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China - Day 3

Day 3 in China was excellent for our team, and we won all three matches: We beat Argentina by 69, China by 30, and Poland by 7. Zach and I played all three matches, and although we had plenty of good results and nice plays, I decided to share some of our misadventures in today’s article. We survived two of them, but the third time it finally caught up with us.

First on the list is a board we played against China where we won 11 IMPs but in a rather unorthodox way:

Adam Kaplan
AQJ108
QJ1086
5
A5
Zach Brescoll
K
AK73
AJ107
QJ104
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
2
P
3
3
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
5NT
P
6
P
7
P
P
P


Zach intended 4 as a general forward going force, I took it as a cuebid setting trumps as spades, so after I keycarded and found out we had all of the keycards and the K, I stared at my small club for a while and finally decided Zach needed some secondary cards in the minors for his auction, and any finesses rated to be onside. After I passed the tray under when I bid 7, it took several minutes to come back. After the K lead, I had to decide whether this meant trumps were 5-2 or whether it was only Zach who was thinking about possibly trying 7NT. I decided to play for 5-2 trumps, so I cashed the K and crossed to a heart, surviving since hearts were not 4-0. After taking the marked club hook, 7S was good for +2210 despite being in our 6 card “fit” instead of our 9 card fit. Perhaps I should have tried 7 over 6 anyway, but given our imaginary spade fit, I thought I might be able to pitch off his clubs on the hearts then ruff the last one.

Next we come to our relay disaster against Poland, and I tried to provide as accurate explanations as possible:


Adam Kaplan
A86
KQJ3
QJ94
QJ
Zach Brescoll
KQ432
A6
K6
AK86
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
5NT
P
7
P
P
P


Zach thought that 4 showed 3-4-4-2, a hand too good to bid 3NT, and that it didn’t show an AKQ point total, but I thought it was also showing 8 or 12 AKQ points, so when he bid 4, he thought I still needed to show my AKQ points. When I bid 4, he thought I showed 9 or 13 while I thought I was showing 1 or 3 top diamond honours and 0 or 2 top heart honours. Then, when he relayed with 4NT, he thought I was showing 1 or 3 top diamond, heart, spade, and club honours, and no J with 5NT. I thought I was showing 1 or 3 top spade and club honours, the J, J, and no J with 5NT. From his point of view at this point I had to hold Axx Kxxx Axxx Qx (and a few stray jacks to justify bidding past 3NT), making 7 a favourite to make. I needed exactly those cards in each suit to come to 9 AKQ points, and it looked as if we had found the perfecto grand slam. Interestingly, without the A lead, 7 comes home, but today the person on lead held the A so we went one down to lose 17 IMPs.

Finally we come to an auction against Poland that took several years off my life:


West
8762
9865
K92
103
Adam Kaplan
K95
J1073
AQJ3
K8
East
103
KQ
1064
QJ9742
Zach Brescoll
AQJ4
A42
875
A65
W
N
E
S
 
2
X
P
3
P
3N
P
4N
P
5
P
5N
P
P
P
D
5NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0


After East’s weak 2 opening, Zach doubled to show a good (14+) takeout-oriented hand (2 would have been a lighter takeout). I cuebid 3 looking for a heart fit or maybe to land in 3NT, but when Zach rebid 3NT instead of a suit on the 3-level, I couldn’t really figure out what his hand type was. He could have bid a 15-17 2NT and he couldn’t really be 3-3-3-4, so I decided he probably had 18-19 BAL or something similar. Even if he didn’t, I figured we could still survive a slam since the diamond hook rates to be onside if needed. Instead of unilaterally committing us to slam, since I wasn’t really confident about what was going on, I tried 4NT, a blame transfer. Zach bid 5 over this, and I could have been a hero and raised to 6, but I was still eyeing a 4-4 diamond fit or something similar. I tried 5NT as one last stab at getting to 6 of a red suit, and was surprised when the auction ended there! We came to a screeching halt and 5NT was just in for +460 and a push. I really wish they gave a bonus for bidding and making 5NT.

 

After winning all three matches today, we are tied for fourth with 155 VPs, we still have yet to play several of the easier teams, and hopefully they'll provide us with a boost into first or second by the end of the round-robin.

 

That’s all for today, and we only have two matches tomorrow, so I may not have much to work with for a day or two, but I’ll try to keep the reports coming.

Adam

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