Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Close Call

I returned yesterday from Orlando after another heartbreaking exit from the Reisinger Teams. My squad ended day 1 with 23.5 wins in 48 boards, which was half a board from qualification for the semifinal.

My favorite hand from the day came against the Diamond squad, one of the pre-tournament favorites. I held:
and opened the bidding with 1 Club. My partner responded 1 Spade and I rebid 1 Notrump, ending the auction. My LHO led the 3 of hearts and this dummy came down:
It looks percentage to play small from dummy, playing the opening leader for honor-9 instead of Queen-Jack, so I did, which fetched the nine from RHO. I won the ace and played on clubs, one to the king and another to the jack, both following. I was up to 9 tricks so I led a low diamond toward dummy, the jack losing to the queen. My RHO returned the queen of hearts which I won in dummy with the king. That left:

I started running my club winners, and my LHO's discards were coming slower with each round. Eventually he discarded spades each time, 2 low ones and the jack. I was pretty confident that he had started with 4-4-3-2 distribution at this point, so all that was left was to play my spade to the ace (LHO followed with the king) and the ten of hearts, which endplayed him to lead into my diamond tenace for 10 tricks. The defense was tough to find...he had to pitch one of his hearts and then follow to the spade with the king, leaving himself a smaller spade as an exit after winning the ten of hearts. The board was a win when the declarer in the same contract at the other table finessed clubs in the other direction and ended with only 8 tricks.

It was an enjoyable trip but was frustrating from a results standpoint...hopefully next year will bring more success at the table.

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