The hands in the qualifying are more entertaining and exciting. And you can
also see that the field strength is not as good.
This is the 2nd qualifying, we were still sitting EW, and I was East
throughout. Fred west. The score was 4-section cross, so top is 51. We were
pair 10, the unseeded pair.
Board 21. NS vul, Dealer N.
N E S W
1D P 1S P
1N P P P
North chose to rebid 1N with 15 count and singleton S, and South didn't even
launch into new minor forcing, rather surprisingly. As a result, they did not
get too high.
Against 1NT, I led the CJ and dummy's Q won, when Fred gave me count, the
situation was clear. Declarer didn't want to use his entries back to hand so
he played a H to his Q and my K.
I switched to SK, and when that held, continue with the Q, and that won too.
Declarer pitched two D. Now I can't play another S else the declarer could
play another S to set up the suit for 9th trick. So I switched to a H to knock
out the entry first. Dummy's A won. Declarer cashed the SA and two more rounds
of H followed, and I pitched a D and a C. This was the ending
Declarer now cashed the DA, and I had enough information to throw the K to
avoid the endplay. A hard earned -120 but only 29.5/51 as the stake was not
high enough when EW stayed low with 25 pts between them.
Board 22. EW vul, Dealer E.
N E S W
1H 1S 2S
3S 4C 4S 5H
P P P
After 3S bid I could be sure Fred's short in S. My C bid tried to point where
my strength was in case we were defending, but should be natural too.
Unfortunately I've tried that one time too often as Fred had seen me bidding
my second suit AK tight in the afternoon already (we won that board... but
this is the price you pay for psych'ing). Fred didn't like his 3card trump and
signed off, although it would probably be harmless to try with 5C -- but that
may have the effect of talking oppo into saving 6S, which only goes 2 off with
an inspired guess in D.
South led the SA and dummy ruffed. Now I was at a cross road to determine
whether to make 7 or 6. If trump was 3-2 or C2-2 then I could ruff one more S
for 13 tricks but I can't combine the two. After something that looked like an
eternity I decided I'll just take the profit as they must have a cheap S save
despite the 4-0 break. +680 and a surprising 33/51 despite missing the cold
slam. Good field protection as more people sold with NS cards than selling out
to heart game.
Board 25. EW vul, Dealer N
N E S W
1H 1S x 2S
P P 2N 3S
P P P
Apparently people tend to be lenient with favorable vul, as in this case N
chose to introduce his H suit. Now my length in H became good asset and I
introduced my S suit. Fred naturally didn't like his hand that much with the
HQ and unattractive shape, perhaps wastes in a 5-5 trump suit so he first
tried to see if he could buy 2S, when South did not comply, he tried another
time and this time it worked.
From South's point of view, they can control all the side suits so he led a
trump against my 3S. That was all I needed to take 10 tricks. +170 and 32/51.
Board 26. Both vul, Dealer E.
N E S W
P P 1H
x 2C(1)P 4H
x P P P
I could bid 4H directly but with S length this might be unnecessary as 3H
might be the limit we can play with 3rd seat opening and we might be able to
So I played a little trick by upgrading my hand to close to opening bid by
bidding Drury. When the 4Hx came back to me I surely wasn't very happy and
regretted my choice.
Still North led a trump against the 4Hx and Fred led a S to the K immediately
for the 11th trick. That was +990 and a gify 47.5/51.
Board 1. Love all. Dealer N
N E S W
1NT 2D* P P
When North opened a 11-14 NT, I overcalled 2D to show both majors. There's not
much South could do and probably what he really wished to do is to bid a
natural 2N, which may not be available in most partnership.
Fred gave 2D a brief thought and passed. Against my 2D, the South led a C to
North's J and my A.
South won my DK with the A and did not give it a good thought. Cashing the HA
and clarifying the suit might be better but he chose to continue C. After
North cashed two C he found himself in a serious guessing.
Eventually North played S, a 2-1 favorite as it won't cost a trick whenever
South had either A or Q, where as H would cost a trick if South didn't have
the A. Reasonable? I don't think so.
Let's rewind to where S won the DK. OK, so it could cost a trick if had the
CAK, HK, and DJ. But which C did South continue? South should forsee that if
North got to cash two C's, then this would be a proper time for suit
preference, therefore South should continue with a LOW C, not the high C as
you would play in a count clarification case. That would tip North to switch
to the H confidently.
Now that North led the S, I let it ride to the T, and continue with the J. I
overtook the Q and cashed A to pitch a H, then a 4th S and dummy pitched the
other H to cut bridge for any possible promotion. But that was to no further
benefit when D was 3-3, and that means +110 was 44/51.
Board 2. NS vul. Dealer E.
Fred opened a strong NT and after an invitational sequence he played 3NT from
North led a C to the Q and A. A D to the T won, and Fred ran the S9 to North's
K. Perhaps it's best for North to duck it and surely Fred will continue again.
North persisted with a C to Fred's K, and Fred wrongly played the D9 which
North covered. Now Fred didn't know what to do as he did not have a convinient
entry back to lead toward dummy, so he ducked. A 3rd C came, and Fred won per
force. Now he cashed the S to force some discards from North, and North
pitched a C and a H. When Fred led another D and collected the low D, he put
his contract in jeopardy if finessing. He played the A and realized his
earlier mistake. At that point he can still recover by exiting a D to the
North to endplay him in H. But he was disturbed and played a H to the A. A
very poorly played contract and the penalty was severe. As +400 only worths
3/51. The lowest score of the night.