Into Thin Air

Hi all

Here’s an interesting hand from Star.

South
Q4
T9864
AK8632
West
North
East
South
11
1
???

1. Unbalanced with , or any balanced 15-19

A bidding problem in round one. What to do? I think it’s a fair assumption partner is holding a strong NT, so the fit is established. What bid do I have available to express my happiness about the lucky suit? And how do I cope with the expected heavy interference in ?

I don’t like 2, to me it shows values instead of shape, primarily looking for 3NT. I have great sympathy for a splinter 3, but I’m not sure if I bring enough tricks to bring home a NT contract. I decide to 4, showing my void and perfect fit. And I have canceled out all opposition with my brutal jump, I smile with confidence.

I have been too busy with my opponents I see. Hoek is gazing at his cards and he takes half a dozen moments and then some more. Finally he bids 5 and suddenly I get scared. Maybe I have overbid my hand, I hastily bid 6 and my confidence has just evaporated. I pray Hoek has a nice hand.

North Dealer
All Vul
North
A74
A983
AKQJ
75
West
J9863
JT6
73
QT9
East
KQT52
K752
52
J4
South
Q4
T9864
AK8632

Hoek wasn’t holding a nice hand, he was holding a Superman-Batman-Spiderman-HulkĀ “OMG-I-cannot-dream-for-something-better” hand. When the trumps split friendly 6 was yawningly laydown, but we missed our best spot in 7. I don’t think Hoek is to blame for not forcing to the grand, his trump possession is just too thin. His 5 is a nice try, but I was too rigidly focused on the suit to think of anything else.

When I’m looking at the South hand now, I cannot imagine where I got my slam aspirations from. The grand is just unbiddable, I think.

Polar Breeze

Hi all

At the Dombo tournament last week my team performed solid. Martin and Hendrik bid a nice grand in just a couple of bids. We didn’t make any big mistakes (if I recall correctly) and with the slight breeze our way we finished up 8th out of 49 teams, just a few vip from the money. The guys from Apih had a strong gust of wind helping them, they outscored the rest by a fair margin.

Here’s a game with a lot of tricks for both sides.

South
6
KQT4
K98652
A8

West
North
East
South
1
2
4
5
5
pass1
pass
???

1. Forcing

We bid voluntarily to a vulnerable game, so Hoek’s pass is forcing. But what to do over 5? I don’t know if I’m right here, but Hoek surely would have doubled 5 had he held a lot of defensive power. And second, if I confidently bid slam, maybe they’ll save again. They sure have the vulnerability in their favour.

So 6 it is, I decide. My RHO doesn’t waste a second and returns to 6. Enough is enough, I double.

West Dealer
NS Vul
North
9
AJ98732
AQ4
J5
West
AJ743
J73
KQT73
East
KQT852
65
T
9642
South
6
KQT4
K98652
A8

 

Though the penalty is just a meager +100, I’m glad I bid 6 over 5. For us it’s the polar express to 12 tricks and there’s no way we can defeat 5. A blistering total of 23 tricks combined. Martin and Hendrik were allowed to claim 11 in 5, so it was a double-digit gain for my team.

I’ll leave you with a picture from the Dombo tournament. It’s really my natural habitat, can’t you see?

Meticulous

Hi all

A couple of words on my holidays.

  • Eating soup from a sourdough breadbowl in Fisherman’s Wharf / San Francisco, such delight
  • Skiing in Colorado is magnificent; ultrawide slopes, groomed to perfection
  • I broke my collarbone, fortunately there are no pictures of this event
  • The Rosa-family, thanks for the stay and wonderful times
  • Rocky Mountains national park
  • I tried to park the car in the garage, but it had slipped my mind the door was still closed…

About bridge.

South
AJ98532
74
K53
J

This partial is from an online competition, the BBO Intercity League. All vulnerable I open 3 and everybody is fine with that. LHO starts with a and dummy comes down.

North
7
K62
AJ74
Q7652

South
AJ98532
74
K53
J

East takes the trick with the King and switches to a for West’s Ace. I take the Queen and now I had my bright moment: I ruffed the third from dummy. I couldn’t go astray anymore, for this was the complete deal:

South Dealer
All Vul
North
7
K62
AJ74
Q7652
West
QT
AQJT3
T962
84
East
K64
985
Q8
AKT93
South
AJ98532
74
K53
J

When East was in with the third round of trumps he was stripped from his safe exits and I didn’t need to find the Queen of myself. It didn’t gain much, but I’m still happy with my eye for detail on the right moment.