Today's Bridge: It was Steve's last day, on borrowed time, and he was my partner. We did pretty well, sweeping the first rubber despite closing at game in a hand that turned out to make a grand slam when the opponents failed to start by cashing their single diamond winner: I had H A-Q-x-x-x-x D Q C A-Q-x-x-x-x or so, and Steve had S A H K-J-x-x-x D x-x-x-x C K-J-x. The opening lead was a spade, upon which I threw my queen of diamonds, and I was able to lay down the hand. We finished when I committed a Bridge no-no and overbid a hand. All I had was S A-Q-6-4-3-2 D A-10-x C Q-x-x-x or thereabouts. I bid 2S in fourth seat over the opponents' 1H-2H, then bid 3S and 4S over their continued heart bids. Grossly overbid, especially vulnerable, but it wasn't doubled, and Steve turned out to have S J-x-x H x-x-x-x D Q-9-8-x-x C K - so it surprises me that HE didn't bid 4S over Keith's 4H. That's a hand for it. I ruffed the opening heart lead and led a club, drawing the ace. Keith led a diamond, and Mike played the jack, so I covered with the ace, cashed the queen of clubs, ruffed a club low, ruffed a heart low, and ruffed my last club with the jack, drawing Mike's king. Mike led a spade, naturally, so I took it with the queen, counted quickly, and pulled the last trump with the ace. That gave me good diamonds once I'd pulled the king, and a single trump to get back into my hand to cash the rest of them. Mike advised Keith that a spade lead would have been much more effective than a heart lead after taking the ace of clubs, although it gives me a free finesse. However, with Mike's K-10-9 of spades, I think he's guaranteed a spade trick unless he leads one, and his only entry is the spade winner that he'll get. Still... I'm pretty sure they had a way to set my contract. Eventually, we ended up in a 3NT contract that was reasonable, but the opponents got five heart tricks off the bat by leading through Steve's K-x... we had a lovely diamond suit, and a reasonable chance at making 6D, although I'm pretty sure we had 5 in the bag, and with 2H already below the line, we only needed 3D or 1NT. Still, the auction started with a 1D from Steve, and with S 3 H 8-x-x D J-10-x-x C A-K-10-x-x, I responded 1NT. He raised to 2S, I bid 3C (figuring he was pretty powerful for his bid), and he went to 3NT. His hand was S A-K-x-x H K-x D A-K-Q-x-x C x-x, which is why I prefer a 3D bid from him, to which I'll respond 4D and he can bid 4NT for Blackwood. When I respond 5D with one ace, he can leave me there or raise to 6D. Since he's declarer, the king is a guaranteed stopper if they start with hearts, and it's a laydown from there. If they don't lead hearts, then we need to set up a club from my hand to sluff the extra heart - easy with a 2-2 diamond split or a 3-3 club split, but failing either of those, I don't think it works. I tried, but after a long analysis, I think we're short of winners. We can set up the club and get to the board to cash it, but we can't lead a diamond to force the last diamond out because we need all of them for transportation. We just have to lead a heart from the board and hope Keith has the ace, which he doesn't. Still, with that good a chance, I want to be playing a slam.
Someone at Taco Bell asked me whether my friend with the crutches was okay. Sure, I'm a regular and usually show up with my brother, but he's never used crutches. Maybe she confused me for someone else because I shaved.
I've spent the evening working on FCM, avoiding naming the dying girl so far... she'll introduce herself eventually, I'm sure.