Squeezing The Dummy

Sunday, July 03, 2005

San Antonio: Part 5

Morning Knockouts: Today was the semi-finals of the morning knockouts. We met a team captained by Colby Vernay again, and were in the first half. Colby impressed me again, this time with his ethics. I opened 1N 14-16, and he overcalled 2 which his partner alerted as showing both majors. When his partner bid 2 he passed when it got doubled. They actually played 2 showed one major. They went -1100 when Colby actually held hearts and moved on to the next board. Some players may try to correct to 3, but this would be wrong. Without the alert the 2 bid would be a long suit and almost always get passed. Greg and I also doubled a 4 contract and beat it when declarer misguessed trumps. Our only bad board was my fault. I held: K42 5 Q63 AKJ872. Partner opened 1 which could be as few as 2. I responded 2 and partner bid 2N, 14-16. I tried 3 and partner bid 3. Now I should just bid 3N because we could still be worried about diamonds as 1 might be short. Instead I bid 3 and we got to an inferior 5 game that went down. I don't like the 3 bid at all in retrospect. We were up 12 at the half and sat out, and our team picked up another 40 or so with us out. Tomorrow is the final.
Knockout 2 Session 1: Today a new knockout started. I was playing with my father and Bob and Petra Hamman. My dad is a great player and I was excited he came in. We are almost always on the same wavelength because he was my main bridge teacher. We spent an hour reviewing our system notes, and then had to play. We drew a decent team from Dallas and a team that included Derrell Childs and Alan Copeland. In the first set against the Dallas team we bid a fair slam that made, and had solid but flat results otherwise. In the second set I pushed the opponents into a slam by overcalling 3 with T987532 T8 -- T942 with nobody vulnerable. The slam happened to make, but otherwise we had some solid plus positions. We went to compare, and both slam hands were swings. We were up 10 in the first match and 4 in the second match. Nothing eventful happened and we picked up another 4 in the second match and pushed in the first match. We won both matches, one by 8 and one by 10. I thought we played very well but there wasn't much in the cards.

Knockout 2 Session 2: In the second session we had another round robin. We drew a team that included Darlene Riely, my partner in crime from the Thursday midnight game, and a fair team captained by Mike Miller. The deals were very swingy, and everything we seemed to do was right. This is what Zia calls heat 1. After 12 boards we were up 49 in one match and 38 in the other. The exceptional thing was that we didn't give up an imp. The second set was more of the same, with an inordinate amount of slam deals. One hand was particularly brutal for my partner, but he did very well. He held: T84 AJ A74 J9862. After my strong club, his RHO interfered with a 3 bid. In our system, X is negative and GF, and pass is non forcing. This hand really shows the weakness of our system, but he still had to choose a bid. He started with X, hoping for a 3N bid. When I bid 4 I could have anywhere from 4 to 9 hearts. He might well pass here, but he made a winning bid of 5. I lifted it to 6 and made it. My hand was 2 KQ92 KT42 AKQ7. We bid a few more slams, and our final margins of victory were 60 and 71. Hopefully things go this well tomorrow, but it seems doubtful.


Midnight Knockout 2: I got on a 5 man team for the late night knockouts. I know, I'm crazy. My team was Patty, Alan Copeland, Derrell Childs, and Kathryn Locke. I sat out the first match, then played with Alan in the second. He is one of the few people I have played with that is faster than I am. He would actually claim BEFORE he saw dummy, and was right every time. I played with Patty in the semi-final match against a team that included Jeff Ford. Jeff was our teammate in Thursday's midnight game, but now he was the enemy. The match was decided on a 32 point slam that patty and I bid and the other table didn't. The heart suit was KQ92 opposite J53. This needed to come home for 3 winners, and there was also a squeeze possible. It's about even money, and this time it went down. We ended up losing by about 13.

On a side note, I am in contention for winning the whole tournament. The "winner" of a tournament is the person who wins the most masterpoints. Though I don't care about masterpoints, winning a tournament is a good achievement. I was happy with the way I played today and this is added incentive for me to keep it up. I'm going to give it all I've got.

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