Well, Paul's pretty much given up and is only continuing the tournament as a courtesy. Mike and I won the third rubber with a quick 3NT (after a few hands, I think...), and Paul determined that they needed a few slams and rubber bonuses to have any hope. But he's been fudging his bids in an attempt to force Dan to bid or pass, resulting in contracts that they can't come close to making in some cases. On my part, I couldn't fault Dan's bids in some of those situations. He did open 1NT with a six-card heart suit in one hand, ending in a spade contract that went south by four tricks. But we had a pretty big blunder, and that's going to be the main thrust of today's Bridge lesson... the double impact of the double. We've all been in situations where our left-hand opponent bids a high contract in a suit they've probably got five of, and we're looking at four good ones ourselves, but their partners pass and we're left in the whip seat. They're going down and we know it. But should we double? Remember the second implication of doubling... it gives the bidder a chance to revise their bid. If there's a better suit for them, they now have the opportunity to bid it, and they know who has the power in the suit they were bidding before. But it's equally important to remember as the left-hand of the doubler. Your partner may be in a bad contract, but you don't know what's in their hand. If they've been the aggressive bidder in the auction, and especially if they've jumped, do NOT try to save them. If they decide that another suit is better, they have the opportunity to bid it. Here's the case in point I was talking about. Mike and Dan passed to me, and I had the amazing holding of S A-K-J-10-x-x-x H A-Q D A-8 C J-10, a 19-HCP hand with a self-sustaining seven-card spade suit. The only question in my mind was how many points my partner had. If he's got 6, we're good for game even if he's short-spaded. So I opened 2C, planning to rebid 2S if he bid 2D (the negative response to the strong 2C) or 4S if he bid anything else. Paul jumped in with 2D then, and Mike went ahead and bid 3C. I liked the sound of that and bid 4S, which Paul doubled. Mike decided to bid 5C, which Dan doubled. Well, I trusted my partner and figured he must be void in spades and have a boatload of clubs, and I had two to support him with, so I let the double stand and ended up declaring, as I'd used the 2C convention. Thanks to some careful play on my part and letting Dan have some spade ruffs, we were only off three. Mike had H x-x-x-x D J-x-x-x C A-K-x-x-x or so, and Paul was void in clubs, leaving Dan with the other six. Don't ask me how I ended up with the last club on the board when the sparks had flown. I used it to get to my hearts (Dan had the king, fortunately, or it's off another one) and I had a good spade left. Now, how does it play in spades? Well, as Paul was void in clubs, let's assume he makes his next best lead, the only thing that doesn't give me a finesse by default: a diamond. Naturally, I take with the ace and start running spades, hoping they break 3-3 and I only lose one. No difference when the queen falls on the first trick... I lead my top five and Paul takes the last one with his nine. Now I've got two spades left, so after he gets his diamond winner, I take the next lead, and if it wasn't a heart (for the finesse), I lead to the board's ace of clubs and run the heart finesse myself. It makes, and I take my good hearts, the good clubs, and my spades for an overtrick doubled. 390 points up instead of 500 down. This is why you don't second-guess an aggressive bid by your partner. (Mike explained that he'd missed the significance of my jump to 4S.) The other hand that I mentioned began with me opening 2H... I believe my holding was S x H K-Q-10-x-x-x D Q C K-Q-J-10-5. Paul doubled that (takeout), and Mike raised me to 3H. Now, we've impressed upon Dan that an intervening bid relieves the onus of being forced to respond to the takeout, so he passed. I passed as well (no sense talking about clubs, and raising to game is risky as my partner's weak... we might have two heart losers and three side-suit losers, although that's unlikely, so 3 is a safe bet). Then Paul decided to bid 4C. I was surprised to hear that, as was Paul S., who was watching from the sidelines. Mike passed, Dan passed, and it was up to me. Paul had takeout doubled, so his other suits were probably decent, and I had no defense in either of the unbid suits. It was natural to pass, and Mike brilliantly led the jack of hearts, which pulled the ace from the board. We had a few tricks, including one of spades and one of diamonds, and Paul led a low club from the board on which I should have gone up with the king and forced him to use the ace, giving our side an extra trick. But I was stupid and played "second hand low", letting him win with the seven. I think we ended in my hand with the queen of diamonds, and I led another club. Mike shook his head at that one, but when Paul led another good diamond, I ruffed and led out my clubs, pulling the last from Paul's hand. At that point, I had nothing but good hearts in my hand, good for a total of nine tricks for our side. Off six. It turns out that Paul wanted Dan to respond in diamonds over 4C, but Dan had three clubs, four diamonds (I believe), and three points. Were I Dan, I'd have passed four clubs just as quickly. My partner, the aggressive bidder, has named a suit preference (or so it sounds to me), and I don't have the points or the length to change suits at the four level. And note that had I doubled the clubs, Paul would switch to diamonds, which they can make without a problem or be no worse than off one... I get two club tricks, and Mike probably gets whichever side suit trick he actually got. They also got into a game contract in spades which Mike doubled and Dan redoubled, and they were off one... a risky maneuver on Mike's part. So we came out on top again today, but Paul's right... it's not really as much fun when we're so far ahead. But we're not going to take his advice and pass out every hand... we bid as we always do and go for the best score we can get.
Yow... I think that's as long as most of my entries right there. But it's a point I felt really needed to be made. It's an ironclad rule for Bridge players! Speaking of which, no Gatekeepers today because I wanted to watch the Family Guy marathon and play Dark Cloud 2. I've completed all four buildings of Luna Lab, and it just remains to gather more Geostones and figure out exactly what conditions I fulfilled to do that. ^_^ (I sort of remember, so I'm building the town to the standards I think it will eventually need to be.) Still building up weapons... I turned my wrench into the Cubic Hammer, so I'll have to build up a new wrench later and shoot for better wrenches instead, but the hammer's good. It's Durable. The gun, on the other hand, is getting nowhere, and I've got three of those suckers to build up. Hmmm... hard to do when the gun I've got doesn't even damage most of the enemies this far into the game. Good thing I've got the Jurak Gun, a nice powerful laser I can use to do the damage and let my Bell Trigger get the ABS. Also got a bunch of neat new pictures and a few inventions, mostly stuff for Steve. Actually, all stuff for Steve. And it will take an enormous amount of steel to build any of them. I bought about 1000 Gilda worth and used it all to build housing at the beach, so I'm tapped out.
Looking at this entry, I bet it appears pathetically short, but click one of those cuts and you'll see the incredible effort that went into it.