Archive for April, 2010

Michael Ware on the 2010 Last Train part 4

This hand from match 7 was nowhere near as much fun:

Board 6 (rotated)
Dearler North
NS Vul

NORTH

sQ876
h1J8642
d1872
c9

WEST

s 2
h1Q10975
d1KJ963
c84

EAST

sAK1054
h1 AK3
d15
cAJ107

SOUTH

sJ93
h1
d1AQ104
cKQ6532

West……North……East……South
Arjuana…Cathy…..Ian……..Michael
………….Pass…….1S………2C
Dble…….All Pass

Yes I am vul, have poor trump pips (I do have six though) and I have three cards in the suit they opened, but still. A 5 loser hand, lots of playing strength, and so I overcalled 2C. West (Arjuna de Livera) made a negative double and East (Ian Robinson) passed happily.

The defence started with a spade to the Ace, King of spades, and a spade ruff. Now West switched with a low heart to the King, which I ruffed.

Great. I was in but what now? If I didn’t play a trump then West was going to get another spade ruff so I played King of clubs. East bonked that with the Ace and returned JC. More joy. I won that and tried to endplay someone which sort-of-worked, sort-of-didn’t and was down 3 for -800. Man, that felt horrible. But the datum was a surprising -660 so we only lost 4 imps. 6 other tables played 2C doubled. There was also a 3C and 3D doubled, both for -1400!

Cathy: This happens a lot in practice, though, doesn’t it? It shouldn’t be surprising if you have done something normal. I can recall a NOT many years ago when we were playing a fairly prominent husband-wife partnership. He was vulnerable and doubled at the 3 level and she put down that sort of hand with a dreadful comment about his bidding rather than her dummy. She then stormed off to the toilet and eventually the director sent somebody to look for her. Honestly, it was that bad. Meanwhile declarer went for 1400 and it looked like the most normal number in the world to us. Sure enough, flat board. I often wondered how they sorted out the postmortem on that one after the match. Presumably the husband had a bit of fun, he surely deserved it.

April 30, 2010 at 2:45 am 2 comments

Michael Ware on the 2010 Last Train part 3

Michael continues his tale of our adventures in the Last Train.

You often hear from strong no-trumpers about how occasionally the weak NT goes for a number. Well, against that check out this board from match 3:

Match 3
Board 14
Dealer East
Nil Vul

NORTH

sK9
h1KQ975
d1Q1076
cA8

WEST

sJ1074
h1J102
d1AK
cKQ74

EAST

s865
h1643
d1J843
c1096

SOUTH

sAQ32
h1A8
d1952
cJ532

West….North….East….South
…………………….Pass…1NT
Dble…..Redble…2C……Dble
Pass…..Pass……2D……Pass
Pass…..Dble……All Pass

As South I opened a weak NT and West doubled. Cathy redoubled for blood and E/W were toast. They escaped to 2D but that wasn’t cheap either. From our point of view, the defence was fun…

I led ♥A and continued the suit to Cathy’s Queen. Partner cashed the ♥K and then played king and another spade. I won, and cashed a third top spade, on which Cathy pitched a club. Now a club to North’s Ace was followed by a heart, ruffed by declarer’s 8 and over-ruffed by Michael’s 9 with dummy discarding. Now a club, ruffed by north and yet another heart ruffed by declarer with the 4 and overruffed by my 5. Again dummy discarded. This meant the defence had taken the first ten tricks and Cathy still had the Queen third of trumps sitting behind dummy’s Ace, King! Six shy, +1400 not-vul and 15 IMPs vs. the datum.

April 29, 2010 at 1:02 am 7 comments

To bid or not, the full deals.

To recap from yesterday: You are East, playing strong NT, IMPs, all vul you pick up:

sK83
h1AJ10963
d1J9
cJ5

West……North……East……..South
………………………………….Pass
1C……….1D………1H………..3D
3H……….3S……….4H………..4S
Pass……..Pass…..???

What now?

Next, just a few boards later:

sA85
h1 A10874
d1KQ4
cQJ

West………North…….East………South
………………………………………Pass
Pass……….1S……….Dble………..2NT
3H………….4S………???

The full deals:

Board 23
Dealer South
All Vul

NORTH

sA954
h1852
d1AKQ85
c8

WEST

sJ10
h1K74
d164
cAK7432

EAST

sK83
h1AJ10963
d1J9
cJ5

SOUTH

sQ762
h1Q
d110732
cQ1096

West……North……East……..South
………………………………….Pass
1C……….1D………1H………..3D
3H……….3S……….4H………..4S
Pass……..Pass……Dble -790

In the other room it started off the same, but West passed instead of 3H. Over 3S East bid 4H on their own and so over South’s 4S, West felt like it was time to show heart support. North doubled and that was +500 and 7 IMPs away.

Then, four hands later:

Board 27
Dealer South
Nil Vul

NORTH

sK10632
h1
d1AJ86
c10965

WEST

sQ
h1KQ653
d11092
c8432

EAST

sA85
h1 A10874
d1KQ4
cQJ

SOUTH

sJ974
h1J92
d1753
cAK7

West………North…….East………South
………………………………………Pass
Pass……….1S……….Dble………..2NT
3H………….4S……….5H…………Dble
All Pass

In the other room the kiddies bought it in 4S after my hand overcalled 1NT. This was the second to last board. We had been up a lot early, Cayne fought back. After this hand, on which we picked up eight, so a net gain of one IMP on the to bid 5H or not hands, we were ‘only’ 5 IMPs down with this one to play…

NORTH

s
h1105
d1Q9853
cQ75432

WEST

sA84
h1AK84
d1AJ1062
cJ

EAST

sJ7632
h1 962
d14
cA986

SOUTH

sKQ1095
h1QJ73
d1K7
cK10

West…..East
1D……..1S
2H……..All Pass

Because we open good hands at the two level, although a reverse is forcing, if it is sensible to pass, then do so. Of course, that only backfires on my hand when partner has the three card support he’s planning to bid next! The layout, however, for spades, was dreadful, as EW discovered in the other room when the reverse was responded to and Krobono doubled 4S, down two for nine IMPs and a four IMP win to us.

April 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm 2 comments

To bid or not….

Sorry, we will get back to Michael’s story of the 2010 Last Train, but first a couple of interesting hands from my last match against Cayne.

You are East, playing strong NT, IMPs, all vul you pick up:

sK83
h1AJ10963
d1J9
cJ5

West……North……East……..South
………………………………….Pass
1C……….1D………1H………..3D
3H……….3S……….4H………..4S
Pass……..Pass…..???

What now?

Next, just a few boards later, nil vul and did not ask what 2NT meant!:

sA85
h1 A10874
d1KQ4
cQJ

West………North…….East………South
………………………………………Pass
Pass……….1S……….Dble……..2NT
3H………….4S………???

The full story tomorrow.

April 27, 2010 at 3:51 am 4 comments

This is something you don’t see every day.

Intrepid reporter Michael Ware interrupts his own story to be the man on the scene here. Right in the thick of it, actually. So the following is in his words.

Matchpoints Board 30. Dlr East, Nil vul

NORTH

sKQJ103
h1Q7
d1K1096
cQ7

WEST

s97
h1AK1094
d1J872
c42

EAST

s65
h1J53
d1AQ3
cJ10986

SOUTH

sA842
h1862
d154
cAK53

West…..North…..East…..South
………………………………Ware
………………………………1NT
Pass…..2H………Pass…….2S
Pass…..3NT…….Pass……4S
All Pass

I opened an 11-14 1NT, partner transferred and bid 3NT, and I corrected to 4S. This went pass, pass to East who did nothing. After waiting for him to pass for a while, my partner Barry Jones reminded him it was his bid. “oh, sorry” and he led the eight of Clubs. “No, we said it was your bid, not your lead” Director arrives and I correctly choose to accept the lead and be declarer. I run this to the Queen, and draw trumps. I cashed the Ace, King of Clubs pitching a heart from dummy and then led a diamond up. West plays low and I put up the king. East wins the Ace and plays the 10C. I ruff in dummy and lead the 10 of diamonds from dummy. East plays the JC, I follow suit and West discards the 9H! There is a slight pause as dummy I are in shock, and then before I can say anything East leads the 3H out of turn!!! Establishing both of the revokes!

Director arrives again and eventually rules us one additional trick for the revokes as the defence only made one subsequent trick.

Turns out both East and West were defending the hand in no=trumps. Both of them thought that East was cashing high clubs when in with the DA!

We’ll go back to The Last Train story tomorrow.

April 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm 2 comments

Michael Ware on the 2010 Last Train part 2

Richard Jedrychowski found a great lead against us in the next match, but it was just too awesome and the contract made anyway!:

Board 19 rotated
Dealer East
NS Vul

NORTH

s752
h143
d1K5
cKQJ975

WEST

sA43
h1AQ5
d19642
c1032

EAST

sK986
h1KJ1086
d1J7
c64

SOUTH

sQJ10
h1972
d1AQ1083
cA8

West…..North…..East…..South
Jed’i……Cathy….P’cott….Michael
……………………Pass…..1NT
Pass….3NT……All Pass

I was South, Cathy North with Richard Jedrychowski West and Michael Prescott East.

Richard led the Ace of Hearts!

What a lead – Ace from AQx and your partner has KJ10 to five! But… Prescott played the 6 – standard count – and I played the 2.

Richard thought Prescott’s low heart was standard attitude (correctly in my opinion) and so switched to a diamond!

+660 and 12 imps vs. the datum.

CC: I find Richard’s lead slightly curious. Isn’t the queen standard from this holding to make it hard for declarer to hold up when he can and should? The last time I led the ace, rather than the queen, from this holding, it was because I was playing with a relatively weak player in the world pairs and, on top of that, I knew she had the entries for our side, so the ace seemed obvious. I suppose the ace has the positive aspect that you can still choose not to send your queen into the Valley of Death.

See you Monday for the next deal in Michael’s saga.

April 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm 13 comments

Michael Ware on the 2010 Last Train part 1

When Michael sent me his recollections on the Last Train, I asked if I could publish them. So, for the next few days, here’s Michael Ware with the good, the bad and the ugly in our win early this year. Hmmm. I see I should have added the completely insane, which is what we start off with!

2010 Last Train

The week started with the Open Last Train Swiss Pairs. An 8 round Swiss of 16 board matches. There were 12 tables of good players leading to mostly ok datum averages. I was playing with Cathy Chua for effectively the first time. We played pretty basic acol. The interesting thing about playing with Cathy is that her 1NT openings are wilder than mine! (I’m not joking. I open off-shape NT’s occasionally, but Cathy does it systemically every hand)

Talk about a honeymoon start! Three 25s from the first 3 matches saw us leading the field by 16 vps. With 5 rounds to go all we really had to do was hang on which we did. The final margin was 9 VPs over Arjuna De Livera – Ian Robinson, my teammates for the National Open Teams (the NOT)

Speaking of opening 1NT, the following amusing and lucky hand from the 1st match got us on our way.

Board 2
Dlr North (rotated)
EW Vul

NORTH

sA8743
h1A985
d195
cA9

WEST

sKQ106
h1K73
d12
cQ10653

EAST

s
h1J
d1J87643
cKJ8742

SOUTH

sJ952
h1Q10642
d1AKQ10
c

W……..N……..E……..S
Mill…….CC……………MW
……….1S…….2NT….4C
5C…….5D……X……..5S
X………All Pass

Cathy as North opened 1S, but thought she had opened 1NT, which is her preference. (Can you imagine that – she opened 1S instead of 1NT – “to keep me happy”!).

East bid 2NT minors. I splintered with 4C. West bid 5C and Cathy now bid the master bid 5D which having opened 1NT in her mind said pick-a-major. East found an astonishing lead directing double. I took partner’s 5D bid as shortage and signed off with alacrity. West, partially fooled by his partner’s double of 5D doubled us.

The double / bidding allowed Cathy to only lose two trump tricks by leading trumps towards her hand twice, and then when next in dummy she ran the QH pinning the singleton Jack, there were no more and that was +650! The Datum was 80 to E/W and 12 imps.

I had thought this board was won in the bidding as indeed three North-Souths managed to get to 6S! And two N/S defended 5C, but in fact Cathy won the board in the play as all the other N/S had played 5S – but all going down.

CC: On the subject of opening 1NT I do recall an auction from this event where Michael negative doubled 2S with only 3 hearts after I’d opened 1NT, so he wasn’t altogether thrilled putting them down as dummy when I bid them. Then one of the opponents showed out on the first round. Ouch…6-0 break. Not quite, it turned out I was the one with six! Not that this saved me going one down….

Come back for more tomorrow.

PS: Michael doesn’t record what happened after the bidding. LHO went to lead and I very confidently stopped him from leading out of turn. I can’t tell you how appalled I was when I realised what had happened and that I’d opened 1S on my weak NT and then made a slam try on my two small at the five level. You do have to make after that, don’t you? Not that it was hard…

April 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm 4 comments

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