Squeezing The Dummy

Thursday, June 30, 2005

San Antonio: Part 2

After winning our first match of the knockouts , we arrive the next day just before the 9:00 game time. We are going to play a round robin with one inexperienced but dangerous team and another very experienced team captained by Colby Vernay.

It is decided that Patty and I will play the first half and sit out the second. We start against the Vernay team and have an uneventful set. I went for 800 against their 660 or 690, and had a few plus positions on partscore hands. Nothing eventful. The match against the weaker team was much the same. We bid a poor game that went down, and had a potential partscore swing. When we compared we were down 15 (after handicap) to the weaker team and up 4 against the stronger team. We sat out and our teammates managed to win the match that we were losing by 15 and lose the other one. For the second session we advanced with one win and one loss.

In the semi-finals Patty and I played the whole time. We were playing against a team of tough locals that were very experienced. We had a solid first set with some plus positions. One of my weaknesses is perhaps not doubling enough partscores at imps. The upside of this is that when I do make a penalty double, my partner knows they can safely sit. Patty had KQ54 8642 A973 8. She opened 1 in third seat (anything goes...) and heard it go X, 2(drury)-p to her. She retreated to 2-p-p-3-p-p-X. She had no qualms about sitting and we collected 500. My trumps were AKT94. We compared at half and were up 36 or so. In the second half the boards were pretty dull other than a pushed grand, and despite a few soft boards we picked up another 3 imps to advance.

In the finals we once again met the Vernay team. Patty and I played the first set and there were two interesting slam deals. The first one I had: KQ AKT82 AT943 3. I opened 1 and partner responded 2, GF. I bid 2 and partner bid 2. I showed my 5-5 with a 3 call and partner bid 4. I have a great hand now and an easy keycard bid. Partner replied 5 showing 1 or 4. I didn't want to risk a disaster with 5 so I just bid 6 to offer a choice. It went all pass and a spade was led. This is what I saw:

J52
Q73
KQ2
KQJT

Oops! What happened? Partner apparently answered keycard in diamonds even though this is not our agreement. The important thing here is to keep your cool. I said "Thank you partner," and followed suit while keeping my poker face. RHO won the ace, and assuming we knew what we were doing continued spades. When nothing bad happened in the red suits I had made six. I was also impressed with my opponents who didn't say a word; they just pulled the cards for the next board.

The other slam hand we had was when I picked up: K632 852 AK3 972. Partner opened 1 and I had to decide what to do. Usually with three small trumps and 4333 10 counts I just bid 2. I liked the controls in this hand, though, and tried 1N planning on giving a 3-card limit raise. Pard surpised me with a jump to three clubs. I do not think a jump to 4 should just show any 3 card limit raise as you are just preempting your own auction. There are many hands that need to hear another bid from partner. Those of you who read this know what I mean. Accordingly, I bid 3 and partner bid 4. I hated my round suit holdings, and the spade king was dubious so I chose to pass. Perhaps wrong, but probably not as wrong as partners 4 bid with T AKQ32 J5 AKQ93. Slam is not cold by any means but had partner bid 4 you would bid 4 and probably get there. Both suits broke, so slam makes. We went back to compare and our teammates have had a good set. We were up 33 at the half, pushing the second board. We went on to win 39 more in the second set to win by a total of 72.

Our teammates played well throughout, and it was very satisfying to win. Next, to do it again.

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