Qualifying for our district in the GNTs was this past weekend and my team of underdogs created a bit of a stir by making the final of the championship bracket. We finally ran out of steam and lost in the final. Congratulations to Jeff Miller, Doc Mohan, David Yang, and Xiaodong Shi, who played fantastically throughout the event and will be great reps for our district at nationals.
It was an enjoyable run for our squad...while it was a little disappointing to come close and not win, it was great experience and a neat opportunity to play against the best competition in the area. Thanks go out to my partner Jonathan Weinstein and our teammates Kenny Zuckerberg and Bill Drewett. Here are two of my favorite hands--both were slams that my partner and I bid that were not reached at the other table.
On this one I opened the South hand with 1 Notrump and Jonathan bid 2 Notrump, a diamond transfer. Since I didn't have a top honor in diamonds I just accepted the transfer with 3 Diamonds (I had the option of bidding 3 Clubs showing good diamonds). Jonathan bid 3 Spades promising shortness. At this point I felt that my hand was worth a move despite the spade wastage because I had 4 trump and 3 great cards in the round suits. I bid 4 Clubs hoping it would be a cue-bid for diamonds...Jonathan may not have been sure what I meant by this because he jumped to 6 Clubs. Fortunately the diamonds are higher ranking, so I could bid them at the 6 level and close out the auction. There were no problems in the play when West led the ace of spades, so we chalked up our slam.
This one I had to open the bidding as South and could decide between 1 Spade and 2 Clubs, our forcing opening. I felt that the controls justified the 2 Club opening and went with that. Jonathan responded 2 Hearts, which shows 2 controls (ace=2, king=1) in our system. RHO doubled this bid as a lead director and I showed my spades. Jonathan raised, I bid 4 Clubs and he bid 4 Diamonds. At this point I actually figured that his controls were the king of clubs and king of diamonds, so slam was at worst on the diamond finesse. With just the king of diamonds and king of hearts and little distribution he may not have cue-bid because he would have already shown his hand with the two heart bid. Anyway, I bid 6 Spades straight away and bought this dummy. Trump were 2-2 and I played West successfully for the queen of diamonds to make 6. Thinking further about partner's 4 Diamond bid, the hand he held (with a nice diamond suit along with the king) or one with the king of hearts and king-queen of diamonds would also be good 4 Diamond bids, and any of those hands make the slam little or no worse than an even money proposition. Nice bid partner!
Main Event wrap-up
5 weeks ago