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May 14th, 2018

It's always sad to miss an easy slam

Today's Bridge: Ken rejoined us today, and I think he was a bit excited, because he made some highly aggressive bids. He made 4H with an overtrick on an overcall so thin it was two-dimensional (the distributions of the two hands were a perfect fit), then tried to shift Anna out of a 3C opening on 4-4-5-0 distribution with even less power. Granted, a trump void doesn't look great, but first rule of holes: When you're in one, stop digging. Even worse, I had K-6-5-3-2 of trump, and Dan's spades were just good enough that I could throw away my Q-x of hearts. Anna led hearts at me rather than pulling trump, and I had plenty of diamonds to exit with, forcing her each time while I scored my baby trumps. We ended up making their contract - off five vulnerable, which I couldn't double since it was obvious that Ken had places to try to escape to. Dan opened the next hand 1D, and I had no diamonds and five points. I made a disciplined pass, and he ended up off one - the opponents missed a decent contract with a diamond fit. I finally ended up with a decent hand - S A-8-5-4-2 H K D 4-2 C A-K-x-x-x. Not great, but opposite Dan's 1C opener, it was worth a positive 1S response. He jumped straight to 4S, which could only be a closeout, and while I wanted to look for a slam, that was an obvious discouragement. He didn't mean it - he had S K-J-6-3 H A-Q-x D A-Q-J-x-x C 3, which is worth exploring with in my opinion even with not much more than the minimum. If he supports with 2S, I cue-bid 3C-3D-4C, and whether he bids diamonds or hearts, I jump to slam. Even if we're missing the ace of hearts, it should be a fine contract. As it is, we're likely to lose a spade and that's it. Ken led the seven of spades to Anna's nine and my ace. (No point ducking at this point, I think. If I'm going to lose a trump, I can afford to lose it later.) I unblocked the king of hearts, then cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed a club. Cashing the king of spades brought a club from Ken, so I threw both of my diamonds on the hearts and a club on the ace of diamonds, then ruffed a diamond, ruffed the little club with the jack, and ruffed another diamond. I led the good king of clubs, and whether Anna ruffed with the queen and promoted my last trump or let me have the king, the slam we failed to bid was made. I had a 1C hand of my own, balanced and 16 for a 1NT rebid, but Ken doubled me and Dan responded 1NT, showing 8-10 balanced. I invited game with 2NT, but he passed that, and still missed by two while trying to set up an eighth trick. Other than missing the slam, we didn't do too badly, and I'm sure we're very out of practice by this point. I've been practicing with Vu-Bridge, but I don't think anyone else spends much time outside of our lunch games keeping up their skills.

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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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