Bob Munson

Recap Of 7/2/2014 21 Board IMP Individual

In the 21 boards, there were only 4 push boards and even those 4 offered opportunities for IMPs.   That is, there were (usually small) numbers of IMPs flying around on nearly every hand with a potential comment (critique/compliment) available on virtually every hand. But, for now anyway, I’m only going to comment on the 4 boards that swung more than 5 IMPs.  Bidding only accounted for 2 of those 4 swings (where, often, bidding defines all the swings) while the lead was key in the third swing board and defense/declarer play defined the last swing.   The latter (defense/declarer) defined the swing on our first hand.

As you see, Bruce was declarer on the first hand.  As the cards lie, there is no legitimate play for 10 tricks in spades (must lose 2 trumps and 2 diamonds), but Bruce brought it home.  Bruce won the A at trick 1, cashed his A (noting the fall of the 10 as well as the power of his 987) and led the 3.  His auction did not reveal the secondary diamond suit and when South saw the 3, his last chance to defeat the contract was to rise with the A and provide partner with a  ruff.  When he didn’t, communication was severed preventing a ruff later.  Bruce won the diamond in dummy and when the 8 wasn’t covered, he let it ride.  He now had his 10 tricks, since he could now get to his hand, draw one more trump, losing only 2 diamonds and 1 spade.

I was declarer at the other table, with the lead of the 10.  I, too, noted the power of the 987, but fearing a possible AQx offside (allowing 2 diamonds and ruff for 2 spades for the defense), I won the A at trick 1 and cashed the K at trick 2, insuring (as the cards lie) 2 spades and 2 diamonds for the defense.  At this point I had no play.  Down 1 by me vs. 4 making by Bruce was a loss of 12 IMPs for my team.

The next hand Bruce was the star again.  Many of us have read the David Bird opening lead books at least once (4 times, cover to cover for me, and I’m still learning).  This auction (1NT-3NT) got more attention than any other NT lead/NT auction in the book.  The auction was pretty routine and was the same at both tables.  The lead, not so routine.  The majors are not especially appealing,  but the diamond suit is quite anemic, and entries later in the hand, after diamonds are established are pretty non-existent.  I am quite curious what David Bird’s analysis would show as the winning lead in the long run.  In any case, our teammate found the heart lead and now 12 tricks are cold as the cards lie.  Bruce started with 4th best from his (weak) 5 card diamond suit and struck gold, down 1 when they took the first 5 tricks.  Another red game lost, but with the over tricks at the other table, this time it was a loss of 13 IMPs for my team.

Finally a critical bidding decision.  I decided to show both tables, since the bidding was so different.  As you see, our opponents did not pursue 5, so we rested peacefully in 4 and when diamonds did not behave, we made 11 tricks for +450.  Our teammate (Jerry) judged that the West hand was worth a 1 opener and when Jerry bounced to 5, his opponents did not pursue a penalty double nor 5, so we somehow won 7 IMPs on this one.

Last hand was another bidding decision and to show the radically different auctions, I’m showing both tables again.  Most partnerships play lebensohl after a takeout double of a weak 2 opening bid, so I was surprised at the bid of 3.  However, the net of that action was to play spades at the 3 level.  The defense slipped a little and allowed 3 to make, so we lost 8 IMPs when I was raised to 4, off 2 for -200.  As the cards lie, I can go down 1 less by ducking the K lead and playing perfectly after that.  However, I didn’t want to lose the A with a trick 2 ruff, so I grabbed the A at trick 1 and was headed for -2.  With 3 making at the other table, my team lost 8 IMPs.

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