I played both the Butler Pairs (with Kees) and the Open Pairs (with René) in Scheveningen. Last time I played there is a long time ago, in my greener junior years. Both tournaments (not limited to those) I suffered from the same affliction. Years from now scientists will confirm the existence of the “ante meridiem syndrome,” I’m sure. Before lunch I can summon no magic, none at all (emphasised with swiping arm movement). At best I’m rubbing against Zia’s second heat. After lunch the gloves come off. Butler before lunch: +3. After: +49. Pairs before lunch: 47%. After: 60%.
So far I’ve tried to remedy that with varying amounts of coffee, light or heavy breakfast, holistic herbalism, divinatory shamanism and [insert random “ism” here] … It seems a Karapet-esque curse.
Here’s a cute deal:
- raise with top honor
West leads the 9 and this is what I see:
We’re deep in the afternoon already, so things click. West is holding exactly four , that leaves East with two. The 9 has the smell of a doubleton, so the layout condenses to West having a 4-3-4-2 and East with a 2-2-4-5. I have two losers in , one in and one in . That means I have to tackle the trump suit for one loser.
The double finesse only works if the 9 is doubleton. I can do better.
I win the lead with the Queen and duck a to East. The King of hits the table and I win the Ace, West completing the doubleton echo. I cross to the Ace of and request a little trump away from the Ace. East gives away the show by rising with the King.
Later I finesse against West’s remaining Queen doubleton, losing just one trump. Taking eight, for a 3 IMP gain.
Magnus is performing at Paradiso September 26th. I invite you.