Squeezing The Dummy

Saturday, July 02, 2005

San Antonio: Part 4

Morning Knockouts: Having survived the first round of the morning knockouts, our team was set to play another round robin. We drew a strong team from Dallas captained by Steve Kornegay that I was very familiar with and an inexperienced team that I didn't know. We were spotting the inexperienced team 11 imps and getting 1 from the Kornegay team. Greg and I played the first half and easily made up the handicap. I kind of felt bad, I opened an extremely light third seat hand and the opponents missed a game. In bracket one regionals, though, I tend to do whatever I feel is right no matter who the opponents are. It is a high enough level that the opponents should be able to deal with it. We had a decent set against Kornegay; getting to a slam with a strong club auction that is very hard to manage in a standard system and beating a light game two tricks. We did miss a 50 % slam that makes and my partner chose an unfortunate opening lead against a game. He had KT93 of hearts and QJ82 of diamonds. The opponents got to 3N, and he chose a diamond lead. Only a heart lead sets the contract. When we compared we were up 4 (after handicap) to the weaker team and up 8 or so to Kornegay. Our counterparts missed both slams, but we lost a game swing on the hand where Greg led a diamond. In the second set we crushed the weak team and had a solid said against the Kornegay team. I should have beaten a game that they misplayed but didn't, but I knew that would be a push. We also defeated a game that might have been made, and we ended up winning both matches by around 20 imps. We finally advanced from a round robin actually winning all of our matches. Hopefully that's a good sign.

Open Pairs Session 1: For the afternoon and evening sessions I played with Derrell Childs. The event was a 2 session open pair game. I have only played with Derrell once or twice in my life and was looking forward to this event. I have can't even remember the last time I played a regional pair game. We filled out a simple card and were ready to play. I was glad we didn't play many conventions, I strongly believe people that never play together should keep it simple. We started out horribly, playing unlucky and poorly. I had a massive brain fart and wasn't making winning decisions, and he misdefended a doubled contract. We finally got some momentum going with 3 rounds to go, and on the second to last round I picked up a crucial hand. I held: K KT842 AK3 Q843. Partner opened 1 and I responded 2. He splintered with 4 and I bid keycard, loving my hand. Partner bid 5 showing 2 without the queen. Now something strange happened. RHO asked me what 5 meant. I knew we were off 1 keycard and the queen of trumps, but decided to hope partner had the jack or for a 2-2 split. I didn't think RHO had the queen after the question, so I figured I could pick up the queen for a good board. After bidding 6, LHO quickly led the ace of clubs. Dummy was:

AQT832
AJ9
J87
T

LHO now shifted to a diamond, again immediately. The tempo of her plays suggested strongly that she had the queen of trumps, but the fact that she made no effort to tap the dummy meant she did not have it. I decided to just play her to have made a bad play. I won the diamond in hand, cashed the spade king, and led a heart to the jack. When that held, I ruffed a spade and pulled trumps to make my slam. Obviously LHO should have continued clubs. We had good boards on the last round and managed a 54.5% game, not bad considering.

Open Pairs Session 2: We were not out of the hunt after our afternoon game, but needed at least a 65% to have a shot. Derrell really played great this whole session, and the opponents played terribly. Again, I felt like every decision I was making was working out poorly. I'm not sure if I was just unlucky or making poor decisions, but I was definitely dropping a lot of matchpoints. Despite Derrell playing perfectly and our enormous luck, we only managed a 63 % game. I felt badly about this result but it was good enough to come in second. Derrell really deserved to win, and I wish I had played better. He is having a great tournament, he has won a knockout, a swiss, and been second in a 2 session pair game. He did lose in the finals of the premier event, the midnight KOs, though. He was part of Alan Copeland's team from part 3.

Overall I was unhappy with my play today. I know I could have done better, and think I was just tired. Bad decisions happen, but there were two boards today where I made costly no-win plays. These are just unacceptable. I'm glad I had partners good enough to carry me in, and am going to refocus tomorrow. No more sloppy play.

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