This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Battle against the best

On Wednesday night we were up against the leading team in the IMP league. They fielded three national champs, and their fourth player had recently finished second in a big NABC event, playing with one of our teammates.

It was a rock 'n roll first half and we were up 11 at the break. I switched the ipod to avant garde jazz in the second half, and that was a mistake.

We had these two hands, not vulnerable vs. vulnerable:

After RHO passed, I opened 1D, LHO bid 1H, and Karen bid 2D. We don't play preemptive jumps in the minors, and this showed 5 to 10 points and 4 or longer diamonds. RHO bid 2S, and this was the auction so far: P-1D-1H-2D;-2S-?. With a shapely hand and 3 defensive tricks I wanted to suggest going to 5D, but not insist on it, so I bid 4D. LHO ended the auction with 4H, and Karen naturally led a diamond instead of a spade (the spade lead sets up a later overruff with the heart queen), and we only took two hearts and the spade ace to lose 11 IMPs. At the other table RHO opened 1S, my hand overcalled 2D and it became clear to take the cheap sacrifice in 5D.

A part score swing against us and a few IMPs lost left us down 10 when this hand came up:

The auction was 1C-1H;-2H-4H and I got a diamond lead to the queen and ace, and RHO returned a club. I ran this to LHO's queen and dummy's king. I played a heart to the queen, winning, a diamond to the king, and another small heart from dummy, RHO showing out. LHO took the heart ten with the king and returned a heart, dummy's eight winning. Now I played a club to the ace, LHO dropping the club jack, and a spade to the jack winning. This was the position, where I needed all but one of the tricks:

I continued with the spade ace, LHO playing the spade queen, and then a spade to the nine, losing to the ten, and LHO returned a fatal trump.

Sorry, the avant garde jazz distracted me for a second, and that's not what really happened. In the position above, I ruffed a club with the heart ace. LHO discarded the spade queen on this, and now when I led a spade up, LHO ruffed in with his last trump. I countered this by unblocking the spade ace on his ruff, and then trumped the diamond return, and took two spades to make my contract, for a push.

The other team gave little away in the second half, and we had to be consoled by being the opponents to have a lost by the least in the seven matches so far for the leading team.


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