Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reston Relaxation, Part Two

So after a bit of a scare, we sailed into the money round of an event in which we were the huge favorites.

Match three:

(A) All red, 3rd
75 KQT96 J953 K7
Pard opens 1D, you bid 1H, and she jumps to 2N. You check back with 3C, which lefty doubles. Pard bids a natural 3S (not denying three hearts), and it's up to you.

I bid 3N (which worked just fine), but I think pulling to four of a red suit is probably right, most likely 4H.

(B) Unfavorable, 3rd
93 KQT763 AKT9 4
1S (P) 2H (3C)
P (P) 3D (P)
3H (P) 4H (5C)
X (P) ?

2H was game-forcing, so pard's double is regressive and tends to show fast club losers. Your call.

I pulled to 5H and was right, this time. Not sure what the percentage action is.

(C) All white, 2nd
K987652 3 K76 97
Pass to you. Do you or don't you? I passed and went +170 in 3S; my counterpart went +420 after opening 3S. The more I think about it the more I like a 2S opening.

In the first half, I had one bad board and the teammates had one bad board... luckily the same one. I went for 800 in a favorable save when it could have been 500, and UK bid the wrong game for lose 15. We won the set 64-21.

The opponents didn't withdraw from the match... I guess people in Bracket 2 still enjoy playing bridge even when they're getting their asses handed to them. Good for them.

The second half was basically cleanup... we did nothing stupid and gave away 12 imps to win 87-52. Sloppier than I'd like, but it's a win.

Match four:

We had a ridiculously awful start, losing the first four boards 22-0. I knew we were in a big hole (but certainly not insurmountable-- again, we're two imps per board better than this team) when better than this team) when I picked up

(C) All red, 4th
T8642 J98763 3 7
(P) 1D (P) ?

I decided to pass and await further developments. LHO balanced with 2C, passed back to me. I thought it quite likely that a double would be left in, so I tried 2H, and went +200 opposite partner's AQ AKJx Kxxx Qxxx. Luckily, this was a push.

UK and Mullet said they had a very poor set as well. I was prepared to mount another grand comeback, but when the imps were tallied for the first half, we were only down 22-14. No problem!

(D) None vul, 4th
-- AJ952 KQ6532 84
(P) P (1N) 2D!
(2H*) 3D 3S ?

!=red suits *=transfer

I bid 5D, which was cold opposite pard's Qxxx Kxx ATx xxx. I think pard should've 'cued' 2S over the transfer to show equal length in the reds and a desire to compete. This was a win 13 opposite UK's 4S making.

(E) Unfavorable, 3rd
97543 85 KQT AQ3
Pard opened a strong [14+-17] notrump. I transferred and bid 3N, she corrected to 4S and overplayed it to win 1. Do y'all agree with the sequence?

I've since decided I like Stayman better. If partner shows four spades, I have an easy 4S bid; if she shows four hearts, 3N should be good; and if she shows neither, I can bid 3H showing 54xx and gamegoing values. Have you ever seen anyone deliberately pull to the 4-3 major fit in a Smolen auction? Me neither. I've seen people forget and raise, but never on purpose. I think this sequence would get us to the right game much more often than transfer and 3N. And it just might deter a heart lead against 3N when it's right....

We won the match 50-28.

So the event turned out to be what we thought it would be - an exercise in not screwing up. We screwed up plenty, but we did more than enough offsetting good stuff to hold on.

Mullet and UK were great teammates, not to mention fun folks to hang with between sessions. Hopefully we can do it again sometime. Maybe D6 0-5000 GNTs? We'll see...

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