Monday, March 17, 2008

Back From Nationals

I just got back from the NABC in Detroit. It was a good time, but not a rousing success from a bridge standpoint. My partner Jason Rosenfeld and I arrived with high aspirations to play the IMP Pair and the Weekend Open Swiss but didn't qualify for the second day of either. We started out rusty--we play a strong club system that we used to be able to work on a lot when we were both in the Chicago area--Jason is another Northwestern guy but has since moved back home to Boston. Maybe some of the strain of remembering our old stuff caused some of our defensive mishaps in the early going that really cost us. I have a number of interesting hands to write is one based mostly on being opportunistic at IMPs and taking inferences from the bidding. Second in hand I held:
Neither vul, RHO opened a precision 1 Diamond which was passed around to Jason who reopened with one heart. RHO bid 1 Notrump, which showed a balanced 16 points or so in their methods (supposedly the initial pass by responder denied a bust and showed diamond tolerance). Anyway i could contest this and doubled, which must show a hand like this. LHO bid a very slow 2 Clubs which was passed back to me. I bid 2 Hearts passed back to the opener who bid 3 Clubs! This i could barely believe, but I knew I had to act in tempo and, feeling i had already shown my hand, I passed. Three Clubs undoubled became the final contract and we beat it two tricks after a small slip in defense...(the opponents had only a 4-4 fit). The +100 was a small loss on the board as we could have made 140 or 170 in hearts. Moral of the story to me is this: when an opp0rtunity arises and the conditions look right, be ready to pounce. If I had doubled and we had defended correctly we would have scored 500 and eventually made the IMP Pair final after all. In this case there was a great argument for the double...I had a good hand with both the ace and ten of clubs, partner had reopend, our fit was not outstanding and the opponents didn't appear to be on firm ground with their bids. Hopefully I'll be ready next time! More hands to come.

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