The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Concentration

Playing a sectional swiss, we blitz our (novice) first round opponents. This naturally leads us to face one of the top teams in the second round. It’s a hard fought affair where I get lucky when I (mis)count a hand to try for a swindle by leading ace and low from AQxx in dummy and catch the stiff King on my right. This irks my (expert) LHO and when I explain my miscount he gruffly corrects me. D’oh. I have gotten lucky.

But (apart from this) I play well. I find a nice line to make a tight 1N and squeeze out an overtrick (and, more importantly, LHO concedes it, complimenting me by assuming I knew what I was doing).

Finally, I’m not declarer and defending.

LHO RHO
--- ---
1N  2D*
2H  2N
Pass

Partner leads, Dummy hits and LHO looks distracted and says “What am I in?”
Me — “2N”
He then tanks for a moment and says. “On the last hand, you only made two, not three.”
“I had a fifth diamond.”
“Oh. Sorry. Right.”
Dummy now chides declarer for thinking about the last hand.
I win partner’s lead of a diamond (with my stiff king), shift, and then when declarer wins he makes the odd play of attacking partner’s suit, small-jack-ace-ruff.

Declarer starts to lead and I start to lead, at which point declarer reminds me that we’re in 2N. Gah.

When I’m in I now have to go all out to set the hand (having pitched a valuable heart spot with dummy having 5 cards in the suit) and no miracle occurs, so 2N making 4. Declarer apologizes for the question, and I say “Well, it’s just an IMP.”

On the next hand, I’m still somewhat discombobulated, so I compete against RHO’s 1N instead of just passing with my 15 count. I make it for +90 but simply passing will be worth +200. Another three IMP penalty for being distracted.

I finally get back into it and make a nice play to guarantee my 1N contract. I’m feeling good. Sure, one of my plays was lucky, but several of them were solid. Honestly, tossing only four IMPs in a match is a good day for me..

We tie the match at 5-5, which is an insanely low score for an 8 board match.

We had a second tie later in the day. This time 19-19. The opponents won 13 IMPs when one opponent passed out of turn, so his partner just bid 3N. My partner and I — bidding normally — got to a slam that needs one of two finesses, neither working. On the last hand an opponent should invite but forgets and passes, and every card breaks poorly. So it’s 2H making exactly at our table, and 3H off one at the other table. Five Imps.

The last IMP? Needing to play AJxx opposite Kxx for three tricks (exactly) I took a safety play of the ace then king (to guard against doubleton queen offside). My opposite number took the prosaic line of king then finessing, and got four tricks. Lose One.

At least I was concentrating that match.

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Written by taogaming

April 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Posted in Bridge

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