Squeezing The Dummy

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Midnight Tourney With Josh: Part 2

In Part 1 Josh and I got off to a good start in the midnight ACBL tournament. Our running average was 78.99% after 4 boards. Josh and I have a habit of starting well and ending well, but in the middle it is usually shaky. I always yell at him for jinxing us because at this point he has usually mentioned how well we're doing. This time he wisely says nothing. We move for the next round and start with...

Board 5: I pick up Q8 QT84 9532 KJ6 at unfavorable vulnerability. I pass and hear my LHO open 1N and complete the 2 transfer with 2 which is passed around to me. I am a big fan of balancing, but vulnerable and with Qx of spades against what might be a misfit deal I must let sanity prevail. My partner leads the Q and dummy hits with KJ9632 53 T6 952. So I could have pushed him up a level, oh well. Declarer eventually guesses spades (he started with AT4) and has to guess the heart (he has KJ). My partner had led out the Q-K-A of diamonds, so declarer plays him to not have the ace of hearts and plays small to the king. Josh had 75 A762 AKQ8 874 and did not make a takeout X in a live auction. I guessed we got a good board for this reason, and sure enough many guessed the heart to make 4.

Result: 76.09 %
Running Average: 78.41 %

Board 6: I pick up AKT3 A5 KT743 A5 at favorable vulnerability. Ahh, that's more like it, back to the type of hand I was getting in Part 1. I am in fourth seat and it goes P-P-1 to me. Many would X with this prime 18 and 5-4 shape. I am not saying this is wrong, but in my opinion to start with a double on an off shape hand you must be able to control the subsequent auction. My anchor suit is quite weak, and if the auction were to go something like 1-X-3-3-P I would be in a world of trouble. Notrump would not appeal with only 1 club stopper and no source of tricks. For this reason, I choose to simply overcall 1. LHO bids 1 which is passed back to me. I choose X instead of 1 as 1 would generally be based more on distribution than high cards. LHO is in there again, this time with 2, and once again this is passed back to me. I'm not going to sell out to 2, so I try another X. My pard thinks this over and eventually bids 2, ending the auction. Dummy is 6542 98742 85 J7. Diamonds are 3-3 with the ace offside and spades are 3-2 so I have to play it carefully for down 1. Perhaps partner didn't bid 2 because he expected only 3 from your X as with 4 you could have bid 1. It is possible to make 2 spades so our only hope is that the field gets too high. I was expecting below average but...

Result: 58.70%
Running Average: 75.13%

Board 7: I pick up AJT7654 T3 A732 -- with everybody vul. Partner passes and RHO opens 1. I have 3 options here. I can try 1 planning on not preempting because I have the boss suit. With this approach I will have to guess a lot later. I prefer them to guess instead of me, so this approach is really not my style. After that, it's between 3 and 4 spades. With 7-4 I don't need much for game or for a save to be profitable. I just blast to 4 and apply the pressure. They choose to X and it goes all pass. A trump is led and partner comments that he hates his hand. Dummy is -- 9862 KT54 T8754. Boy was he ever wrong! His diamond holding is gold and the trump lead does not cause us any pain. They are 3-3 with the honors split, and diamonds are breaking so I go down 1. They are cold for 3N of course, and could get me 500 on a different lead.

Result: 76.09 %
Running Average: 75.27 %

Board 8: I had nothing to do on this hand so we will switch around to Josh's seat. He held 6 KJ74 QT865 Q74. In fourth chair LHO and partner passed, and RHO opened 4 (hey it worked for us, why not for them?). Everyone passed and he had to lead. A black suit is obviously out, so he could opt for the aggressive heart lead, or the passive diamond lead that still might set up a trick. He went with standard operating procedure of the most aggressive possible lead on this auction and was rewarded with setting the contract. A club would also have worked. Declarer had opened 4 in third seat with AKQ8753 Q5 A3 JT. He bought KJxxx of diamonds, the ace of clubs, and a stiff trump. So on a diamond lead he can win the ace, play off 3 rounds of trumps and finesse the diamond to be able to get rid of his club loser. After a heart lead, though, we had the timing to shift to a club after cashing our hearts. Now since I could ruff the second diamond, declarer had to lose a club.

Result: 76.09 %
Running Average: 75.37 %

We managed to overcome the middle part of the tournament with some solid results. Tomorrow we'll see how Josh and I ended up

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