Monday, November 24, 2008

Warmup Pairs: First Thursday, Boston NABC

I played the first event at the Boston NABC – the Thursday Stratified Open Pairs – with Cincinnatan up-and comer Adam Parrish. Adam and I had a fabulous time but didn't matchpoint very well. Adam's lots of fun – we'll be playing the North American Swiss Teams later in the tournament.

All problems are matchpoints.

(A) Red vs. white

Q7 KJ984 AQJ52 8

Partner opens 1C, and over your 1H, rebids 3NT. What is he showing here? What's your bid?

(B) All white

AJT94 9 QJ7 9862

LHO opens 1NT, showing “good 10 to bad 13”. RHO invites with 2NT, and LHO bids 3NT, which gets passed around to you. Your call.

(C) Red vs. white

A3 AQT9753 742 8

LHO opens 1D. Pard passes, and RHO bids 1S.

(C1) What's your call?

(C2) LHO will pass, and RHO will bid 3NT over 2 or 3H. Your lead.

(D) All red

QT KJT832 J8 K92

Partner opens 1C. You respond 1H, He rebids 1S, and you bid 2H (showing constructive values). He rebids 2S, presumably 5=x=y=6. What's your call?

(E) All red

A AK74 AQ9854 52

There are two passes to you, and you open 1D. LHO overcalls 1S. Partner bids 2H, and RHO leaps to 4S. What's your bid?


McKenzie said...

(A) I thought pard should have solid clubs plus stoppers in the pointed suits. His diamond card could only be the king, so I jumped to 6NT, hoping for seven clubs, five diamonds, and maybe a major suit ace. Sadly, his suit wasn't quite solid – he had eight to the AKT. 6C was the best spot, but 6NT made.

(B) I passed out 3NT, as most people would, but I should have doubled, asking partner to lead his shorter major. He's marked with lots of values on this auction, and you just know he's going to lead a heart, blowing a trick... he did, but we still went +50 on the board. Double would get partner to lead his doubleton spade through Qxx on dummy, and we'd probably end up +500.

(C) I jumped to 3H, trying to put maximum pressure on the opponents. Against 3NT, I led the queen of hearts, hoping to pin a stiff jack on the board. There was no stiff jack, but RHO was forced to duck from his KJx. I cleared hearts, and we ended up setting the contract five tricks! You'll set it three if you lead any heart, and you won't set it at all if you don't lead one!

(D) I rebid 3C, but I now feel that it's not quite enough. QT and Kxx in his suits are great holdings. Maybe 4C?

(E) I leapt to 6H, sort of hoping the opponents would take the spade sacrifice. As it turns out, we're on for 7 – pard has the magic hand of xx Jxxxxx KJx Ax.

Noble said...

(A) 4d
Partner is showing better than a 3c bid, so it's very likely we have slam. The first step is to clarify the nature of my hand.

(B) Pass
This is a great opportunity to double if you're having a high-50's or worse game late in a session, but I wouldn't risk it early in a session. They might just be cold.

(C1) 2h
To clarify that I have some defense.

(C2) hT
The rule on leading from AQT is that you either lead the card under whatever you expect dummy to hold if the honors are split or you lead the Ace. Here, the hQ lead would be a disaster if dummy has Jxx and declarer has Kx, so you lead the h10 which holds declarer to one trick in the suit. The other reasonable lead is the hA, hoping someone has a stiff jack.

(D) 5c
I have two key honors, so if partner has four then this should make.

(E) 4NT (RKC) I need the cA and dK for grand.