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The day of reckoning is at hand

Today's Bridge: It was a better day for Ken and me than we deserved. My first hand was S Q-x-x-x-x H 10 D x-x C K-6-5-4-3, and Ken opened 1H. I felt I needed to stretch to 1S, and he jumped to 3D. Well, drat. I closed at 3NT to prevent digging a deeper hole, and he had S A H K-Q-x-x-x D A-Q-x-x-x C A-x. It's plenty of power, point-wise, but the fits are terrible and there's no transportation. The two of clubs lead told me that clubs were no good, so I let the lead run to my king and led a diamond to the queen and Brent's king. He returned a heart, and my ten won the trick. Gratefully preserving my entries in both black suits, I ducked a diamond to Dan's jack, and he predictably led a second club to the ace. I cashed the ace of diamonds, drawing Dan's jack as Brent threw a spade and I got rid of a useless club. That made it unsafe to try to establish the clubs, so I led the king of hearts, which was allowed to hold. Completely out of ideas, I led a diamond from dummy, which Brent won with the nine. I called his renege, but he insisted that he hadn't failed to follow suit yet and led a spade to the ace. I cashed the last diamond, but couldn't win another trick. Reviewing the hand showed that he had in fact reneged on a diamond, though, so I claimed the two-trick penalty and the contract. I don't know whether I would have made the contract had he followed to the diamond, but I had eight tricks in the bag - king of clubs, ten of hearts, ace of clubs, and three diamonds, and I'm pretty sure Brent had the ace of hearts and no clubs to exit with, so I can establish a heart as well as the ace of spades. I can't possibly get a ninth trick out of that, but I'm better off. After that, I sadly underestimated my distributional power and landed in a 3D contract that made grand slam, and they followed with a 3C where Brent may have misplayed, but Ken endplayed himself in diamonds and had to lead from his K-x of spades to dummy's otherwise inaccessible A-Q. I also missed the chance to cash the ace of hearts when I had the lead. Dan really wanted to play the next hand in diamonds, and I had Q-x-x-x-x of the suit to defend with, but Ken kept insisting until we played in 3S, made exactly - it's tough to say how much we would have gotten for the set, especially if we'd doubled (I wouldn't have been able to), but winning the rubber was better. We found the game in 5C in the following hand, and I had a sacrifice hand for the finale: S Q-x-x H K-J-x-x-x D Q-x C K-x-x. I opened 1H in third seat, Dan overcalled 2D, and Ken supported with 2H. I passed that, and Dan went for 3D. I didn't see much defense in diamonds and bid 3H, which was the final contract. Ken had S x-x H A-Q-10-x-x D J-10-x-x C 10-x, which is all he promised and then some. Dan started with the top two diamonds, then cashed the ace of spades before switching to a low club to Brent's ace. Brent led a club back, so I thanked my gracious opponents, took the king, pulled trump, and threw my two spades on the good diamonds. I might have deceptively thrown my queen on the first diamond to try to force a switch, but the opponents had five tricks to cash and missed them. I recommended to Dan a diamond lead at trick four - it allows Brent to ruff one of my diamond winners, so even though I can overruff, I can no longer eliminate two losers from my hand to reverse one of the black suits. It loses if I've got exactly two spades, since I can still throw off one spade, but he could cash the king of spades as well before leading the diamond and I'm helpless.

We set our tasks for the next two weeks, and there's a ton of documentation to review. I have a busy couple of weeks ahead, and tomorrow is my neurology appointment at long last. Here's hoping I get some answers and not just more questions.

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Yes, I'm THAT Nidoking. Sometimes I write fanfiction... often I waste all my time playing video games and watching anime. But it's not a waste if I enjoy it, right? I can quote from a movie, video game, anime series, or British comedy apropos of just about any situation, and one of my main goals in life is to entertain people. (The other big one is amassing as much anime and manga as I can... see below for a progress report.) That's me in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm trapped in a nutshell! What a bloody great nutshell this is!")
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