Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reston Relaxation, Part One

Schedules and such made it so the only time we had for KO events at the annual 4th of July Washington, D.C. Regional (held in Reston, VA this year) was Thursday-Friday. A birthday party in Herndon on Tuesday, no new KO on Wednesday, a wedding reception/gaming fest in Woodbridge on Saturday, and a hiking/swimming/shit-shooting adventure in Lexington on Sunday really fragmented the week. So we entered the Th-Fr AM Compact KO and the Th-Fr Full KO. Here's the lowdown on the full KO.

We (the Mrs. and myself) entered with high hopes of making Bracket 1 - playing four-handed with Mullet and UK, we certainly had a B1 team. Sadly, our 11000 MPs only brought us up to the 17th seed in the event... so it was top of B2 for us (the 18th seed was 7200, an the bottom of B2 was 4500). So it appeared to be an exercise in not screwing up. Or was it? If we go into a KO being theoretically three to one to win each match, we only have a 31.6% chance of winning the event (assuming head-on matches throughout). Four to one? A 40.1% chance. It turns out we have an even chance to win a KO event when we're between 5:1 and 6:1 favorites in each match. So it's not as easy as it sounds...

Round 1. Our bracket was 12 teams. With the low number of teams, plus the low number of masterpoints in the event, it turned out that to win B2 paid less than to make 3/4 in B1. Annoying. Anyway, we had a three-way for the first match. All we needed to do was go plus on the 24 boards (or go minus with one win and one loss, but have the team that beat us beat the third team - but I find it best to treat it as a 24-board match, just trying to stay positive).

First quarter:

(A) All white, 4th
(1D) 1S (2D) ?

I guess I was feeling aggressive.. looking back, this seems like a fine 2S bid, but I decided to show a three-card limit raise via an irresponsive double. LHO lifted to 3D, pard bid 4C, and RHO passed. If we're going to go down at the four level, it might as well be in game, right? I bid 4S. Lefty tanked for a while, and I was thrilled to see her pull to 5D. As it turns out, this was the right decision--- we were cold with pard's AQxxx xx x KJ9xx. We got one of each for 300 and win 9 opposite UK's 3D making.

We picked up another 9 for another 300, undoubled this time. Declarer could've held it to 100, but severely lost his way.

This was painful-- my LHO Blackwooded with a void, and when she found out only two aces were missing, she shot back a grand try of 5N. Her partner didn't bite... Pard cashed the right ace at trick one to hold them to six. Lose 13.

1N was made at both tables for win 5, and Mullet overdeclared 1N for win one. 24-11 after six.

Second quarter:

(B) All white, second
T9 A QJ9764 A965
RHO opens 2S. Is this enough?

I decided it was. Over my 3D, pard's 3N made me fairly happy with my decision. She held KQ8x Q9xx Txx KT and went 400 for win 7.

I stole an overtrick in 3D, and it duly won an imp-- but it was just turning 12 into 13. UK was in a really filthy red 4S with good breaks and poor defense. 24-0 after six.

Third quarter:

(C) All white, 2nd
J9864 AK9 T872 5
Righty opens a strong notrump. You double to show a spade two-suiter (rarely a strong spade one-suiter) [do you?], LHO Staymans with 2C, pard leaps to 3D, and RHO bids 3N. Your call.

I decided that my surprise heart defense and diamond length would give 3N some problems, so I passed and led the deuce of diamonds. They took the DK, five clubs, and a somewhat embarassing four spades. It was a push, but 4D would've been the best kind of save.

Three five-imp swings came about, only one to the good guys, but we won the semi-match 30-22.

Fourth quarter:

(D) Favorable, 3rd
KQJT8 KJ 7632 73
Pard passes, and RHO opened 1H. I'm sure everyone and his grandma would bid 1S here, but I decided to preempt to 2S. Partner (very understandably) saved over the doomed 4H holding xxxx Qxx AQTx xx. They dropped a trick, and I was able to hold it to -100 (Kx of D was in the slot-- they gave me a ruff and discard in clubs so I didn't have a diamond loser). Mullet apparently played the hell out of 3H to pull in an overtrick-- win 2. We did some other fairly good things, and won the match 43-4.

The four of us packed in to a way too small car and headed off to dinner with UK's daughter, and a wonderful time was had by all.

Match two:

We met up with the team that had won the last B2 KO, so we figured this might be the toughest match of the event.

The opponents bid to one very subpar making game that I knew the teemies would stay out of, I made the mistake of opening 86 KQ52 Q73 A974 unfavorable in third chair, pinpointing the high cards for declarer in 4S, and pard lost her way in a red 3N. We lost 10, 10, and 12 on those boards. We had a few pickups on normal play, but we were still down 35-15 at the half. Certainly not an emergency--- we're at least two imps per board better than this team.

(E) Favorable, 3rd
AK6 T43 763 KQ43
Pard passed, and RHO opened 1N which got passed back around to her. She doubled (spades and another), and it was up to me-- My options were 2C pass/correct, 2S, or pass. I decided pass had the biggest upside and no huge downside. I was a little disappointed to see a balanced eight-count come down as dummy, but we took five spades and two clubs for 200. Win 8 opposite Mullet's 1N making three.

(F) Unfavorable, 1st
K63 92 QJ84 A763
I passed, LHO opened 1H, CHO overcalled 2C, and RHO leapt to 3D, which LHO clearly had no clue about. Your call.

I decided to underbid a bit with pass. This isn't really a hand I wanted to force to the 4 level, and pard still has another call. LHO passed, and pard doubled. Your call again.

I passed again, of course. This was the third board of the second half [(E) was the second] and I wanted to put the fear of God into the opponents. As it turns out, pass was right-- we make 3C exactly, and 3D went for 300, win 5. The opponents were much less busy bidders for the remaining nine boards.

(G) All white, 2nd
K2 Q972 A8 Q9752
I passed in second chair (agree?) LHO opened 1C in third chair, pard jumped to 2D, and RHO passed. Do you move? I didn't want the opponents to find their spade fit, so I raised to 3D, all out. Pard played it well to make 3. At the other table, my hand opened 1C, and UK overcalled 1S on his good 4225, propelling them to the good spade game. Win 11.

When all was said and done, we won the match 64-48, and were quite amused to see the opponents celebrating. The cockiest member of their team came over to us, and smugly asked "Us by one?" Apparently they had mis-scored two boards and forgot to carry a one...

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