Nidoking (nidoking) wrote,

I'm sure it's a bonny country and all that.

Today's Bridge: It was my first time playing after re-reading the Learn to Play Winning Bridge book, and it gave me an interesting perspective on the game. I jumped in the first auction with S J-x-x-x H J-10-8-7-x-x D x C x-x - my partner opened 1S and Paul overcalled 2D. I thought my distribution covered a jump to 4S pretty well, even with almost no power at all. Unfortunately, Dan H. took that as a slam invitation and bid Blackwood. Our 5S contract wasn't doubled, but he established my hearts while he still had entries to my hand and then didn't run them, instead giving the opponents another club trick for off two. The opponents went off three in the next hand - I had plenty of power but no good suits to bid, so without support from my partner, I had to leave the opponents in 2S. Dan H. noticed that I high-lowed my clubs, but didn't take an early heart trick to feed me a ruff. It worked out, though, because Paul left A-K-Q-J-x of diamonds on the board and voided himself of trump while letting me win with the jack, whereupon we ran our long hearts and clubs. It wasn't a great contract, but it really shouldn't have fared that poorly. I had a few rough 4S hands, both distinctly sacrifices, but I managed to make one. In the first, the opponents cashed two diamond tricks, and then the ace of hearts and king of clubs, while Dan C. spent the whole contract tutting at Paul for not feeding him a diamond ruff. The thing I tried to explain to him after the hand was that Dan H. and I were both also void of diamonds, so had Paul led a diamond, I could ruff high in my hand and sluff the losing club from the board to make the contract. In the other, I opened 4S with S A-Q-J-10-x-x-x H K-10-x-x D Q C x. Dan H. had S 4 H J-9-x D K-x-x-x C K-Q-x-x-x or so. There should be no way to make this contract - I have three ace losers and no way to avoid losing the king of spades as the cards lie. But Dan C. started with the queen of hearts, which Paul overtook with the ace to lead the jack of clubs back to Dan's ace. Instead of leading a diamond, Dan followed with another heart, so I took the nine and ran the king of clubs to sluff my queen of diamonds. Thanks to the bridge book, I recognized that I could now afford a spade loser, so instead of bothering with the finesse, I just led to my ace and ran spades until Paul was left holding the singleton king. I also had a fascinating 1S hand. I had a very strong hand with A-K-x-x-x of spades, and Dan H. passed with a king and a jack and one spade. Worse, Dan C. had five spades, and I needed mine to cover a short suit. I managed to make the contract by throwing in to Dan C. when we each had three spades, his all higher than mine. He pulled mine, but I'd cleared one of the side suits, so he was leading to my D A-J C K, with only the queen of diamonds outstanding to be able to cover any of those. I needed all of the tricks, and sadly, he led a club, but he also had the singleton queen of diamonds, allowing me to make the contract.

Work today was not fun. I had to spend most of the morning dealing with the same problem from last week, most of the afternoon preparing as best I could to take the rest of the afternoon off, and the whole time wondering what will become of the project as a result. I don't look forward to work tomorrow, where I expect to take a lot of flak for having left early, but it was worth it. My youngest brother came to town today and brought bagels and lox - the good stuff, from New Jersey. That was dinner. We watched Wreck-It Ralph and portions of In Time, and we exchanged gifts - he got me a Best Buy gift card, and I got him a set of taco bowl pans. I may head up to Indy this weekend to spend a bit more time with him before he heads home. It was rather convenient, though, being able to copy a video file onto a CD to hand to him in person instead of having to send it over Skype. I should do that more often. Except, of course, for the traveling to Ireland.

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