Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday A/X Swiss, first session: Virginia Beach

After surviving the first day of the Morning Compact KO, we entered the Thursday A/X Swiss. We were five-handed. I played with Geoff in the first match and Meg the other seven.

All problems IMPs.

In the first match, we played a solid local team.

To start, Geoff won us five imps when he went plus in 2C with an aggressive overcall of their 1NT. +90 at both tables was a nice pickup. Then, I held this hand:

(A) Red vs. white


LHO opened a weak notrump, and Geoff doubled to show a solid opening bid or better. RHO passed. Now what? [We won two imps on the board.]

Then the opponents severely overreached to 3NT. Geoff defended very accurately to set them three, for +300 and nine imps.

(B) All white


You open 1H, and partner bids 1S. I think 3D is fairly clear here... over that, partner bids 4NT. What would that mean in your regular partnership? What should it mean in a casual partnership with an expert, as here? What's your bid?

We got to 6D and lost two imps to the slightly inferior 6NT at the other table.

Next, I held

(C) White vs. red


What's your bid first to speak? I started with 2C. Partner bid an artificial 2H, showing no aces and exactly one king (could have any number of queens or jacks). RHO came in with 2S. What's your bid here?

We lost 11 imps on that one.

We then had a competitive auction in which we bid 5D (slated to be off one) over their 4H (also down one), but they took the push to 5H. We popped that for 500 and win 9. On the last board of the match, I held 65 T94 K5 AJT985 in third chair, all white. It went pass, pass to me, and I decided to push a little and open 3C. This got passed around to RHO who balanced with 3D, down one for a push.

Final score: 25-13 for 15 VPs.

Match two pitted us against one of DC's top pairs, Diane Walker and Kenton Schoen. The first board out, I held

(D) White vs. red


I opened a strong (14+ to 17) 1NT. Meg transferred to hearts and rebid an invitational 2NT. What's your call?

We lost 5 imps there.

On the next board, the opponents bid 1NT - 3NT, making six, while our teammates found the slam. Win 11. Next was a push in an easy 4S. Then we sold out to 3S, making 3, when we could make 4D... lose 7. (Notice that a "measly" partscore swing almost erased that "massive" slam swing. Accurate partscore bidding is very underrated at teams.) Next, we gave up two imps on a partscore hand, then won six on a double-partscore swing. Finally,

(E) White vs. red


LHO opened 1H, pard overcalled 1S, and RHO passed. What's your bid?

We won 4 imps on that board.

Final score: 21-14 for 13 VPs. Total: 28.

I didn't know my opponents for match three.

We lost six imps on the first board, when Meg misguessed a game they weren't in at the other table. She made up for it (and then some) on the next board, when she stole two tricks in a red 4S for win 13. We got back to even on the next board when we didn't bid a white game - lose 7. Next, we got to a horrific 3NT and when down three, -150. Amazingly, this was a pickup-- the opponents got to 4S on a 5-2 fit. This was only down two, but our teammates were astute enough to pop it for +300. Win 4. On the next board, we were in a bad 1NT, down two... but our other-table-mates saved us, going down three in the same contract. Win two. Next I bid a very pushy 4H and went -200... for a push! The last board:

(F) White vs. red


I was in third chair and saw two passes to me. What's your plan with this hand?

This board was a push.

Final score: 19-13, for 13 VPs. Total: 41.

In the fourth match, we played another couple I hadn't met before. There were no terribly interesting hands this match. We were tied until the last board when I held Q9 KQ76 T8 T7653 at favorable vulnerability. Pard passed and RHO opened 1D. I stuck in an awful 1H bid. LHO tremored for a short while and passed. Pard bid 1S. RHO passed after a little thought as well. I passed, and LHO... passed! Meg played it very well to go +80 for what I thought was a 5 or 6 imp pickup. Little did I know -- our teammates bid and made 3NT for win 13!

Final score: 21-8 for 15 VPs. Total: 56.


McKenzie said...

(A) I passed partner's double. He was minimum, so they made three for -380. Our teammate played it a trick better - and he was in 3NT! +430 for win 2.

(B) I think 4NT is best used here as quantitative. If you want to ask for keycards in diamonds, you should bid 4D first. Playing with a new partner, I answered keycard, of course. We got to 6D.

(C) I bid 3D over RHO's 2S. Pard bid 3S, and without a stopper, I bid 4D. He lifted to 5, down one. Thinking back, I should have passed 2S. Opening 2C and rebidding 3C or 3D shows a stronger hand than this one. I had planned on rebidding 2NT... pass over 2S says exactly that. "I was going to rebid 2NT, but I'm not sure about my spade stopper any more."

(D) I bounced to 4H over 2NT, hoping that my diamonds would be a ruffing value. Sadly, partner had diamond shortness as well. The other table stopped in 3H.

(E) This hand is way too good to pass, and has too few spades to raise... I went with the least of evils and bid 1NT. It's a queen or a jack heavy for this call, but the lack of a true heart stopper brings the hand back into range for 1NT.

(F) This isn't good enough for a club-heart reverse, in my opinion. So I opened 1H! Pard Druried, and I was able to make a game try showing a stiff spade. Pard jumped to game, and I made 6 on a lucky lie.

Noble Shore said...

(A) Pass, (what was their NT range?
) -180 is not always a disaster at IMPs.

(B) RKC for diamonds (unless playing Kickback); 5s

(C) 2NT; 3NT, hopefully pard has the s10 or RHO ducks to preserve transportation.

(D) 4h (duh?)

(E) 1NT
..for lack of other options. It's not that important to have a stopper for this wide-ranging bid when you have a maximum.

(F) 1c
I can rebid 2c over 1s to solve my "problem". On a good day partner will respond 1h. If you open 1h, you have a real problem if partner responds 1s (most likely ending in the 4-2 heart fit).