• eBulletins

View from the bottom

Posted by Rakesh Kumar on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 at 23:55

I nearly didn't write this column -- I couldn't think of a good reason why anyone would want to read the ravings/reflections/excuses of someone doing as badly as yours truly. Yes, I think I'm still having fun, but after today's mishaps I'm not quite so certain about it ...

Anyway, here's a relatively brief comment about a hand worthy of ravings and reflection -- board 34 from Round 9 (E dealer, NS vul):

The usual story with this hand was that NS reached a contract of 4 after a weak jump overcall of 2 by West. This typically came to a sorry end as the defence got their ruffs going, with EW scoring +200 or even +300.

The potentially successful contract is 3NT by North, which we somehow managed to reach. The catch is what to do after J, ducked by West and taken with the queen, diamond to the queen taken by West with the ace, then A and a small heart to declarer's king. I played A and then K, dropping the queen. What next?

If East has falsecarded with QJx then a third spade solves the problem. If East has 4 clubs and West has 3, then 4 rounds of clubs will endplay East in diamonds, even if s/he does have the third spade. But if East has 5 clubs and QJx then playing clubs first will simply ensure that I go off. Similarly if West has 4 clubs, then playing the top club honours will be suicidal. Is West 3-6-1-3, 2-6-2-3, 2-6-1-4, 2-6-3-2 or what?

Too many alternatives, too much to think about, one inevitable outcome -- I got it wrong. There are days when this game is altogether too tough for me. This was surely one of them.

The only other pair to reach 3NT in the Seniors' also went down, whereas both pairs who played in 3NT in the Open got it right, which probably means something. The one pair in the ANC Swiss who found their way to this contract was also successful. No one played 3NT in Stage 2 of the Women's. I'm not sure if that means anything at all!