Review of my failed attempt...
I was sitting East throughout, and Fred Zhang was on West.
Board 9 EW vul, dealer N.
After 2 passes, S opened a light 1S, and Fred doubled. North took
a view and bid 3S with only 3S. I passed, of course. When it
passed to Fred, he doubled again and I had an easy 4H rebid, which
ended the auction. With only 3S and 4 trumps, North was probably
laughing. But things didn't go as he planned -- but at least he
didn't double. South led the SA. With formidable C at dummy and
possible trump stack behind AK, S did not put me into test by
underleading the D, which I certainly would get right for an
overtrick. He cashed the DA, and now I had my game. +620 and 50.5
out of 77.
Board 10, both vul, dealer E.
East South West North
1N P P X(1)
2D X(2) 3D 3H
P P P
Notice North's aggressive balance with this vul, that essentially
won them the board. Double showed a single suited hand. South's
double indicated intention to compete and asked North to bid the
suit. Apparently our oppo have seen this auction before. In 3H,
defense can only get to 2S, 1D, and 1C. We've probably dodged a
(bigger) bullet by not competing to 4D or x 3H, thinking it was
our hand. Yet -140 only netted 16.5 out of 77. Well done, oppo.
If I opened 1D, S will double, and we'll be defending 3H, too.
Board 13. Both vul, Dealer North.
N E S W
P 1D P 1S
2H P(1) P 3H
P 3N P P
(1) deny 3 card S support.
North passed as dealer, which gave us good room to explore the 22 point game.
I opened 1D, Fred showed S, and north now came in with 2H, which is a
suspicious move. Now it became clear for my failure to make a support x that
we didn't have an 8-card S fit, and we stopped in 3N. Which, if you look at 2
hands, you would feel lucky, but if you look at 4 hands, you want to be in 4S
with the 3-3 S break and 2-2 D break. +600 only worths a 37/77. NS did well
not to compete to 3H with 9 card H fit, as if so, we had an easy 800, that
must explain why we got a below average score. Meanwhile, Fred did well not to
double 2H, otherwise we'll only collect 500.
Board 14. Love all. Dealer E.
The problem I, as East, faced in this hand, is how many H to open. With equal
vul, and primary H spots, 3S, it seems their 4S is not making. I chose a
disciplined 3H, South doubled and North bid 3N. Now I had another chance to
break discpline and launch to heroic action. But I passed and soon we were
writing -400. That was only 25.5/77.
Round 3. Against Joel Wooldridge/John Hurd.
Board 17. Love all, Dealer: N.
N E S W
P P 1N 2C(1)
2H(2) P 2S P
(1) C and a higher suit
This hand illustrated why against good opposition, DONT may not be a good
idea. Against Wooldridge's 1N, Fred's choice to bid backfired.
Against 2S, Fred led the HK. Now Wooldridge can see clearly there was no point
to finesse S at all, and in no time, the fast pair champion dropped Fred's
singleton K and wrote 200 on their column, losing only 1H and 1D. This earned
us a poor 20.5/77.
Board 18. NS vul. Dealer E.
N E S W
1H P 1S
2S 3H x P
Looking at EW hand, you would want to compete to 3H. Then the 0-6 trump
distribution doesn't really help. It's hard to predict what will happen if I
pass the 2S bid. But it's certain that if I doubled to show extra and
intending for take out, then I was calling for bigger trouble. There was
nothing I could do in this for the 0-6 break and I went a quiet -500. 30.5/77.
Not a disaster, thanks to the good field protection.
Board 21 NS vul, dealer N.
After I opened a 1S, we had an uncontested auction -- the 1st time until now
-- to 2H through forcing NT sequence and played there. Fred lost the obvious 5
tricks to score up 110. Apparently a triumph as oppo's 3D would be very hard
to defend. And the pairs who manage to defeat it one trick may not be the
pairs that doubled it. That was a really healthy 55.5/77. This hand
illustrated the importance of getting into the auction despite the vul. You'll
need to either prebalance with North's hand with shape but no strength, or you
need to balance aggressively with South's hand, with no shape at all. Either
can be very wrong, but apparently that was the overwhelming choice of the
Board 22. EW vul. Dealer E.
I opened a first seat 2D, and played there, rather surprisingly -- apparently
this round our oppo are sound bidders.
Notice if South doubled, he probably would get himself to bigger trouble as
North will bid C and we will be push to 3D. And now S might think he knew what
In the uncontested auction, it was still a nasty leading problem for South.
And can you blame him not to find the optimum S lead? North won the H lead and
switched to a C. I won the A and knocked out the HK. Now south cashed the CK
and exited with a S. The Q won. Time to deal with trump, and from North's
failure to balance with favorable vul, I played him for long trump and took
the double hook. That was +110 and an even better 59/77.