Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bridge Blog 518: Thinking big

          Celine Murray and I would have won by an even bigger margin in our 63.79% game last Wednesday if we hadn’t gotten off to a bad start. First hand of the day – Board 21, North is dealer, North-South vulnerable and I’m North, looking at a hand the likes of which I rarely see.
Spades: A-Q-10; Hearts: A-K-10-7; Diamonds: A-K-5-4; Clubs: A-Q.
That, my friends, is a 26-point hand, although for some reason I kept thinking it was 28. As a result, I opened it 4 No Trump, when I should have gone just 3 NT if I’d counted properly. Still, I wanted a slam. Celine, having nothing, bid 5 Clubs. 5 NT. 6 Clubs. Oh, well, where else could I go? 6 NT.
Carl Hasselback, playing East, led the Queen of Diamonds, if I recall correctly, and I saw the error of my ways the moment Celine laid down this hand with some disbelieving remark about my bidding:
Spades: J-5; Hearts: 9-6-3-2; Diamonds: 7-6-2; Clubs: 10-9-8-7.
I was cooked, no doubt about it. Down three. Minus 300, certainly a bottom board. Here are the other hands:
Spades: K-9-8-4-2; Hearts: Q-8-4; Diamonds: Q-J-10-8; Clubs: K.
Spades: 7-6-3; Hearts: J-5; Diamonds: 9-3; Clubs: J-6-5-4-3-2.
This being a small game, it was played only three other times. One North-South bid 2 NT and made an overtrick. Another one bid 3 NT and made game for top board. And the third one bid 3 NT and went down three, just like me. We actually salvaged half a game point out of three on that one.
I rattled Celine further on the next hand when, taking advantage of favorable vulnerability, I overcalled what seemed like a certain 4 Spade bid by Carl and his wife Jan, sticking Celine with 5 Clubs doubled (she’d overcalled the original 1 Spade bid). She went down three for minus 500, but that was the top board. Everybody else played it in Spades and East-West made the vulnerable game.

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