Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bridge Blog 927: Not so high point

Partner Bob Kaprove and I thought we had a good thing going at the Airport Bridge Club on Tuesday, the first time we’ve played together in ages. In a run of what seemed to be average hands, there was the occasional peak like Board 16 below.
Indeed, our summary shows us a fraction over 50 percent heading into our final round against Linda Vassallo and Wilson McClaren. But then they bid a big Club hand to game and squeezed out an extra trick against us in a sacrifice bid, dropping us to 48.08%. Not last, but no points for us either.
My happiest moment came against Vince Pesce and Usha Khurana in the third round. It wasn’t one of our four top boards – those were all defensive, we were on defense more often than not – but it was one of our two best offensive efforts.
I’m East. We’re vulnerable. Bob’s the dealer. He passes. Vince, North, also passes. I open a Spade with this Aces-and-spaces hand:

Spades: A-9-8-7-2; Hearts: A-7-5; Diamonds: 2; Clubs: A-7-6-4.

Bob responds 1 No Trump. Vince, I believe, bids 2 Diamonds. I come back with my second-best suit, 3 Clubs. If I recall correctly, Usha bids 3 Diamonds and Bob goes up to 4 Clubs, which could be a little too high. After Usha leads an opening Diamond, Bob reveals the dummy.

Spades: 6; Hearts: Q-9-8-2; Diamonds: K-Q-10-9; Clubs: Q-J-3-2.

Vince wins the first Diamond trick, but then I’m in the driver’s seat, discarding my two losing Hearts on dummy’s high Diamonds, then cross-ruffing Spades and Hearts. It works. I take 10 tricks. Here are the other hands:

North
Spades: K-4; Hearts: J-6-4; Diamonds: A-J-7-6-5; Clubs: 9-8-5.

South
Spades: Q-J-10-5-3; Hearts: K-10-3; Diamonds: 8-4-3; Clubs: K-10.

The hand records, however, tell me that making 4 Clubs isn’t so special. East-West is supposed to make 4 Clubs. It’s our best contract. Fortunately, we found it. But it wasn’t an absolute top. We got 5.5 out of a possible 7 match points.

We were the only ones who bid 4 Clubs. Two others stopped at 3 Clubs and one of them made an overtrick. Top board, however, went to someone who bid 2 No Trump and made two overtricks. According to the hand record, it’s only good for 1 NT. Two other Wests played there, did that. Another wound up at 2 Hearts, which also is makeable, but went down one anyway. And some unlucky West got a bottom board by bidding a makeable 3 Clubs and managing to go down two. 

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