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Today's Bridge: It was my turn to bid contracts that I had no business playing, but my opponents were generous and my skills were up to the task. The first hand was S x-x-x H 10 D A-x C A-K-J-8-x-x-x, which I felt was more than worth a 1C opener. Anna responded 1NT, indicating precisely 3-3-3-4 distribution, and Ken cut in with 2H. Given my singleton in his suit and our combined 11 trump, I jumped straight to 5C based on the Law of Total Tricks. With the obvious heart opening lead, Anna laid down S x-x H x-x D K-J-10-x-x C Q-10-9-x - not quite the distribution I was expecting, but it was the right number of trump and just as much power as I could expect. Ken took the ace of hearts and then tried the king, giving me a chance, but I still had to set up the diamonds with some delicacy. Clubs split 1-1, but it didn't matter, since I crossed to dummy with a second round to lead the jack of diamonds, placing Ken with the queen for his bid. He covered, so the rest was simple. I navigated the 4-2 diamond split to discard two spades and make the contract. Dan tried 2H in the next hand, but the 5-2 trump fit didn't help him and despite a non-targeted defense, we set the contract by one. My next hand was S A-Q-8-x-x H K-x D A-Q-10 C A-K-9, which was just enough for a 2C opening. Anna predictably responded 2D, so I bid 2S. She bid 3C, which seemed like a reasonable trump suit, but as usual with distributed power and a fit in a minor, I felt 3NT was the best contract. She had S J-9-x H A-x D J-x-x C 10-7-x-x-x, which makes 4S look like a decent contract, and we might have had the ten of spades, which would have given me nine tricks after forcing out the king of spades. I don't remember. I took the opening heart lead in hand to keep the dummy entry and cashed the top clubs, finding Ken with four to the Q-8. So I led the nine, hoping to set up the last two clubs, but Ken thought about it and dropped the eight under it - a great move, in my opinion, since it means I need two dummy entries to establish that last club trick. I had to guess which king Dan had, and tried a spade to the jack. When it held, I could clear the clubs, win Ken's spade return, and cross to dummy for the rest of the tricks I needed. Later, I got to open 2S with S K-10-x-x-x-x H A D x-x C K-10-7-3, and Anna raised me to 3S (even though Ken had already passed) with S Q-x H K-J-x D Q-x-x-x C A-Q-4-2. Not bad, but I think the bid is either 4S or pass. Dan started with the six of clubs, and while I wanted to let it run to my hand for the free finesse, I went up with the queen to see whether Ken had the five. He played it, so I knew Dan wasn't starting a high-low. I unblocked the ace of hearts, then led a low club, which Dan ruffed. At least he was only ruffing a loser. Then he inexplicably led the queen of hearts, letting me jettison both of my diamonds. A low spade to my ten held, and I led back to the queen, under which Ken threw the jack, leaving him with just the ace. I cashed my two clubs and conceded the ace of trump for an overtrick. Ken ended with a 3H where I think Anna had a cunning deceptive play available in trump. Ken led a low trump, and she jumped right up with the queen. I'd bid during the auction, so he was planning to finesse through my hand, which would have given her the queen and an opportunity to lead me a spade to ruff. All Ken had to do was ruff higher than my six to make the contract, but it would have given him an opportunity to make a mistake, which is the best you can do sometimes. Still, it was a solid day for us and I enjoyed it throughout.

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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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