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Las Vegas NABC, Day 2, Life Master Pairs
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Friday marked the start of the 3-day Life Master Pairs event which I was to play in with Debbie Rosenberg.  I'd updated our system notes from the previous day's practice session, and after a hectic morning babysitting the Bridge Winners online entries help desk, was ready to play.

We had a solid first session.  We were real handhogs, declaring 21 of the 26 hands, with me declaring 11.  We had our ups and downs, and only one bidding disaster.  By far my favorite board of the session was one where I picked up (hands rotated for convenience):

East
A1054
A3
1073
Q1082

Partner was dealer, but our opponents were the only people in the bidding.

East
A1054
A3
1073
Q1082
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

Upon inquiry, opponents had no agreements as to whether 3NT showed extras.

Partner led the J (standard honor leads), and dummy came down:

Dummy
J
K87652
96
AK73
East
A1054
A3
1073
Q1082
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

Declarer won the A in dummy.  We play standard signals (low discourages).  Which card do you play?

Dummy
J
K87652
96
AK73
East
A1054
A3
1073
Q1082
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

Looking at dummy, it was clear to me that I couldn't afford to signal accurately.  The 8 was likely a trick.  So after some thought I played the 2, realizing that I had plenty of entries.   Declarer now played the J, which I won with the A.  I returned the Q, which declarer ducked, partner contributing the 5.  The picture was now becoming clearer.  I continued with the 10, pinning declarer's 9, and declarer won in dummy.  He now took a losing diamond finesse which lost to partner's K.  Partner returned the Q, K, A, 10.  I now cashed my 8, declarer pitching a diamond, and returned a heart to the 9 and partner's J.  Partner exited a diamond, trapping declarer in his hand, and in the end, I was able to claim the last trick with my 10.  The full deal is shown below:

West
8762
QJ4
K852
J5
Dummy
J
K87652
96
AK73
East
A1054
A3
1073
Q1082
South
KQ93
109
AQJ4
964
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

In earlier days I would have blown a trick at trick 1 trying to signal, so I was happy I'd taken the time to think before playing to the first trick.  Declarer wasn't as strong as the bidding had suggested (I suspected as much given my own hand), and we were able to maximize the number of tricks taken for down 3 and a top. 

We ended the session at 51.3%, which, although not stellar, was a good start.

After a quick dinner and a short rest, we returned to the playing area.  The cards were again running in our direction, with us declaring the majority of the boards.  On the very first hand I picked up:

South
Q4
AKQ103
KQJ6
Q4

RHO passed, and I opened the bidding with 1.  The bidding progressed quickly.  After my partner gave me a limit raise, I thought for a little while and decided that slam wasn't in the offing and signed off at 4.  On the lead of the 7, dummy came down.

Dummy
K986
J8