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Everything Old is New Again
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Last Sunday I was playing in a variation of “loser Swiss”. This time it was the local monthly club Swiss teams while others were contesting the finals of the team trials. I think that the ultimate loser Swiss would be Bermuda Bowl finals while one qualified for the second half round robin of the club Swiss. That I have not achieved, but there is still time.

I was not that concerned about the USBF finals as I already knew the outcome. The good guys were going to win and the good guys were going to lose.  And it is always more fun playing, even if it is just the club. Something new and different always seems to happen.

In our second match I held this sterling collection and the auction started:

South
9xxx
Kx
Axxx
xxx
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
X
2
?

Not much there, but I thought the hand was worth a call.  If partner has a real hand she will be stuck if you pass.  Holding something like: AK10x / Axx / xx / AQ9x partner will reopen with a double but not make a move over 2.

Two spades seemed sort of normal.  But the rest of the auction not so much.  West raised to 3 and my partner now bid 3.  The auction end certainly seemed suspect.  As the opening lead was being considered, my partner said she did not have any of her bids.  So it was the usual suspect.  And it was hard to disagree with her assessment of her bidding.

North
A10xx
Jxx
Qxx
Axx
South
9xxx
Kx
Axxx
xxx

West led the A.  This let me get out for only two down and a huge BAM win - against opponents who never double.

Mike brought the board back to us a bit later. “You guys can play this board now that it has been shuffled. At least Ethan (Stein) remembered it was the same hand from the first round.”

In my defense, ALL my hands at teams pretty much look like this junk. But there was another reason the hand did not look familiar.

When we played it the first time this was the auction:

North
A10xx
Jxx
Qxx
Axx
South
9xxx
Kx
Axxx
xxx
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
P
P

Giving me a different view of the hand and much less to think about. So the first time we played the board, my partner passed twice and never bid. And the second time we played the board she bid twice and never passed. Oscar Wilde would be proud. (“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”)

Anything can happen at bridge; even if it already happened.

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