Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bridge Blog 560: How low can you go?

It was the worst of times for me and Wednesday partner Celine Murray. We’d take eight tricks on a 2 Spade contract, everybody else would take 10. We’d watch our opponents find their maximum contracts, then fail to do it ourselves.
I consider two of the biggest bloopers to be primarily my fault, since I set the fatal flaws into motion. The worst was doubling Lois Tatelman’s vulnerable 6 Diamond slam after we competed up to 5 Spades. We had all the Spades and Clubs, she was 6-6 in the red cards and got a score you don’t see very often – 1540. Our only trick was the Ace of Spades. Well, in retrospect, maybe Celine should have taken out the double by bidding 6 Spades, which would go down only two vulnerable.
On the other blooper, I had better than an opening hand with a six-card A-K Heart suit and Celine did her jump to 2 No Trump on the second round of bidding, indicating 17 to 19 points. I do the Blackwood 4 NT bid to ask for Aces and she has three. I ask for Kings and she has the one I don’t have. All the Aces, all the Kings, grand slam, right? Wrong. The long suits – her Spades, my Hearts – don’t run. It would make 6 No Trump, but not 7, because we’d have to lose a Heart to North, in this case Faith Perry. Celine, in trying to wear down Faith and her partner, Pat Lancaster, played out all her stoppers and went down three instead of one.
We knew we were doing badly, but when the preliminary results were posted, it was still a downer – 31%. Were those our good scores or our bad scores, we wondered. Would we sink below 30%? Fortunately, we perked up a bit when the final tally emerged – 37.8%. It was last East-West, but not last overall. That honor belonged to Faith and Pat, who came in at 37.2%. I wish I could say we captured that margin in our round with them, but we didn’t. We got only 8.5 out of a possible 21 game points.

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