Monday, July 13, 2015

July 4th Bridge

Three years ago, Sean and I drove to Bethesda, MD for the July 4th Washington DC regional and one of the most exciting weeks ever. I think I wrote about it back then. Two years ago was a similarly good experience at the DC regional in Reston. Last year, there was no incentive to go to DC and this year the DC regional wasn't over the 4th so I'm kind of sad. Instead I went to as Vegas the week before and Nashville the week after, each for three days, possibly influenced by the fact that Mikey and Alli and Liz would be at both of those.

In Vegas I played with Cristal, and we had a second in a bracket 2 KO and were in good position to finish second in the Swiss until having a bad last round. In Nashville I played with Sam Goldberg, and we had a second in a bracket 2 KO and were in good position to finish second in the Swiss until we had an unfortunate penultimate match against the leaders. After a blitz the last round, we finished second far ahead of third.

Here is one deal that was a 26 imp swing against Ron and Linda Smith and probably cost us 1st in the event. I held x, A9xxxx, KQx, AJx. I deal: 1H-P-2D-2H; 3D-3S-4H-P. Surely this hand is worth a slam try because as little as xxx, KQx, AJxxx, xx makes 6H pretty much cold, and that hand isn't good enough to make a 2/1. However, some other game-forcing hands such as AQx, Qxx, AJxxx, xx give 6H no play. So I blackwooded and found 2 with the Q so bid the slam, knowing that if partner has the SA instead of HK, I may need a heart finesse or a club honor from partner or a non-club lead. Unfortunately Sam tabled essentially the latter hand and Linda found a club lead from Qxx. How do we bid to get to slam on the hand with xxx, KQx in majors and not when responder has Axx, Qxx in the majors? I don't know.

After the session Sam had said he should have bid 2C to psych them out of a club lead. That would have made it harder for Ron to show his weakish 5-5 black hand. The night before, I held a hand where I psyched a 2D response to 1H with AQx, Kxx, Jxx, KJTx. Sam rebid 2S and I bid 3NT, confident that they would lead a black suit and I'd take 9 tricks while hopefully hearts also had only 9 tricks. That, however, was disastrous because my LHO still led a diamond from ATxxx so 3NT went down while 4H is cold.

These three-day regional trips are starting to get to me, and this week in Nashville I didn't even drink much despite it being the only one of the 3 tournaments in 5 weeks that I felt stressed at all. I'm going to start implementing a 2 am curfew (1 am when the next day starts at 10 am).