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Today's Bridge: Usually, the rule is that the higher your bid, the fewer tricks you'll make. "Bid 4, make 6; bid 6, make 5" is the way it usually turns out. But when Dan C. got confused about Kevin's attempt to close in 5C, they ended up in 7C, and Paul and I took the first three tricks simply because it made sense to cash my ace of hearts and cross to his ace of diamonds and king of hearts. Had the bid been 5C, I doubt we would have found that precise defense, and anything else (including trying to cash a third heart or a second diamond) would give Kevin time to sluff losers and take eleven tricks. As it was, the 800 was a big swing, and then we made two games - I opened 1NT on S A-Q-x-x H Q-10-x-x D K-9-x C A-x, which is a point short of our 16-18 agreed range, but if I start at 1D, I don't think we'll ever catch up. Paul had S x-x H A-K-x D A-J-x-x C J-10-9-x, so he took me right to game. Kevin had all the power to my right, so when the nine won the opening diamond lead, I cashed the king (dropping his queen), then crossed to the jack (on which Kevin threw a heart), won the spade finesse, and cashed hearts - when the ten set up, I ended up with eleven tricks. The next hand was a 19-point monster with five spades, so I opened 1S and jumped Paul's 2S response to game. It wasn't too difficult. Finally, I had S A-10-x-x-x-x H 8 D K-Q-x C A-x-x, so when Dan opened 1C and Kevin responded 1D, I bid 1S, Dan bid 2H, Paul doubled, and Kevin bid 3C, I felt safe bidding 3S. Paul needed to have some power and presumably a couple of spades in case I needed to take out his double. Kevin doubled me, and all Paul offered me was S K-6 H J-10-9-x-x D x-x-x-x C J-x. Kevin took the opening diamond lead and returned a diamond. I ran a low club to the jack and king, and I believe Kevin switched to a heart. Dan took the first one and led a second, which I ruffed. I cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed my last one, then cashed the king of spades and ruffed a heart back to my hand. Cashing the ace of spades brought down two of them, leaving only the queen out, so I conceded it and claimed the rest, making the contract exactly. I was pleased with that.

Less pleasing was the rest of the day - I was tired most of the work day, but thanks to another early start, I got home with plenty of time. There was a head-on collision on the way home, but the emergency vehicles had just shown up - they were setting out flares when I passed. My guest needed medication, but couldn't find their ID, and when I went across town to get some from the 24-hour CVS, they were out of it. There's been a severe shortage of it lately. Anyway, I managed to record a take of Psychonauts commentary and use up the long-expired chicken curry I had, so it worked out for me. Less so for my guest, but we'll try again tomorrow. Perhaps it would make sense to call first.

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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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