Against a seeded pair.
Board 7. Both vul. Dealer S.
N E S W
1H p 2H p
4H p p p
The bidding had kept me in the dark for lead but I got off with the best lead
of my 4th C anyway. Declarer's K won Fred's J.
Declarer then played a low H to my J. Not seeing the C2 so not sure if I led
from 5C's, from Fred's point of view, I could have SAJ and CQT642, in which
case it would be essential to push a S through so Fred overtook my HJ with HQ
and pushed a S4 through.
I won declarer's T and put face value on the S4, as the lowest spot suggested
interests. After long thought I decided that indicated SK and returned another
S, but now declarer had his contract.
Fred's defense was thoughtful, although returning the S6 might be better as he
really doesn't want me to return a S if I had S Axx. S6 cannot cost since if I
had SAJ, I would know to cash out and no point to wait.
My S return was putting all eggs in one basket. There's no layout that we can
set up a S trick AND Fred would return S4. So returning S only wins if Fred
had the alleged K. So it cannot cost to return a C and see Fred's count before
deciding which suit to cash after winning the trump A.
Letting this 4H through only worths 8/51.
Board 8. Love all. Dealer W.
N E S W
p p p
Fred chose the right hand and right timing to strike. The 3H opening will not
be everyone's choice but worked out well. I gave it a brief thought before
passing, with my primary trump support and a good C suit -- switch Fred's back
suit and 4H might have some play.
You might be able to make a case for South to make a paper thin balance
double, with the perfect shape and 5S. In matchpoints, that probably should be
the preferred action. But I might be sitting with a stack and lurking.
Against the 3H, North led a top S and failed to find the D switch. Instead, he
switched to a trump. Fred won the A and pitched a D on the CA. He lost 2S, 1H,
2D for -50 but a great 44/51 as there's no defense against NS's 3NT. 4S by
South also is cold but would fail from North on C lead. But without the
devilish preempt, NS will probably play in some S partial.
Board 11. Love all. Dealer S.
N E S W
x 2S 3C 3H
p 3S p p
Fred's 3H was a game try. Despite I can offer some help in H, my 3 trumps and
lack of any value forbidded me from taking the invitation.
North led a top D and switched to the trump, 9, T, J, A. Fred cashed HA and
ruffed a H. He then led a D up to his J, and North's Q. And South discarded a
H. North played the CJ, ducked all around and continued with C9. Fred ruffed
and he ruffed another H. When the trump did not break, he did not have the
timing to enjoy the 5th H. He got 7 trumps and the HA for -50 and 30.5/51.
Board 12. NS vul. Dealer W.
N E S W
2H 3S 4H 4S
5H p p p
My gentle raise to 3S was obviously an underbid (in terms of level only). As
the high level competition is forseeable, what I'd really want to play is to
bid a "weak fit showing jump": bid S and D together to help later decisions.
This is, however, not available -- and I don't know who really plays that --
my philosophy is in S suit, one can bid slower as you have the master suit.
But this strategy only works best against inferior opponents as you expect to
judge better than them on equal levels. Perhaps opponent's clueless defense on
last hand influenced me.
The same principle -- show your second suit earlier -- applies to opponents.
But South chose to just bid his H which basically won them the board. In my
dictionary South's C suit was not shy of an introduction, and in case you end
in defense, you might want pd to lead C, not H. But if South bid 4C, Fred
would have an easy 4D bid and we will always save on 5 level.
Now that Fred was deprived of space to bid D, when the 5H came to me, I had an
impossible problem to solve, and I started to regret my earlier action. In
IMPs it's a non issue since this would be insurance time. In matchpoints
there's less merits of buying insurance. It looked as if we had a 10 trump
fit, and they have a 9-10. If they had only 9, the total tricks generally
suggests not to save as the winning situation is too narrow.
Oh well, now that I made the weak bid, I might as well consider my story told,
and more importantly, not to think forever to bar pd from any actions.
Against the 5H, I led a low D to the A, and when the 2nd D did not cash, we'll
need to eat the results. Declarer later made the safe play of C to A, which
dropped the K, but he still had one C to lose. That was -650 and a poor 9/51.