Regrettably I wasn't able to attend the World Championships that are currently concluding in Philadelphia. Congrats to John Diamond, Brian Platnick, Fred Gitleman, Brad Moss, Eric Greco and Geoff Hampson, winners of the main event! They bested an incredibly strong field of well over 100 teams.
Actually after a flurry of cards in early September I haven't played much. The last month or so I've been focusing more on the Northwestern football Saturdays and some home renovations. The most notable accomplishment from the flurry was a qualification for the North American Pair, to be contested at the March NABC in Louisville. My partner, Sangarapil Mohan, and I finished 3rd in the district. The first and second place pairs receive funding from the ACBL to attend the national event--as third place finishers we are invited to compete but will pay for the trip ourselves (my usual pro-quo for nationals anyway). Congrats to Nik Demirev-Ralph Katz and David Yang-Xiaodong Shi, our district's first two pairs.
The field was a particularly strong one, so Mohan and I were very happy to place so well. I recall several interesting hands, but a lot of the finer details are escaping me (as usual, I have lost track of my hand records). Here is one that we got lucky on...any suggestions for a better auction are welcome.
Our auction, starting with the North hand, was 2C-2S-3H-3S-4S-5D-6C-6S-P
This was not a great contract but it had the virtue of keeping the diamond tenace protected, which proved crucial. Spades were 3-3 and hearts 4-3, so the play was pretty easy--I won the club lead, ruffed 2 hearts while drawing trumps and hoping for the best...the other high club was left as an entry to the hearts once the spade loser was punched out.
More concerning is the bidding...I took a number of dubious actions, the first being the 2 Spade response, ostensibly showing 2 of the top 3 honors. I thought that this hand would be tough to describe without starting with a positive response. Over my partner's 3 Hearts, 4 Diamonds seems normal, but is it certain to be interpreted correctly? These days introducing minors naturally at the 4-level is not in style...how do you show a good raise to 4 Hearts here? Anyway, I further muddied the waters with 3 Spades and could certainly have passed 4 Spades as well...but things worked out. On the same hand Katz opened only 1 Heart on the North cards and the pair still reached 6 Spades, so perhaps it isn't so easy to stop short of slam.
Main Event wrap-up
5 weeks ago