Today's Bridge: A very close rubber, mainly because of some mistakes by both sides. Steve was my partner and raised a few suits of less than optimal power to game, but we made one of those and the other was overcalled. Here was the bidding (Dan's East, and I'm South as always). Allow me to explain - I had 4 points, but five diamonds to the king. That's why I jumped in at the third round, after my second pass indicated less than 6 points.
S W N E
P P 1S P
P 2C 2D 3C
3D P 4S 5C
Paul would have done a spit take at that last bid had he been drinking. As it was, he just gasped and pretended to fall out of his chair, which was an appropriate reaction. Turns out their club holding wasn't very good, and they were off three. But we wouldn't have made 4S either. I was hoping Steve would either leave it at 3D or even raise to 4D if he was that confident. Paul had a long spade suit on that hand. He also had 6 hearts when we bid a heart contract, and there was no way to make it. But I think the hand we went down three tricks on was a 2NT contract which I only bid to deny partner's suits. We had a bit of power, but no fit anywhere, and Paul had 16 points and never had a bid. The last hand was also interesting... I'd just made us a 3S contract rather brilliantly, and Paul was berating himself for what he thought was bad play, but I had the contract at that point no matter what given the lay of the cards. Well, here's the end of that hand first. I was missing the K-J-x of spades, and I had S A-x-x-x C K-x-x in my hand and C x-x-x D K-Q (both good) S Q-x in dummy. My lead. Paul always said before to play for the drop if you're missing three to the king, but Mom's Bridge book said that Goren advises against it. (EDIT: So I thought, but he says that's not what he says... he says... well, however many "says"es there are supposed to be.) So I led a low spade, and Paul went up with the jack instead of the king. I covered with the queen, and Dan's last spade fell, so I ran the K-Q of diamonds, sluffing my two club losers. Paul trumped the second one with the king and returned a club, which I took with the king and claimed. Or perhaps it was a heart which I trumped in dummy and then a club to the king... I forget. His suggested line was going up with the king of spades, at which I play low from dummy, keeping the queen as an entry. When he leads a club, I win with the king and play a low spade to the queen, pulling the lone jack, and cash the diamond honors to sluff my club losers. Anyway, back to the final hand. I had, I believe, S K-x-x H 9-x-x D A-x-x C A-Q-x-x. That's exactly 13 points, and it was my open. Here's how the bidding went:
S W N E
1C P 1H P
1NT 2C 2D P
P* 2NT 4H AP
We ended up making six, and had he run a finesse for the heart queen, we would have made all seven tricks. He had something like S A-? H A-K-J-x-x D K-Q-? C K-? - Maybe more honors or something. Definitely enough points for a jump raise and a solid heart suit. I starred my pass after his 2D, which was technically a forcing bid, but I thought he was much weaker than he turned out to be and I had nothing to bid above 2D. I should probably have bid 3D just to keep it open, but that was too high when he had minimal support... I was choosing diamonds over hearts at the lowest possible level, since we had 90 points below the line already. As it turns out, it would have played well in diamonds as well, but hearts was worth just enough for a 20-point victory for our side. Here's how Paul and I agreed the bidding should have gone:
S W N E
1C P 2H P
2NT P 3D P
3H P 3S P
4C P 4NT P
5H P 5NT or 6H
We end up in slam anyway, most likely, but the grand slam hinged only on the winning finesse. The 3H from me indicates that I do indeed have 3-card heart support, and with his five and monster hand, he starts cue-bidding controls, and the Blackwood shows that I have both missing aces, so slam is more or less given. Oh well.
Had fun at the mall today. I bought some batteries for the PS2 DVD remote and future battery have-age, an optical mouse for the good desktop (so the old mouse goes to the chairtop), the A/V Y-connector so my Gamecube will have both sound channels again, and Sailor Moon season 1 uncut. I also preordered the Utena Revelations boxed set... that IS the first thirteen episodes, right? Anyone know? I'll find out soon enough either way.
Oh, and I finally published GTP chapter 19 officially. You can see it at my website or FFnet, and FFML subscribers already have it.
Two late nights in a row, and yet I wasn't much more tired today than usual. I can only hope that's a good sign. Maybe too much sleep is a bad thing.