Today's Bridge: Mike was my partner, and we played against Dan and Paul S. We totally kicked butt in the first rubber, although we didn't do as well as we might have. Our first game was a pair of partscores, the first with enough overtricks to make the full game, but no way we could bid them. We also got set four tricks on a diamond bid when I opened light and Dan bid up to 3H. I explained the third seat weak opening to Mike for that one after we tried to play a hand with only seven trump between us and not nearly enough points to make the difference. Of course, I threw away a trick by not playing for the king of trump to drop once there were only two out, but the side-suit splits were all horrible, giving them a crossruff before I had the chance to pull trump. After that, I had a 19 point hand with seven hearts to the A-K-Q-10... couldn't argue with that. I bid 1H, Mike responded 2D (where I had the lone jack), and I saw no choice but to bid 3NT. 3H would also have worked, but I figured we had game in the bag. Turns out we had a small slam in the bag, with every honor but the queen of diamonds and the ace of clubs, and the diamond queen was onside for the finesse. Even when I flubbed by leading the queen of clubs, having forgotten that the ace was still out there, it turned out not to matter. Had I gone ahead and sluffed the losing clubs on winning cards from dummy, Dan would have gotten the queen of diamonds at the end. So it's a shame we couldn't bid the slam, but I had a singleton and Mike had two. So we went on to a second rubber, where they made 3H with an overtrick and we made 3S without one (Mike tossed the wrong card on the second to last trick and threw away the winner from dummy), so for the final hand, it was winner take all. I had another strong hand with six hearts to the A-K-J and plenty of points. So I opened 1H, and Mike responded 2C, a suit where I held A-9-x-x. Paul S. bid 2D, and I had a low singleton diamond, so I bid 4C to show the strength of my hand and the club fit. Then Dan bid 4D, and Mike had to pass. When it came around to me, I bid 4H and left the choice of the final contract up to Mike. Dan doubled, so Mike went to 5C, and Dan doubled that as well. Turns out that Mike had three hearts, so we were better off in hearts, although the queen was offside for the finesse. So we had a guaranteed heart loser and a guaranteed diamond loser, as well as a probable club loser, which Mike gave them inadvertently. He had K-10-x-x, Dan (to my left) had Q-x-x, and Paul S. had the J-x. What Mike needed to do was start in dummy and lead the 9 (which he did on the SECOND club trick), and if Dan covers with the queen, go up with the king and lead to the ace for the jack drop, leaving the 10 high to pull the last outstanding club. After doing that, even though we were missing four hearts to the queen, we need to either finesse or simply lead the jack and accept the queen loser, because if we play for the drop and it fails (as it would), the outstanding queen would cover the last board entry. So run the jack, and if it wins, great. Cash the A-K and collect the long hearts. Otherwise, you've still got a trump on the board and a diamond void to get back to the remaining hearts. However, if Dan holds the queen of clubs on that first club trick, then we can't avoid losing a club. Either way, we make 4 easily, so 4H was the correct contract. Having 3 hearts, he should have left the contract in hearts doubled, and if our club play draws out the queen early, we get an overtrick... but in that case, we'd have to run the finesse the other way, because Mike would be dummy. Works about the same, though... the 10 from dummy, and if Paul covers, I go up with the ace and run the 9 back to dummy's king, or if Dan ducks, finesse, then use the king to drop the queen. I forget who had the 8, so Dan might get a club trick if we do it that way. Still, that's part of our plan. So we lost the rubber, but we had fun, which is the important part, because the rest of the day was deadly dull. But I learned that I've actually had my secret clearance for a while, and was just never told because it wasn't important. Now it is, because of my possible upcoming trip to a classified facility, so there's a lot of paperwork to be done in advance. So that was a bit of excitement... such as it is.
I watched a few more episodes of Trouble Chocolate today... hilarious stuff, truly. The translators went for language-based humor over authenticism, which is unfortunate, but I can't complain too much because it works. I will have to rewatch the sixth episode, though, and try to catch the Japanese puns. They're CLOSE to the translations given, but obviously different. Then I finally got to work cleaning up that contest chapter, and I'm more than halfway through now, although I'm hoping to expand this scene a bit because I feel like I really rushed it the first time. Less than a month left before the deadline, but I'm not concerned. As always, I'll have a great chapter ready in time, and I have my eye on one of those prizes... looking forward to it. Even if I don't win, it's more exposure for an original story. That can't be bad.
Cacao used the Cat-Fist! Counter with BOOBIES OF POWER! (Hey, it's better than those crappy puns.)