Monday, April 18, 2011

Bridge Blog 409: Strange days

          You know me. I’ll bid with the slightest provocation. So it’s more than bizarre for me to go for an entire game without being declarer at least once. Such was the case on Sunday in a Howell game at the Airport Bridge Club, when partner Isabelle Banas and I were on defense almost all day long en route to a 42% score and on those few occasions when we took a bid, she played it.
          And then on Monday, playing North-South with June Feuerstein, darned if I didn’t go 24 more hands without taking the bid. It’s not that I didn’t try. In fact, on one of our final boards, I opened 2 No Trump, only to have June bid 3 Spades for a minor-suit relay. I went to 4 Clubs, she corrected to 4 Diamonds. Having a few good Diamonds and a big hand, I went to 5 and she boldly pressed on to 6 and then made it for a top score (everybody else stopped at 3 No Trump).
          I told June I thought we did pretty well and, in fact, we did – fourth overall with 54.08% for 0.86 of a masterpoint, bringing my April total to 9.21.
          Just to show you how dumb luck sometimes works out, consider how June wound up playing a slam earlier in the day on Board 5 after we stumbled to the 6 level in a totally wretched round of bidding. I’m dealer, we’re North-South vulnerable. Here’s my hand:

          Spades: 9-2; Hearts: A-K-4; Diamonds: A-10-6; Clubs: Q-10-7-3-2.

          I open the bidding with a Club, June bids a Diamond and before we know it, we’re doing Blackwood and winding up at 6 No Trump. West, Barb Multerer, didn’t double, but leads off the Ace-King of Spades and we’re down one right off the start. But that’s all. June lays down her hand and claims the rest. Here’s what she had:

          Spades: Q-10-7; Hearts: Q; Diamonds: K-Q-9-8-7-4; Clubs: A-K-J.

          For the record, here’s East (Art Schumacher) and West:

          Spades: J-6-5; Hearts: 9-8-7-6-3; Diamonds: 5; Clubs: 8-6-5-4.

          Spades: A-K-8-4-3; Hearts: J-10-5-2; Diamonds: J-3-2; Clubs: 9.

          When we got it, the hand had only been played once – by Mike Kisiel and Paul Ganley. North bid the 6 No Trump and made an overtrick. Nobody else was that lucky, though. There was one other 6 NT bid by North, down two, and another one by South, down one. And then there were the folks in Diamonds – 3 Diamonds making an overtrick, 6 Diamonds down one. After all that, we didn’t have a bottom board, like we suspected, but a semi-respectable low middle.

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