Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ATL regional fun

So, as I get close to 2000 masterpoints, I have 18 blue ribbon qualifications, but, until today, had not won a regional knockout. Most times I play maybe 2 days of pairs and the Swiss teams on the final day so it's not that I haven't had success at regionals - just haven't played many knockouts. (correction - I went back and looked at all my records and actually, I was mistaken. I apparently won a KO at the 2006 ATL regional with Coberly, Owen and someone) And to get this win, Bryan and I teamed with Mili and Angie - a team in which my partner and I had 97% of the team total and are nearly double their age. We got to the final against Richard and Andrew Jeng, Zandy, and Murphy and it donned on me that I was in a no-win situation. If we win, it was expected - the kids aren't supposed to stand much chance against two very experienced players like Bryan and I. If we lose, it would be kind of embarrassing for us, or it would make the girls feel bad for "bringing us down". Bringing us down was not how it happened at all. They consistently came back with good results. Anyway, at the half we were up 19 and the second half was looking bad from my end. I felt like we had given up the lead plus about 10 more in the first 4 boards, had a few average-ish boards and then on the last board we didn't get to a cold game with 25hcp. So, to win by 16 for the whole session was a pleasant surprise.

The first 3 matches in the KO were fairly easy victories. It was kind of nice to play low-stress bridge against relatively weak competition and not play very well and still win. I was slightly concerned that we would win up playing against bad players who were also annoying but our opponents were all pleasant and not as bad as they could have been in bracket 2 (out of 2) at the end of the tournament.

Earlier in the weekend, Bryan and I won the Friday night BAM with Jourdain Patchett and Sharon Meng and had a good showing in the flight A pairs Saturday.

Anyway, here is the hand from the final that garnered the most discussion. Board 2, I picked up Qxxx, x, K9xxx, Jxx in 3rd seat favorable vulnerability. I open 1H, Richard doubles, partner bids 2D as 4 card drury, passed back to Richard who doubled again, all pass. We found our 8 card fit and went down 1 to win only 2 because Mili and Angie only got to 3H. 4H their way was pretty much cold.

But my favorite and probably Bryan's favorite hand was this slam we bid in the 2nd round. Our slam bidding success was pretty bad. We went down in 5 slams and made only this one, which could have been beaten



They had just gotten what I fully expected to be lose 13 when he neglected to take a simple trump finesse for the Q, thus picking up my Qx off-side and making the vul game. We bid to 6H, doubled by lho, after bryan opened 1NT. No diamond lead so the contract might have a chance. LHO had all 5 outstanding hearts and clearly shouldn't have doubled because it gave Bryan a hint as to how to play the heart suit. You don't quite have enough entries to shorten dummy's trumps to execute a coup, but when the defender failed to ruff a club until the 5th round (after pitching both of dummy's diamonds), it was pretty easy: CA, HJ covered and won, CK, CQ pitching D, CJ pitching diamonds (lho pitching spade), spade AK-ruff, losing only the heart 10. To exxecute the coup, you would need to trump lots of things in dummy and wind up leading from hand at trick 12 with K9 left in dummy and Tx left with lho but I think the best you legitimately can do is be in hand to lead a good club at trick 11 while dummy still has 3 trumps and lho has only 2. If only it were an actual coup..


  1. Sounds like you had fun. Congrats on the KO win.

  2. Andre, you won a regional in atlanta 5 years ago when Katrina struck the gulf coast. I played the first session of the pairs game and Jackie Frankum the second session. You got credit for the regional, while we got credit for one session.

  3. Yes, I've won several regional open pairs and compact KO's, just not a full KO because this is only about the 4th one I've even played in.