The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, February 19, 2007


Last May I played bridge with my wife in the Monterey Sectional. Last October I played a session with my friend Joel at the San Jose Sectional. Today I played a team game with Joel, Brian, and Scott at a regional in Santa Clara.

Scott and I get a chance to play Caroline Club about once a year, so of course we spent several hours discussing, in person, over the phone, and via email, several intricate changes to the system. We did not have any disasters, but we did not use the system much either.

We won our first match, but our next four matches were a narrow win and three blitzes. We had 27 victory points out of a possible 100. The next two matches were kinder and we finished with 62. (Naturally I was named captain so it was my name on the leaderboard that was defaced with these poor results.)

Some quick notes, in the form of awards:

Winner, Sticks and Wheels Self-Immolation Award: That would be me, for perpetrating the following auction at unforavorable with SKJT2 HQT65 DQ CJT87

P[1] - P - P - 1C
P - 1D - X[2]

[1] Scott opens all hands with 10 or more points, so I know it's the opponents' hand
[2] Entries for the W,SaWSIA are closed for 2007

LHO pulled out the 2N card, then saw my double and his eyes got very wide. A blue card hit the table. Pass, pass to me. I bid 1S and LHO struck that. He led a high club and partner displayed:

S97x H9xx DTxxx C9xx

Wow. Look at all those nines.

But I managed to wriggle out for -500, winning 10 imps when Brian scored up six diamonds.

Winner, Avoidance Play Made When Tired And Not In Contention

At the end of a very wearying day we played our final match against our friends Len and Jo, who were at the other table. At our table was the expert Richard Meffley of Fresno. I held S9xxx HJT DQx CKJxxx. I passed, Scott opened 1D, I responded 1S, he raised to 2 and it was passed out. I told the opponents that his raise showed a balanced minimum, but Scott pointed out that he had a 15-17 hand since we play 12-14 notrumps in 3rd and 4th. As I said, it had been a long day.

Meffley led a heart, here are the two hands:

SAQ87 HAQ9x DJT9 CAx

S9xxx HJT DQx CKJxxx

I ducked and won the heart in hand. That meant I had only two side-suit losers, the top diamonds. I wanted to pull trumps, but not have the opponents pull all my trumps if they broke 4-1. So I led to the ace of spades and then led low from dummy. This would leave me with Qx left if either opponent had four spades. My caution was rewarded when RHO had KJTx; he could not attack spades so I made two on the nose.


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