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Las Vegas NABC, Day 3, Life Master Pairs Semifinals
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After a good night's sleep, we started out the first semifinal session in a strong section, getting to play against Bobby Wolff, Zia playing Giorgio Duboin, Zach Grossack, and Marc Jacobus among others.   Sitting in our direction were also some strong pairs, including our own Steve Weinstein playing with Kevin Fay.  Unlike the first day, we were ending up mostly on defense.

This was my favorite hand of the first semi-final session.  In third seat, favorable, you pick up:

East
J98732
73
K8
QJ5

Your partner passes, RHO opens 1, and you decide to overcall 2.  The bidding proceeds:

East
J98732
73
K8
QJ5
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
X
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Your partner dutifully leads the 6 and dummy comes down.  

Dummy
KQ
K5
Q32
K109876
East
J98732
73
K8
QJ5
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
X
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

 
Declarer wins in dummy with the Q, and you encourage with the 9.  Declarer leads a low club to hand, winning with the A.  Your partner contributes the 4 (standard signaling).  Declarer plays the 3 to the 7, your partner following with the 2.  You win the J.

What’s your next move?

Dummy
KQ
K5
Q32
K109876
East
J98732
73
K8
QJ5
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
X
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P


The above hand was Debbie's hand.  She now figured out to switch to the K, which held.  She continued the 8 which I won with the A.  I then continued a low diamond, driving out the Q.  All four hands are shown below:

West
64
A10842
AJ64
42
Dummy
KQ
K5
Q32
K109876
East
J98732
73
K8
QJ5
South
A105
QJ96
10975
A3
D
 

Declarer now has 9 tricks (3 spades, 5 clubs, and 1 diamond), but he doesn't have the entries to untangle them.  At this point, declarer played the K, hoping that the hand with the A didn't have a cashing diamond.  Unfortunately for declarer, I won the A and cashed the J for down 1.  

I am certain that I would not have found a diamond switch at that point given her holding and dummy's... great D partner!  That was worth 88.5 matchpoints out of 103.
 
I am still having trouble telling how we're doing during a session, and am trying to break myself of the habit of needing to know.  It felt like we had a so-so session, but in fact we finished with a 55.33% to move up to 47th!
 
In the evening session it felt like we were facing less-daunting opponents.  We were back to declaring most of the time.  My favorite round was against Joel Wooldridge and his partner.
 
On the first board, I picked up 87 KJ108 QJ874 A2.  I considered opening it, but decided against it.  East opened the bidding 1 and partner doubled. The bidding continued:
 

East
87
KJ108
QJ874
A2
W
N
E
S
P
1
X
2
3
3
P
5
?

Your call?

East
87
KJ108
QJ874
A2
W
N
E
S