Today's Bridge: Jerry and I teamed up against Dan H. and Ken, so we were playing Precision all around. Ken made some probably ill-advised overcalls, but we still made 2NT before setting their next contract. The 2NT was fairly interesting: I had S A-9-x H Q-9 D K-x-x-x-x C J-x-x, so over Jerry's 1H opener, I bid 1NT. Ken jumped in here with 2S, and Jerry and Dan passed. I didn't want to let it go there, and I figured 2NT would be off one at most, so I bid it. Jerry had S 10-x H A-K-8-x-x D 10-x-x C A-10-9 or so. I put the ten on the opening spade lead, drawing Dan's queen, and he led back a low one, which I ducked to Ken's jack. He declined to clear the suit and instead led a heart to Dan's ten and my queen. I went ahead and cashed the ace and king, finding a 3-3 split, which gave me the additional tricks I needed to make eight. (I'd counted four hearts, but the split gave me all five.) However, I realized that I had no entries to my hand for the ace of spades, and didn't want to give the opponents the chance to get rid of their spades. So I left the hearts where they were (I still had the ace of clubs as an entry) and exited with a diamond. Ken took the trick, cashed the ace of diamonds, and led his king of spades, giving me exactly what I needed. If he leads a club, I can safely duck at least once - the worst that can happen is that Dan covers and leads a diamond through. I'm playing for split club honors at that point - unless Dan has both, I'll get the jack of clubs for an entry or a second club in dummy to replace the ace of spades that I can't cash. Ken will have to lead either a diamond or a spade eventually, I'm sure. After that, the opponents underbid a game, and we finished ours. We then missed a 2NT when Jerry misplayed the hearts - he had Q-9 in dummy and K-x-x-x in his hand, and chose to run the nine when he only needed one trick from the suit. I think he was afraid of the opponents running spades, but he ran the nine around to the unsafe hand anyway. Finally, I picked up S 9-x H Q-J-x-x-x-x-x D Q-10-9 C 10, so I opened 3H - very thin, but it worked out, because Dan doubled and Ken bid 3S. Jerry, who had passed the first round, now came in with 4D, but Dan bid 4S, and there they played. It would have been an interesting hand if, after cashing the ace of diamonds and finding dummy with S A-Q-10-x H A-K-10-x-x D 7 C K-Q-x, Jerry had gone ahead and cashed the ace of clubs. Then he can give me a club ruff, I can give him a heart ruff, and a second club ruff leads to a second heart ruff, likely with his king. That's off three. But he switched to a low club to Ken's jack. Ken ran the jack of spades, then led a low one and oddly chose to go up with the ace. That's only a winning play if I had precisely K-x of spades and chose to hold up rather than take the king and lead my low spade to cut down on diamond and heart ruffs. He cashed the ace and king of hearts, throwing a club, then led the ten of hearts, which I covered, and he ruffed. He ruffed a diamond to dummy, then ruffed another heart, and finally led a club to Jerry's ace. Jerry cashed the king of spades to pull the last one from dummy and had two diamonds to cash for off two. I think Jerry's complete hand was S K-x-x D A-K-J-x-x-x C A-J-x-x, in which case 4D actually makes. On any lead other than trump, it's easy - there are no entries for Ken to lead a spade through. A spade sets up the king for an overtrick, but Dan wouldn't lead spades from that holding. Jerry wins a club or heart in hand and can easily crossruff to get nine diamond tricks. On a trump lead, he basically has to play for either opponent to hold K-Q-x of clubs and ruff the two little clubs to set up the jack, then pull trump. It works as the cards lie. And while I said at the table that if he were going to bid 4D, he should have done it the first time around, I would likely have bid again, whereas by passing the first time and coming in the second time, I would have passed and we would have found a good contract.
Today's Work: I spent a few hours trying to solve a problem that doesn't seem to have existed in the first place, as far as I can tell. There's something I want to investigate, but I'm not greatly concerned with it. It's just a theory I have. We've also got a lot of administrative work to do to wrap up the last sprint and get this one kicked off. It's tough to get people to do it.
The commute was a mess - the tire pressure light came on yet again, undoubtedly because it's gotten warm again, so I had to let out some air after work, while it was pouring rain and the wind was blowing pretty hard. I think I let out too much from one tire, because the light came on again, but I didn't want to pull over and mess with it. That means I'll have to whip out the pump tomorrow, so I need to get everything done as quickly as possible. Going to bed soon would help with that. Maybe.