Main     Match 7L28 by Richard Pavlicek    

Goldway Challenge '99

These 25 deals were were played on February 18, 1999 in "Goldway XX" — the 20th in a series of monthly challenge matches on OKbridge. World champions Bobby Goldman and Paul Soloway (nicknamed "Goldway" as a pair) took on my son Rich and me. The match was hosted by Tony Reuss and watched live by hundreds of spectators. The deals were played earlier in the week by other OKbridge members to determine the comparison results. Scoring was by IMPs.

I have added comments about the bidding and play, as well as other interesting sidelights. Hopefully, this will provide instructive reading for anyone wishing to improve his or her bridge game. The match was close all the way and not decided until the last board.

NorthSouthWestEast
Paul SolowayBobby GoldmanRich PavlicekRichard Pavlicek

BoardContract/resultScoreIMPsNSEWParIMPsNSEW
15 H South +2+510+4.344.340+200+770
24 H East -1+50+1.525.860-420+10170
32 H× North -2-500-4.925.864.92-400-3173
41 NT North =+90+1.607.464.92-90+5223
51 NT West =-90-1.407.466.32-120+1233
62 D East +2-130-0.857.467.17-130Tie233
72 H South -1-50-1.327.468.49-90+1243
85 C× West -3+800+2.539.998.49+1400-122415
93 NT South =+400+1.1511.148.49+430-12416
103 H East =-140-1.4011.149.89-140Tie2416
113 D East +1-130-1.7911.1411.68-130Tie2416
125 D East -1+50+4.3115.4511.68-140+52916
131 NT West -1+50-0.4015.4512.08+120-22918
143 NT East +1-630-3.6115.4515.69-660+13018
155 D South =+600+3.5118.9615.69+620-13019
166 NT South +1+1020+0.8819.8415.69+1520-113030
174 H North =+420+0.7520.5915.69+420Tie3030
183 S South +1+170-1.8520.5917.54+620-103040
193 H South -1-50-1.9520.5919.49+100-43044
203 NT North -1-100-0.5620.5920.05+120-63050
214 S West +1-650-4.0320.5924.08+130-133063
222 H North -1-50-0.3320.5924.41-430+93963
234 S× West -1+100+0.5121.1024.41+300-53968
244 H South =+620+4.5425.6424.41+620Tie3968
254 S North -2-100-5.4125.6429.82+400-113979

25 avgFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North26435698011243283767841036836864836864414043803256624692736620572
South332444108412323284127161168836856836856410043523132620688728620576
West28439699211282843487481068832800832800376840721684544572512636664
East34852094410722602887721056832800832800378440241696548572520636664
Deal12281716400045561200142430204328166816641668166479248460495223362524249625122476

To DateMatchesWonLostTiedBoardsWonLostTied+IMPs–IMPsIMPs/bd
OKB IMPs220052292309781+0.31
Par IMPs22005224131516075+1.63

52 avgFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North30642994810923043567791033833852829854409843272904627696673610585
South315423109212313294047101152833848829850409243082954633692669610588
West28839899811312883547521069833815829819387941311852558563585644652
East36956596211132793157521098833821833821389441041873562567588644652
Deal12791815400045671200142929924352166516751662167780198462489623792519251525082477

F=Freakness  G=Generic  P=HCP  R=Rev points  C=Controls  Q=Quick halftricks  L=Losing tricks  Y=Playing halftricks
lf=Longest fit lm=Longest fit make bf=Best fit bm=Best fit make H=Highest make (31=1C, 45=3N, 49=4S, 65=7N)
O=On-lead highest make  B=Best score/10 M=Notrump make sm=S make hm=H make dm=D make cm=C make


Rich
West
3 NT
Pass
Paul
North
4 S
Pass
Richard
East
5 C
Pass
Bobby
South
5 H
Board 1
E-W Vul
S A J 10 9 8 7 5
H 9 8 4 3
D 10 4
C
Trick
1 W
Lead
S 6
2nd
5
3rd
2
4th
K
W L
1 0
S 6
H 6
D Q 9 8
C A K Q 10 9 8 6 2
TableS 2
H J 10
D A K J 6 5 2
C J 7 4 3
S K Q 4 3
H A K Q 7 5 2
D 7 3
C 5
NS +4.34  NS 4.34 EW 05 H South +2+510 Par +200NS +7NS 7EW 0

LeadddH6DQD9CACTC6C2S6
Make111311111313131313
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North9205922713111111115465450111100
South69141746417111111115465450111100
West921111532417121112115165600001011
East69101234713121112115165600001011
Deal305940531214226023222322105130105022222022

Rich was a few minutes late and Tony Reuss filled in as West on the first deal, which was a wild one. Tony chose to open a gambling 3 NT with his eight solid clubs. This would not be my choice, nor is it part of the system Rich and I play. Bobby bid his long spade suit comforted by the vulnerability, and I competed to 5 C knowing partner's suit had to be clubs. Paul, holding the best hand at the table, must have wondered if we were playing from the same deck. He contented himself with 5 H, probably to get Bobby off to the right lead in the event Tony bid diamonds. This came around to me, and I let them buy it figuring we would surely be set in 6 C and might beat 5 H.

Tony led "our" singleton spade and Paul quickly claimed 13 tricks. Of course, we could have held it to five with a diamond lead. I wish now that I had pushed to 6 C (down only one) since it is almost certain that Paul would compete to 6 S, then I would be on lead (down one).


Rich
West

Dbl
Dbl
Paul
North
Pass
2 H
Pass
Richard
East
1 C
Pass
4 H
Bobby
South
1 S
2 S
All Pass
Board 2
None Vul
S A 4 3
H K Q 7 3 2
D 9 3
C 9 8 7
Trick
1 S
2 N
3 S
4 E
5 W
6 E
7 W
8 W
9 E
10 N
11 W
Lead
S 7
S 4
D 5
S Q
H J
C 2
D A
D Q
H 9
H 2
C 5
2nd
6
9
2
K
Q
10
3
H 3
S 5
8
9
3rd
A
J
9
H 6
A
K
C 3
H 5
4
S 8
A
4th
2
10
K
3
D 6
8
7
4
K
10
Q
W L
0 1
0 2
1 2
2 2
3 2
4 2
5 2
6 2
6 3
7 3
8 3
S 10 6
H J 10 6 4
D A Q 8 2
C K 6 5
TableS Q 9 2
H A 9 8 5
D K
C A J 4 3 2
S K J 8 7 5
H
D J 10 7 6 5 4
C Q 10
NS +1.52  NS 5.86 EW 04 H East -1+50 Par -420NS +10NS 17EW 0

LeadddSKSJS5DJD7CQCTS7234567891011
Make1010101010101010101010101010109999
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North22910348987873437847373
South9177101171487873434847373
West11101134810810810484842861058
East45141455713810810484842861069
Deal1625404512143046161716178285502426262523

This was a nasty one. Bobby's 2 H bid was artificial showing a constructive spade raise (only by coincidence did he have five hearts). When Rich doubled a second time showing a stronger negative double, I felt my values justified a shot at game. Four hearts is a fair contract but optimistic. So what else is new?

At Trick 5 it looked grim (to make 4 H Paul would need to have six diamonds) so I tried to cut my losses. At Trick 8 Bobby played too quickly and ruffed (a club discard ensures defeat) and I overruffed. Now I could make it if I cashed the C A, but I decided this couldn't be the case when he ruffed. I led a trump hoping to salvage the club finesse, but at the end I changed my mind.

I'm not happy with the way I played this hand, and in retrospect I probably should make it. After winning the H A, it is reasonable to play the C A and a club to the king. The miracle distribution is revealed when South's queen drops and I am home.


Rich
West

1 S
Pass
Paul
North

Pass
2 H
Richard
East
1 D
2 D
Dbl
Bobby
South
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Board 3
N-S Vul
S K 7
H A 8 7 3 2
D 10 9
C Q 7 3 2
Trick
1 E
2 E
3 W
4 E
5 S
6 N
7 E
Lead
S A
C 8
S 3
C 5
H 4
H 2
H 10
2nd
2
J
K
A
6
K
Q
3rd
10
K
H 5
6
A
9
C 4
4th
7
3
4
2
J
S 6
3
W L
0 1
0 2
0 3
1 3
2 3
2 4
3 4
S Q 10 9 6 3
H 6
D K 8
C K 10 9 6 4
TableS A
H K J 10 5
D A Q 7 6 5 4
C 8 5
S J 8 5 4 2
H Q 9 4
D J 3 2
C A J
EW +4.92  NS 5.86 EW 4.922 H× North -2-500 Par -400EW +3NS 17EW 3

LeadddHKHJH5DADQD7C8C5SA234567
Make6677666666666666
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North339113371086862828045634
South22910229886862828045624
West6881122612810810475240987109
East69141756516810810474740987109
Deal1722404912132746161616167580402626262526

We would have played a peaceful 2 D here, but Bobby chose an unfortunate time to balance with 2 H. He ran into a trump stack, and of course I doubled. It was not certain that I could beat 2 H, but Rich knew my hand was limited and could have pulled it to 3 D with poor defense. Anyway, it worked out well as we got most of our "money" back.

I was disappointed to find the H Q in dummy, but there was little Bobby could do to take advantage of it. Midway through the play he was well aware of the futility and claimed for down two. These are the kinds of hands you want to get out of your mind as quickly as possible.


Rich
West

Pass
Paul
North

1 NT
Richard
East

All Pass
Bobby
South
Pass
Board 4
E-W Vul
S A Q 7 2
H J 10 9
D A 4 2
C A J 8
Trick
1 E
Lead
S 10
2nd
3
S 6
H A Q 7 5 2
D K 10 8 5
C 7 5 3
TableS K J 10 9 5 4
H K 6 4
D Q
C 9 6 4
S 8 3
H 8 3
D J 9 7 6 3
C K Q 10 2
NS +1.60  NS 7.46 EW 4.921 NT North =+90 Par -90NS +5NS 22EW 3

LeadddSKS5HKH6H4DQC9C6C4ST
Make67766666667
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North0016176781187873236766577
South3368128987873236766577
West459113471187873538977765
East57992281187873538977765
Deal1215404512153142161416146774162626242624

The adverse vulnerability kept me silent here, and I suspect Rich too. Nonvulnerable, I would chance a 2 S overcall; and if I didn't, Rich would have balanced with 2 C (Astro showing hearts and a minor). As it was we both went quietly.

After my normal spade lead, Bobby immediately claimed seven tricks. On to the next hand..


TopMain

Rich
West
1 D
1 NT
Paul
North
1 S
Pass
Richard
East
Dbl
Pass
Bobby
South
Pass
Pass
Board 5
Both Vul
S Q J 7 5 4
H A 5
D 7 5
C A K 4 3
Trick
1 N
2 W
3 W
4 S
5 N
6 E
7 W
Lead
S 5
D A
D 4
H 6
H 5
D 9
D 8
2nd
2
5
7
3
K
10
S 4
3rd
9
3
J
A
2
K
S 3
4th
10
6
Q
4
9
C 3
S 6
W L
1 0
2 0
2 1
2 2
3 2
4 2
5 2
S K 10
H 9 3
D A K 8 4 2
C J 10 6 5
TableS A 8 3 2
H K 8 7 4
D J 9 3
C 7 2
S 9 6
H Q J 10 6 2
D Q 10 6
C Q 9 8
EW +1.40  NS 7.46 EW 6.321 NT West =-90 Par -120NS +1NS 23EW 3

LeadddSQS7HAH5D7D5CAC4S5234567
Make8888888888777777
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North3314165661477773334856746
South2278008877773334856747
West33111345712898942421286696
East11893398898942421286696
Deal99404612143042151615167576202624262625

This time it was our turn to play an unexciting 1 NT. Rich didn't have much for his opening bid, but it pays to get in the bidding first. After my negative double Rich might have rebid 2 C (we would then play in 2 D) but knowing I held hearts he chose 1 NT with his spade stopper.

There was not much to the play. As a technical point Rich should have unblocked the D 9 at Trick 2 in case Paul held Q-10-x-x, but it didn't matter with the diamonds 3-2.


Rich
West

1 S
Paul
North
Pass
Pass
Richard
East
1 D
2 D
Bobby
South
Pass
All Pass
Board 6
N-S Vul
S 8 7 5
H A Q J 2
D 10 9
C J 9 7 6
Trick
1 S
2 E
3 S
4 W
5 E
6 S
Lead
C 10
D Q
C 8
D 7
S 3
H 10
2nd
4
A
K
9
A
4
3rd
7
6
6
K
4
A
4th
A
10
2
5
5
6
W L
1 0
1 1
2 1
3 1
3 2
3 3
S K J 10 6 4
H 8 4
D 7 6
C K Q 5 4
TableS 3
H K 6
D K Q J 8 4 3 2
C A 3 2
S A Q 9 2
H 10 9 7 5 3
D A 5
C 10 8
EW +0.85  NS 7.46 EW 7.172 D East +2-130 Par -130TieNS 23EW 3

LeadddSASQS9S2HTH7H5H3DAD5C8CT23456
Make101011111110101010101010101010101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North1189239997973333835734
South3310134571197973333835734
West3391123712910910475013786108
East712131643515910910475013786108
Deal1419404912142847181718178083212026262624

A routine partscore in diamonds made this another forgettable hand. The only reason for the slight IMP gain is that a few E-W pairs must have overbid to hopeless games.

In my haste to get this trivial hand over with, I won the opening club lead in hand. It would be better to win the C K, saving the C A entry to my hand in case South held D A-x-x and held up his ace. As the cards lay, 10 tricks were cut and dried.


Rich
West

1 S
All Pass
Paul
North

1 NT
Richard
East
1 D
Pass
Bobby
South
Pass
2 H
Board 7
E-W Vul
S K J 10
H A 3 2
D A 8
C K J 9 5 3
Trick
1 W
2 S
3 W
4 E
5 E
6 N
7 N
8 N
9 S
10 N
Lead
D 2
C 4
S 5
S A
D 5
C K
H A
C 5
D 10
C 9
2nd
8
A
10
7
3
10
9
6
6
S 9
3rd
J
3
Q
3
4
D 9
4
H 5
H 2
H 6
4th
K
2
4
J
A
7
8
8
7
Q
W L
1 0
1 1
1 2
1 3
2 3
3 3
4 3
5 3
6 3
7 3
S 8 6 5 3
H Q 8
D 6 4 2
C A Q 8 7
TableS A Q 9
H K J 9
D Q J 7 5
C 10 6 2
S 7 4 2
H 10 7 6 5 4
D K 10 9 3
C 4
EW +1.32  NS 7.46 EW 8.492 H South -1-50 Par -90NS +1NS 24EW 3

LeadddS8S6S3HQH8D6D4CACQC8D2234567.. 910
Make77777788899888888887
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North2216176671387873338866766
South4535119887873338865766
West1188239877773539977577
East001313348977773535977566
Deal78404312143338151415146877172625242525

After Bobby's strong 1 NT overcall Paul signed off in 2 H. It is curious that they don't play transfers or "system on" here (like we do), yet they use transfers abundantly in other areas. I guess that's what keeps this game interesting; everyone has their own ideas about bidding theory.

This contract should make, and I suspect Paul's play of the C 9 at Trick 10 was a mismouse. This allowed me to sluff my remaining spade and now he had to go down one.


Rich
West

2 D
5 C
Paul
North

3 D
Dbl
Richard
East

Pass
All Pass
Bobby
South
1 S
4 S
Board 8
Both Vul
S 9 8 7
H A 8 7 5 3 2
D 3
C A 9 7
Trick
1 N
2 S
3 N
4 S
5 W
6 W
7 W
Lead
S 9
H 4
S 8
H K
C Q
D A
D K
2nd
10
Q
K
C 8
7
3
C 9
3rd
J
A
A
2
2
4
8
4th
5
9
2
J
S 3
2
7
W L
0 1
0 2
0 3
1 3
2 3
3 3
3 4
S 5 2
H Q
D A K 10 9 6 5
C K Q J 8
TableS K 10 6
H J 9
D 8 4
C 10 6 5 4 3 2
S A Q J 4 3
H K 10 6 4
D Q J 7 2
C
NS +2.53  NS 9.99 EW 8.495 C× West -3+800 Par +1400EW +12NS 24EW 15

LeadddHAH8H5H3D3CAC9C7S9234567
Make8888889888888888
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North578104481010121012596314311121265
South61113163451710121012596314311121265
West691516465161081083636911078
East464511981081083636911078
Deal21334047121527512020202095991522426242626

Finally, some more action! Bobby's 3 D cue-bid showed a limit spade raise (or better) and Paul jumped directly to game. Rich had to put up or shut up and decided to venture 5 C, a risky bid but not without its rewards. Bobby doubled to end the auction.

On the surface it looks like 5 C is a good sacrifice, down two against the cold N-S game; but the foul distribution in the minors doomed it to go down three. As the dummy, I was a little bemused by this; having never bid, I lay down six-card trump support for my partner, and he goes for 800. Hmm. Next time I'll try to have more.


TopMain

Rich
West
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Paul
North
Pass
2 C
3 D
Richard
East
1 H
Pass
Pass
Bobby
South
Dbl
2 S
3 NT
Board 9
None Vul
S 5
H J 6 4
D Q 10 6 2
C K 9 6 5 4
Trick
1 W
2 S
3 E
4 E
5 S
6 S
7 E
Lead
H 3
H 2
H 10
S J
C A
C 10
H A
2nd
4
8
7
A
7
2
S 2
3rd
9
J
5
7
4
5
C 8
4th
Q
K
6
5
3
J
D 2
W L
1 0
1 1
1 2
2 2
3 2
3 3
3 4
S 9 7 6 3
H 8 5 3
D J 9 8
C 8 7 2
TableS Q J 4
H A K 10 9
D 7 4 3
C Q J 3
S A K 10 8 2
H Q 7 2
D A K 5
C A 10
NS +1.15  NS 11.14 EW 8.493 NT South =+400 Par +430EW +1NS 24EW 16

LeadddS9S7S3H8H5DJD9C8C2H3234567
Make1010101010101010101010101010999
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North45681189711711525743101091110
South222022810515711711525743101091110
West00110012273731518033312
East0013133481073731518033312
Deal67404412153336141414146775432626242424

Bobby and Paul conducted a fine auction to reach the excellent game after my third-seat open. (We play five-card majors but in third or fourth seat it is common to open in a strong four-card major.) Especially note Bobby's insight to probe with 3 D over Paul's 2 S. Many North players would pass 2 S, but the modern style is that doubling and then bidding shows a very strong hand (typically 19+) because of the tendency to start with a simple overcall on many good hands.

Paul's line of play was curious. Obviously, he didn't want to commit to a possible diamond guess right away, so he won the H Q and led back a heart allowing me to run my suit. Nothing mattered here, but Rich's H 3 had to be from three cards or one (couldn't be a doubleton) so he would be set immediately if it were a singleton. As usual his table feel was right. Since I could cash only three hearts, he later was able to give up a club to increase his chances. Nine tricks were always there.


Rich
West

3 H
Paul
North
Pass
Pass
Richard
East
1 H
Pass
Bobby
South
1 S
Pass
Board 10
E-W Vul
S 3 2
H K 6 5 3
D K J 2
C 10 8 6 2
Trick
1 S
2 E
3 W
4 E
5 N
6 S
Lead
D 6
H J
H 4
H 2
S 3
S Q
2nd
3
Q
5
S 8
5
K
3rd
K
A
9
8
A
2
4th
A
3
S 9
K
4
6
W L
1 0
2 0
3 0
3 1
3 2
4 2
S K 10 4
H A 8 4
D 7 5 4 3
C K 4 3
TableS 7 6 5
H J 10 9 7 2
D A 9
C A Q 9
S A Q J 9 8
H Q
D Q 10 8 6
C J 7 5
EW +1.40  NS 11.14 EW 9.893 H East =-140 Par -140TieNS 24EW 16

LeadddSASQS9HQDQDTD8CJC7C5D623456
Make99999999999999999
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North1178229877773234756476
South4512122371277773234756476
West0010104498898943431486967
East22111245810898943431486967
Deal78404212143338151615167577212624262626

I made a dubious opening bid, but I liked the quick-trick structure of my hand and the J-10-9 in hearts. Also, it is far more risky to pass these hands and overcall later. All considered, I think 1 H is right. After Paul's overcall, Rich made a limit jump raise and this solved all my problems. One thing about opening a point light: You don't have to worry about whether to accept an invitation.

There was little to the play, and my heart spots did indeed make a difference.


Rich
West

Dbl
Paul
North

2 H
Richard
East
1 D
3 D
Bobby
South
1 S
All Pass
Board 11
Both Vul
S J 7 4
H A 9 8
D 10 5 4
C A 10 8 4
Trick
1 S
2 E
3 E
4 E
Lead
S K
D A
D K
D J
2nd
2
9
Q
3rd
7
7
H 4
4th
A
4
5
W L
1 0
2 0
3 0
S 8 6 3 2
H K Q 10 7 4
D 7
C J 7 2
TableS A
H J 2
D A K J 8 6 3 2
C Q 9 5
S K Q 10 9 5
H 6 5 3
D Q 9
C K 6 3
EW +1.79  NS 11.14 EW 11.683 D East +1-130 Par -130TieNS 24EW 16

LeadddSTS5H6H3DQD9CKC6C3SK234
Make1010101010101010101010101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North009104410687873434847536
South2210102381087873434847436
West45681289810810474713868107
East712151754516810810474713868107
Deal1319404512133141161716178181212426252626

Like on Board 7-1, Bobby's 2 H bid was artificial showing a constructive spade raise. This idea of "transfer responses" to overcalls surely has merit, but I'm too set in my ways to change now; the old-fashioned way still works fine for me. Over 2 H I had more than enough to bid 3 D (I would have bid 3 D if North passed). Just as well, since Rich had very little for his negative double.

The play was interesting. With just one sure entry to dummy (in hearts) it was better to save it for a later club finesse rather than risk everything on the diamond finesse. Therefore, I cashed the top diamonds — how sweet. After that I could claim an overtrick when North admitted to holding the C 10. (Note that I would use dummy's heart entry to lead a club to the nine.)


Rich
West

1 S
2 H
3 S
5 D
Paul
North

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Richard
East

2 D
3 C
4 D
Bobby
South
1 H
Pass
Pass
Pass
Board 12
None Vul
S 10 9 8 7
H 8 7 6 4
D 5 2
C Q 4 3
Trick
1 S
Lead
H K
2nd
2
3rd
4
4th
9
W L
0 1
S K Q J 6 5 2
H 10 2
D Q J
C A K 6
TableS 3
H J 9
D A K 10 8 7 4
C J 8 7 5
S A 4
H A K Q 5 3
D 9 6 3
C 10 9 2
NS +4.31  NS 15.45 EW 11.685 D East -1+50 Par -140NS +5NS 29EW 16

LeadddSAS4H5H3D9D6D3CTC2HK
Make1010131111101010101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North11230010597973338853733
South2213145671297973338854733
West46161746615810810474714795109
East6991134712810810474914795109
Deal1318404512163044171717178087222425242624

Rich didn't use good judgment here. The bidding was OK up until 4 D, whereupon he should pass because his spade holding is wrong for me. If his spades were headed by the ace, then 5 D rated to be a good contract. Also, it might have been better to make a simple jump to 3 S at his second turn rather than the ubiquitous cue-bid. In any event, we were clearly overboard.

The contract was hopeless but easy to play. Thank you partner, down one.


TopMain

Rich
West
1 NT
Paul
North
Pass
Richard
East
Pass
Bobby
South
Pass
Board 13
N-S Vul
S Q 8
H 10 4 3 2
D K 9 8 6
C Q 9 3
Trick
1 N
2 E
3 N
4 W
5 W
6 S
7 E
8 E
Lead
H 2
S J
H 3
S K
S 2
H 9
S 10
C 4
2nd
J
5
5
8
D 6
Q
D 3
7
3rd
6
6
8
3
4
4
9
K
4th
7
Q
A
7
A
K
C 3
9
W L
1 0
1 1
2 1
3 1
3 2
4 2
5 2
6 2
S K 9 6 2
H A Q 7
D Q 4
C K J 8 2
TableS J 10 4 3
H K J 5
D 10 7 2
C 6 5 4
S A 7 5
H 9 8 6
D A J 5 3
C A 10 7
EW +0.40  NS 15.45 EW 12.081 NT West -1+50 Par +120EW +2NS 29EW 18

LeadddSQS8HTDKD9D6CQC9C3H22345678
Make577555575555555556
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North11771198888840401286787
South0013146699888840401286887
West1115154571287873434857556
East00551111587873434857556
Deal22404112133634161516157474202626252626

Another one of those less-than-memorable deals. There was no way to discover our 4-4 spade fit after the routine 1 NT opening, and even if we did we would fail in 2 S also.

After the heart lead, it was routine to finesse spades, and then force out the S A. But there was no way to come to seven tricks. Indeed, Rich guessed well to lead a club to the king to salvage six tricks. He reasoned that if the C J forced the ace, he could always be set two tricks anyway (losing one heart, two spades, four diamonds and a club) so the only realistic hope for down one was that South had ducked with the ace.


Rich
West

3 NT
Bobby
North

Pass
Richard
East
2 NT
Pass
Tony
South
Pass
Pass
Board 14
E-W Vul
S J 10 2
H 10 6
D 10 8 7 6 4 3
C 10 8
Trick
1 S
2 E
3 W
4 E
5 W
6 S
Lead
S 4
C 6
H 2
C 9
H 3
C 4
2nd
5
2
10
3
6
5
3rd
10
K
Q
Q
J
D 6
4th
A
8
7
10
K
A
W L
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
4 1
5 1
S Q 6 5
H 4 3 2
D A 9 5 2
C K Q 5
TableS A 9 3
H A Q J 8 5
D K Q
C A 9 6
S K 8 7 4
H K 9 7
D J
C J 7 4 3 2
EW +3.61  NS 15.45 EW 15.693 NT East +1-630 Par -660NS +1NS 30EW 18

LeadddSKS8HKH9H7DJCJC7C4S423456
Make11121212111111111111121111101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North46140010774741719023244
South45892281074741719023244
West00111134888118115555661191199
East222020796158118115555661191199
Deal1013404412153240151515157274662624262626

Rich used good judgment here not to invite slam. In theory we might have 33 HCP (our 2 NT range is 20-22) but hands with 4-3-3-3 shape are notorious for producing fewer tricks than the HCP would suggest. Of course, it's possible the hands might mesh perfectly and produce a laydown slam; but it's just as possible we could have 33 HCP and no play whatever.

In 3 NT I could have won 12 tricks with the spade lead by winning the queen, but this would jeopardize the contract if Paul (oops, make that Tony, who filled in for one hand) had led from something like J-10-7-4-2 holding the H K. Playing low from dummy virtually assured making nine tricks. Tony made a cute play refusing the first heart finesse, causing me to waste an entry to repeat it; then he was able to clear the club suit before I had time to win a spade trick. No big deal; I would settle for 10 tricks in advance any time I bid 3 NT.

Some pairs got overboard here to slam (6 H or 6 NT) which has no chance if South doesn't lead a spade.


Rich
West

1 H
Pass
Paul
North

1 S
5 D
Richard
East

2 H
All Pass
Bobby
South
1 D
Pass
Board 15
Both Vul
S A K 7 4 2
H Q 6
D K 9 8 6 2
C 2
Trick
1 W
2 S
3 S
4 S
5 S
6 N
Lead
S 10
D A
D Q
D J
S 3
S K
2nd
2
5
4
10
6
9
3rd
J
2
6
8
A
C 3
4th
Q
7
H 5
H 2
5
H 3
W L
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
6 0
S 10 6
H A 10 8 7 3
D 10 5 4
C K 10 9
TableS J 9 8 5
H K 5 4 2
D 7
C Q J 7 5
S Q 3
H J 9
D A Q J 3
C A 8 6 4 3
NS +3.51  NS 18.96 EW 15.695 D South =+600 Par +620EW +1NS 30EW 19

LeadddS6HAHTH8H3DTD5CKCTST23456
Make11111111111111111212111111111111
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North681214456159119115257628104117
South331414457149119115257628104117
West2279339897973343843715
East34791181097973343843715
Deal14174046121430471818181885100702426222424

Bobby and Paul bid well to the best contract (although at MPs one would prefer to be in 4 S). They play support doubles, so Paul's pass over 2 H denied three spades; then Bobby jumped to the obvious game, suggesting no heart control. Note Paul's choice to open 1 D instead of 1 C, which I suspect was for two reasons: (1) to direct the lead he preferred, and (2) to prepare for a possible rebid in clubs, although I think he would have chosen 1 NT if Bobby had responded in a major and we were silent.

There was little to the play. As long as trumps were no worse than 3-1 and spades no worse than 4-2, it was routine to establish the long spade.


Rich
West
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Paul
North
2 D
3 S
5 D
Richard
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Bobby
South
3 D
4 D
6 NT
Board 16
None Vul
S A K 10 8
H A
D A K Q 9 4 2
C 7 5
Trick
1 W
Lead
H 5
2nd
A
3rd
3
4th
4
W L
1 0
S J 9 7
H 10 9 6 5 2
D 6 3
C 8 3 2
TableS Q 6 4 3
H 7 3
D J 8 5
C K J 9 6
S 5 2
H K Q J 8 4
D 10 7
C A Q 10 4
NS +0.88  NS 19.84 EW 15.696 NT South +1+1020 Par +1520EW +11NS 30EW 30

LeadddSJS9S7HTH2D6D3C8C3H5
Make1313131313131313131313
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North69202481032081381365651521312121312
South3312143561481381365651521312121312
West221200114717144001101
East11781197717144001101
Deal12154048121629451514151469691522626262626

We were fortunate that Bobby and Paul didn't reach the grand slam, even though we lost IMPs as it was. In their system 2 D showed a strong hand, either with diamonds or with certain balanced hands; 3 D was a transfer (showing hearts); 3 S showed a second suit (guaranteeing longer diamonds); and 4 D was a preference. Paul, of course, always intended to bid slam but he was biding his time to consider the chances for a grand slam. Bobby was unable to use Blackwood holding two fast club losers, so he could do little more that continue to 5 D, after which Paul guessed to bid only 6 NT. I'm not sure of their entire structure here, but it was clear that this deal was not well suited to their system.

There was nothing to the play; exactly 13 top tricks with diamonds 3-2.


TopMain

Rich
West

Pass
All Pass
Paul
North
1 H
3 D
Richard
East
Pass
Pass
Bobby
South
3 C
4 H
Board 17
E-W Vul
S A 8 2
H A J 8 6 4
D K J 4
C 10 4
Trick
1 E
2 E
Lead
C K
C Q
2nd
8
J
3rd
7
5
4th
4
10
W L
0 1
0 2
S K J 6 5
H 3 2
D 8 5 2
C A 7 5 2
TableS 10 9 3
H 10 5
D 10 9 7
C K Q 9 6 3
S Q 7 4
H K Q 9 7
D A Q 6 3
C J 8
NS +0.75  NS 20.59 EW 15.694 H North =+420 Par +420TieNS 30EW 30

LeadddSTS3HTH5DTD7C9C6C3CK2
Make101010101010101010101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North221314558119109104850428610106
South111414356119109104850428610106
West1189339897973134736337
East2256129797973134736337
Deal66404312153237181718177984492224262626

This was a routine 4 H game. In the "Goldway" system 3 C was a game-forcing heart raise and 3 D was artificial showing a minimum hand (I believe balanced too), then Paul just jumped to game.

After cashing two clubs, Rich was marked with the ace and his high-low showed four clubs. Further, his choice to play 7-5 instead of 7-2 indicated a preference for spades over diamonds. Nothing really mattered here, and Bobby claimed 10 tricks before I could shift to the S 10.


Rich
West

Pass
Pass
Paul
North

1 NT
3 S
Richard
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Bobby
South
1 S
2 C
Board 18
Both Vul
S 10 9 5
H A K J 6 4
D 10 8
C Q 10 4
Trick
1 W
2 N
3 W
4 W
5 S
6 S
7 S
8 N
9 N
Lead
H 2
D 8
C A
C 3
S A
S K
C 6
H K
H J
2nd
A
6
4
10
2
4
D 3
Q
S Q
3rd
9
4
7
J
5
9
Q
D 7
D J
4th
10
Q
2
K
8
7
5
3
5
W L
1 0
1 1
1 2
2 2
3 2
4 2
5 2
6 2
6 3
S 4 2
H 8 7 5 3 2
D A Q 5 3
C A 3
TableS Q 8 7
H Q 9
D K 9 6 2
C J 9 7 5
S A K J 6 3
H 10
D J 7 4
C K 8 6 2
EW +1.85  NS 20.59 EW 17.543 S South +1+170 Par +620EW +10NS 30EW 40

LeadddS4S2H8H5DADQD5D3CAC3H223456789
Make1010101010101010101010101010101010101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North22101234810810810494962810869
South45121445713810810494962810869
West3310124571187873232753574
East1188119887873232753574
Deal1011404612153142161716178181692626262626

Bobby and Paul reached the proper spot here, though a friendly lie of the cards allows 4 S to be made. Off three top tricks, the game requires picking up the spade suit and a club finesse (or some other luck) so it is clearly anti-percentage to bid. Bobby's 1 NT was forcing, then the jump to 3 S showed a three-card limit raise. Paul was close to accepting (with 5-4-3-1 shape you never know when partner has just the right cards), but he chose to pass and the appearance of dummy vindicated his decision, at least in theory.

Rich led a heart and Paul immediately led diamonds to pursue a ruff in dummy. I'm not crazy about Rich's shift to the C A, which simplified declarer's play. Rather than risk losing to the S Q and suffering a club ruff, Paul just cashed the S A-K. The good news is I now got to make my S Q. The bad news is our second diamond trick went away, so he made 10 tricks anyway. If Rich returns a heart at Trick 3, there is a chance to beat 3 S if Paul takes the "free finesse" of the jack — nah, no way Paul would fall for that.


Rich
West

2 S
Paul
North

3 H
Richard
East

All Pass
Bobby
South
2 H
Board 19
None Vul
S A 9 4 3
H 10 8
D A Q 4
C Q 9 8 3
Trick
1 W
2 N
3 W
4 W
5 E
6 N
7 S
8 S
9 S
10 S
Lead
S 10
H 8
C K
C 2
D 3
H 10
H K
H J
H 9
H 7
2nd
A
4
3
8
6
6
5
S 6
S 8
S K
3rd
2
3
6
10
8
A
C 9
C Q
S 3
D 4
4th
5
Q
4
5
Q
2
C 7
C J
D 2
D 7
W L
1 0
1 1
1 2
1 3
2 3
3 3
4 3
5 3
6 3
7 3
S K J 10 8 6
H Q 5 2
D K 10 8
C K 2
TableS Q 2
H 6 4
D 9 7 3 2
C A J 10 7 6
S 7 5
H A K J 9 7 3
D J 6 5
C 5 4
EW +1.95  NS 20.59 EW 19.493 H South -1-50 Par +100EW +4NS 30EW 44

LeadddSKS8S6HQH5H2DKDTD8CKC2ST234567..10
Make88881010109998888888888
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North11121345710888838401166865
South4691134811888838401166865
West2212133371177773436857577
East33782291077773436857577
Deal1012404512143142151515157276192226262624

After Paul opened a textbook weak two-bid, Rich scrounged up a 2 S overcall and Bobby competed to 3 H. I gave a fleeting thought to saying 3 S but wisely chose to bid my cards, not my dreams.

The defense here was noteworthy. Given the opportunity, Paul would easily make 3 H because Rich's hand would become squeezed in spades and diamonds. When I won the club at Trick 4, I could see this coming and began an attack on dummy's entries with a diamond shift. Note that if Paul now gave up a spade to correct the count for a squeeze, I could win and lead a second diamond killing all his hopes. Instead, Paul took his best shot by running all his trumps, but Rich made the key play of tossing his S K to avoid the endplay. Down one.


Rich
West

Pass
Paul
North
Pass
3 NT
Richard
East
3 C
All Pass
Bobby
South
3 H
Board 20
N-S Vul
S 8 6 5
H 9 5
D J 10 6 4
C A K J 9
Trick
1 E
2 W
3 W
4 W
5 N
6 N
7 S
8 S
9 S
10 S
Lead
S 3
S A
S K
C 5
C K
H 9
H K
D A
D K
D 7
2nd
2
6
8
A
2
6
3
2
9
Q
3rd
Q
9
7
7
D 5
A
5
4
6
10
4th
5
4
10
8
4
2
C 3
3
8
C 6
W L
0 1
0 2
0 3
1 3
2 3
3 3
4 3
5 3
6 3
6 4
S A K Q
H J 10 4 3 2
D Q 9 2
C 5 4
TableS J 9 7 3
H 6
D 8 3
C Q 10 7 6 3 2
S 10 4 2
H A K Q 8 7
D A K 7 5
C 8
EW +0.56  NS 20.59 EW 20.053 NT North -1-100 Par +120EW +6NS 30EW 50

LeadddSJS9S7H6D8D3CQCTC7C3S32345678..10
Make88889999999888888888
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North1191034910898942471287896
South45161868516898942471287896
West2212133471287873131746437
East6936008987873131746437
Deal1317404712162947161616167378192426242426

My opening preempt is far from classic, but at favorable vulnerability these bids are effective. No doubt Marty Bergen would consider this a sound preempt at the colors. Paul overcalled in hearts and Bobby took a chance at 3 NT — surely the right decision with all his strength in clubs.

I followed the strategy of bidding one suit and leading another and caught Rich with gold, although another spade would have been nicer still. After cashing the top spades Rich shifted to a club and Bobby cashed both top clubs (a key play) discarding a diamond from dummy. Next he attacked hearts, and if that suit broke 4-2 he would be cold — Rich would be endplayed in diamonds when he won his heart stopper. Alas, hearts were 5-1 so the best he could do was salvage down one. Everyone had the same troubles, of course, and our result was almost average.


TopMain

Rich
West

1 S
4 S
Paul
North

Pass
All Pass
Richard
East

2 S
Bobby
South
Pass
3 D
Board 21
Both Vul
S 8 4
H A J 10 7
D K Q 9 5
C 5 4 2
Trick
1 N
2 N
3 W
4 W
5 S
Lead
D K
D 5
S Q
S 10
C 6
2nd
10
J
4
8
A
3rd
8
A
5
6
5
4th
4
S 7
2
A
3
W L
0 1
1 1
2 1
2 2
3 2
S K Q 10 9 7
H K Q 5 4 2
D 4
C A 7
TableS J 6 5
H 8
D J 10
C K Q J 10 9 8 3
S A 3 2
H 9 6 3
D A 8 7 6 3 2
C 6
EW +4.03  NS 20.59 EW 24.084 S West +1-650 Par +130EW +13NS 30EW 63

LeadddS8S4HAHJH7D9D5C5C2DK2345
Make910101011119999910101011
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North1110113481010101010474713637103
South578104481010101010474713637103
West68141746416999944491459639
East71281010712999944491459639
Deal1928404812142748191919199196272224262624

After Rich opened 1 S, I'm not sure what is the best way to handle my lopsided hand, but I opted to ignore the clubs and just raise spades. In our system 2 C would be a considerable overbid, and 1 NT forcing would not solve the problem either because at my next turn I would have the same decision whether to support spades or bid my clubs. This time it worked well. Paul competed with 3 D (holding three spades this was safer than it looks) and Rich correctly took a chance on game, albeit for the wrong reason — he thought his hearts would be the key. I'm a little bit surprised that Bobby didn't bid 5 D, which is down only one for a good save.

In theory Bobby was right since 4 S can be beaten with a club ruff. Paul was afraid to overtake the D K with the ace and shift to a club because Bobby might be leading from K-x. When Bobby continued diamonds, Rich was home and in fact made an overtrick when Paul shifted to his singleton club too late.

In our signaling method we play suit preference on the opening lead when leader's partner has shown five or more cards. Hence, I would play the D 2 asking for a club switch. North should lead the C 5 (suit preference for hearts) and the defense can prevail.


Rich
West
1 D
Pass
Paul
North
Pass
2 H
Richard
East
1 NT
All Pass
Bobby
South
Pass
Board 22
None Vul
S Q 6 5 4 3
H A 6 5 4
D 8 3 2
C K
Trick
1 E
2 W
3 E
4 W
5 W
6 W
Lead
D 5
S J
D 4
D K
D A
S 9
2nd
6
3
7
8
C K
4
3rd
9
A
J
S 8
C 8
H 3
4th
2
2
3
10
Q
K
W L
0 1
0 2
0 3
0 4
0 5
0 6
S J 10 9
H 10 9 8
D A K J 9
C A J 2
TableS A 8
H Q 7 3
D 5 4
C Q 8 7 6 4 3
S K 7 2
H K J 2
D Q 10 7 6
C 10 9 5
EW +0.33  NS 20.59 EW 24.412 H North -1-50 Par -430NS +9NS 39EW 63

LeadddSAS8HQH7H3CQC8C4D523456
Make668888766666677
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North45993381087873438827622
South0099229787873434827642
West00141556911910910465540965810
East46810227109109105055431067810
Deal811404312133338171717178493512326242224

When we passed it out in 1 NT, Bobby balanced with 2 H showing both majors. (This is a variation of the DONT convention that is normally used over 1 NT openings only). I considered competing to 3 C but decided against it with such a broken suit. Paul could not know which was Bobby's longer major so he passed it right there. It didn't matter much because 2 S could also be beaten.

It was easy to beat 2 H. We had five cashable tricks and I was able to discard a spade on Rich's third diamond. In fact we could set them two if Rich had given me a spade ruff at Trick 5. When Rich led a fourth diamond instead, Bobby made a shrewd play discarding the C K, after which we could get only one ruff.


Rich
West

4 S
Paul
North
Pass
Dbl
Richard
East
1 D
All Pass
Bobby
South
2 C
Board 23
None Vul
S Q 9 8 5
H A 9 7 6 5
D J 7 2
C Q
Trick
1 N
2 E
3 S
4 S
5 N
6 E
7 W
8 W
Lead
C Q
H 2
C K
C 7
D 7
H 4
S A
S K
2nd
A
10
J
S 6
A
Q
5
9
3rd
10
3
D 2
S 8
K
S 2
D 3
D 4
4th
8
5
3
2
6
6
3
7
W L
1 0
1 1
1 2
1 3
2 3
3 3
4 3
5 3
S A K J 10 6 4 2
H 3
D 9 6 5
C J 8
TableS
H J 4 2
D A Q 10 8 4 3
C A 6 3 2
S 7 3
H K Q 10 8
D K
C K 10 9 7 5 4
NS +0.51  NS 21.10 EW 24.414 S× West -1+100 Par +300EW +5NS 39EW 68

LeadddSQS9S5HAH9H7DJD7D2CQ2345678
Make912111110101099999999999
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North45992289911911535345731128
South69111234614999943531462918
West71291132713910910475714392103
East715111445614910910475214392103
Deal244140461213275018211821100110591923242322

It was pretty normal to bid 4 S with Rich's hand after I opened the bidding. Sometimes these bids make, and other times they push the opponents to the five level where we can set them. Unfortunately, this was a different occasion and he stepped into a penalty double. Oh well, it won't be the last time.

The contract was always doomed, but Rich cleverly guessed diamonds to salvage nine tricks. At Trick 4 it looks as if Rich should ruff with the jack, but nothing really mattered; in that event Bobby would just throw off a red card to promote a second trump trick. After the overruff and the diamond return, Rich deduced the layout and hopped with the ace. Perhaps it would have been better for Bobby not to sluff a diamond on the second club, as I'm sure this helped clarify the diamond situation.


Rich
West

Pass
All Pass
Paul
North

3 D
Richard
East
Pass
Pass
Bobby
South
1 H
4 H
Board 24
N-S Vul
S 10 5
H Q 10 5 4
D K 8 5 3
C A J 7
Trick
1 W
2 S
3 N
4 E
Lead
H 3
D 9
D 3
H 2
2nd
4
2
10
6
3rd
9
K
7
7
4th
K
Q
4
10
W L
1 0
2 0
2 1
3 1
S Q J 8 2
H 7 3
D A 4 2
C Q 10 3 2
TableS K 7 3
H 9 2
D Q J 10 6
C K 8 6 5
S A 9 6 4
H A K J 8 6
D 9 7
C 9 4
NS +4.54  NS 25.64 EW 24.414 H South =+620 Par +620TieNS 39EW 68

LeadddSQS8S2H7DAD4D2CQCTC3H3234
Make101010101010101010101010101010
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North11101133810910910484862871075
South33121456713910910484862871075
West11910228987873136756367
East119102281087873136756367
Deal66404512133142171717177984692626262624

Wow! Bid 'em up! Paul was right on the money here when he jumped to game after Bobby's 3 D, a Bergen raise of some kind. Paul's judgment is about as keen as you can get. Notice how he rejected the invitation on Board 7-26 and accepted here (probably because here Bobby showed four trumps) and he was right in theory both times. This is a good game; the other was not. It is true that he needed the D A onside to make it, but at IMPs it is mathematically correct to bid a vulnerable game with as little as a 37 percent chance.

There wasn't much to the play. Rich led a trump (best) and Paul immediately led a diamond to the king. With trumps 2-2 it was a laydown.

We lost our lead with this board too. With only one board to go, we now needed to pick up 2 IMPs.


TopMain

Rich
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Paul
North

1 S
2 D
3 S
Richard
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
Bobby
South
Pass
2 C
2 S
4 S
Board 25
E-W Vul
S A Q 7 6 2
H 10 2
D A J 6
C K 8 2
Trick
1 E
2 W
3 S
4 N
5 W
6 S
7 N
8 W
9 E
Lead
H 3
H 8
D 3
C 2
C 3
S 3
D J
C 7
H 4
2nd
5
10
Q
6
8
5
7
K
6
3rd
Q
J
A
J
9
Q
4
S 4
S K
4th
2
A
2
Q
A
9
K
4
S A
W L
0 1
1 1
2 1
2 2
3 2
4 2
4 3
4 4
5 4
S K 5
H Q 8
D K Q 10 8 5
C Q 10 7 3
TableS J 9 4
H K J 7 4 3
D 9 7 2
C 9 6
S 10 8 3
H A 9 6 5
D 4 3
C A J 5 4
EW +5.41  NS 25.64 EW 29.824 S North -2-100 Par +400EW +11NS 39EW 79

LeadddSJS9S4HKHJH7D9D7D2C9C6H3234567.. 9
Make9109999999991099999988
StatsFGPRCQLYlflmbfbmHOBMsmhmdmcm
North22141556712898945454099879
South119104499898945454099879
West3312132361286862727044564
East22561110686862727044564
Deal88404412143239161516157272402626262626

This board would decide the match, and luck was on our side. Paul's 2 C response as a passed hand was "reverse Drury" and Bobby's 2 D showed a normal opening. Paul indicated minimal values with 2 S; Bobby invited with 3 S; and Paul accepted — a dubious decision, no doubt influenced by his holding two aces.

I didn't like leading a heart from the king, but I think it's the right strategy at IMPs. Needless to say, I was delighted when Rich produced the queen. Bobby was destined to lose a trick in each suit and go down one. In his attempt to make it he ended up down two when we got a trump promotion at Trick 9.

So we eked out a narrow win, not convincing by any means but it was fun. Maybe next year we'll give them another chance.


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© 1999 Richard Pavlicek