4-2 fit, pass could miss game and/or a heart fit. And responder would likely bid 2NT, getting you too high. A few non forcing NT people got to play in 1NT making 1 or 2 but we were with the rest of the field at -100 but probably the only one in spades.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A9xx opposite Q8x



South deals and the auctions proceeds: 1D-P-1NT-P; P-X-P-2S; 3D-P-P-P

West plays the AKJ of spades in that order, trumps split 2-2, and you ruff out the club suit (lho won the 1st club and led back another one, playing the 7, 2, and 10. rho played the 5, 9, and Q). How do you play the hearts?

a) A and then low to Q
b) A and then duck
c) low to Q
d) low to 8
e) low to 9
f) duck from both hands
g) what if 2nd hand plays the J or T when you lead low?

Certainly a) is the percentage line without any other information but given the bidding and early plays, is that still the percentage line here?

Monday, January 4, 2010


No, that's not a clever way of saying we're going straight ahead, that's a score Adam Kaplan and I achieved yesterday immediately following the previously mentioned slam.

North dealer, EW vul.

s 7

h A Q J 8 5

d 9 8 2

c K J 6 2
s A 8s Q 9 6 4 3
h 10 9 6 4h 7
d J 10 5d K 7 6 3
c 10 7 4 3c A Q 8


s K J 10 5 2

h K 3 2

d A Q 4

c 9 5

The auction went 1H-1S-P-P; X-all pass. I realize I took quite a position to leave 1SX in but I figured that if we can make 4H, we'll probably beat this 2 tricks for 500. I still don't know how to defend this hand. I was thinking about it during the whole 7 hour drive home Sunday night. I started with a heart and partner continues hearts. I guess the tapping game is the safe simple thing to do but I decided that she would win too many of her low trumps if we kept playing hearts so I got in with the Q of diamonds and led a club and when I got in with the A of diamonds I led another club. And in the end game, I knew I would hold her to making 1 (which would still be a zero) and decided to try to beat it but instead gave them an overtrick. It was a simple matter of whether my 5 of spades was higher than declarer's lowest spade left but she had the 6 like I thought, but sometimes I don't remember all the low spots. Anyway, declarer can always get 2 clubs, 2 heart ruffs, a diamond, and the ace of spades. How do we prevent her from scoring another trick?

Glad to see I Have a Following on Here

I like seeing that I'm getting more and more hits. I'd like to know who all is reading this (so I'll be sure to not write anything bad about you!). It seems to be about 5 or 6 different visitors each day, and a little less on my other less interesting blog, although it seems that only Patrick and Emory are commenting. I wish it would send me emails when someone comments but I apparently have to go check myself to see if there are any new comments.

I have a few interesting hands from the 3 days at the Myrtle Beach tournament but my convention cards and hand records are all in the car and it's too cold to go out to get it, even in the garage, so I shall write about them later. I will say, though, that this was one of the least fun regionals I've been to in awhile. Not just because I won only 6 masterpoints but I guess most of my friends didn't make it to this tournament and it's hard to top all the excitement I had in November and December with the play, and the nationals and the cruise.

Another Post on Slam Bidding



How do you confidently bid to 5H after the auction starts 1C-1S-2H-2S? Mainly, how does south find out if north has 2nd round club control? Is 4S here exclusion? If so, is it that right bid to make. I bid it with a first time partner, then asked about kings, we were on the same wavelength. I didn't learn anything useful after the 0 or 3 response and bid the slam anyway. Would you bid 2H with the north hand or make a negative double?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Psyche Success

A true psyche is very rare for me and it really isn’t something I think about or look for. But Friday afternoon at the Myrtle Beach tournament I impulsively tried one out. About 2/3 of the way through an average game, at favorable vulnerability I picked up: 52, J9542, 7643, T2.

Partner dealt and opened 1H, pass on my right, and I tried 1S. LHO came in with 2C and, fortunately, partner didn’t raise spades or make a support double but bid 2NT. I corrected to 3H and he bid 4H. We went down 1 for an average-plus. The opponents, with their 9 card spade fit and 22 combined hcp, were cold for 4S. And there was not a single comment about the bidding, even after the hand. LHO had a fairly normal takeout double of hearts (she was 4-1-3-5 with 15 hcp) so the 1S response worked well here. I suppose some people were able to but it for 3H after a 1H-3H preemptive auction so we only got about 70% of the MP.

Interesting stat: out of 132 hands I played with my dad at the Myrtle Beach tournament, I declared 54 of them for 58.2% compared to just 23 for 38.4% for my dad. The numbers based on who was on opening lead were pretty even and a tad above average.