Compact Knockouts at the Santa Clara Regional Saturday, August 30, 2003 With Frank Smoot, Steve Conaway, and Elaine (one of Frank's bridge students) The objective of the day was to get Steve his one gold point he needed to get his Life Master, and to get Elaine the 4+ golds she needed to get her to the next level (NABC Master). We accomplished the objective. We made it to the finals, but lost there, so wound up in second place, worth 7.48 Gold Points. Steve and Elaine were ecstatic. And that Saturday (where at that point, we had won at least 4.49 golds) was Steve's birthday to boot! How 'bout that? So the hand of the day was one where, when we were comparing scores, I said, "990" to Frank, who replied "Gain 1 IMP" when he compared it to his plus 1010. 1010-990 was only 20, right? And 20 is one IMP. I said, "Hold on! We were PLUS 990!" "Plus??? Oh ..." said Frank, "that's a difference of ... 2000, not 20, which is worth ... 19 IMPs!" Here was the hand. NS Vulnerable South Dealer A842 T - QT876542 - J3 AKQ975 863 AT842 KQJ965 J3 AK KQT9765 J42 73 9 At our table, Steve sat South and eyeing the vulnerability, opened 2 spades. The next hand overcalled 3 hearts and I bid 4 spades. East, also seeing vulnerable opponents at the 4 level, with the minor suits covered and partner having the heart suit covered, decided the plum was ripe for picking and doubled us. They cashed a heart and it was soon over after switching to clubs. Making 5 after the clubs nicely set up after one high ruff. That was 990 for us. By the way, that was not at all a very challenging defense, not that it mattered on this hand with Steve having 7, not 6 spades. A lot better would be to continue hearts, shortening dummy's trumps and if partner DID have 3 spades with clubs stopped, declarer would have to work on clubs before pulling trumps. If the defense can then force dummy again, declarer may never enjoy all those clubs. Imagine East with xxx, xxx, QJ9xx, AK and South with KQJTxx, xxx, Kxx, x. On the other hand, perhaps the only way to set it would be to play for East to have King-third of trump and a club void. Is that reasonable? Could South have QJTxxx, xx, xx, AKx? Perhaps, but I like my suggested defense better. Who knows how high I would have to bid, but spades is a good sacrifice over whatever number of hearts they choose to bid. 6 spades over 6 hearts is only -200 instead of 1010, and 7 spades over 7 hearts is only -500 instead of 1510. How's this delightful sequence to get to the optimal spot? South West North East ===== ==== ===== ==== 2S 3H 4S 5D (risking the slight chance of partner passing) P 5S(!) 6S 7D (If partner has spades controlled, sounds right) P P 7S Double All Pass Not unreasonable. Yes, East/West only get to 7 diamonds instead of 7 hearts, but East can't tell that on this hand West's hearts were strong enough and they split well enough to pick up the suit for no losers. If South held Jack-fourth of hearts, instead of jack-third, 7 diamonds makes where 7 hearts goes down. At Frank's table, the south player for some unknown reason, did NOT preempt, so Frank got to open one heart. The long club hand bid 4 clubs and after Frank had been drilling in the mantra "Raise partner's major suit" into Elaine all tournament, heard her 4 heart raise. Frank had also got her to cuebid, so he bid 5 diamonds and Elaine bid 6 clubs. Frank didn't trust her enough to bid/explore 7, so he contented himself with 6 hearts, which made 7, for 1010. 2000 points, good for 20 IMPs was the most I've ever seen exchanged on one hand. For reference, here is the complete IMP chart. Score Delta IMPs =========== ==== 20- 40 1 50- 80 2 90- 120 3 130- 160 4 170- 210 5 220- 260 6 270- 310 7 320- 360 8 370- 420 9 430- 490 10 500- 590 11 600- 740 12 750- 890 13 750- 890 13 900-1090 14 1100-1290 15 1300-1490 16 1500-1740 17 1750-1990 18 2000-2240 19 2250-2490 20 2500-2990 21 3000-3490 22 3500-3990 23 4000+ 24
Board 9 of 12 EW Vulnerable South Dealer Dummy 2 AKQ985432 8 97 6 Rick Kathy 10 76 104 752 AQ10865 J4 AK107 Q98543 Dummy 1 J AKQJ963 K32 J2 South Rick North Kathy ===== ==== ===== ===== 1H 2D 2S Pass So far, so good, but then ... 3NT(!) P 6NT(!!) Pass Pass Dbl All PassInstead of either opponent rebidding their super-solid, 7-card or 9(!!)-card majors, each decided to overbid in No Trump. I knew what to do once they got to the 6-level.
I defended accurately by leading and unblocking clubs after Kathy encouraged, and we got the first 6 club tricks followed by the next 6 diamond tricks. Down 11 for 2900 for us and 21.85 IMPs.