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Webber Cup 2016
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Over the past weekend, I played in the Webber Cup, held in LLanidloes in mid-Wales (brownie points if you can pronounce it). My partner Tony Disley and I are a relatively new partnership, but reasonably competent; our teammates would be a father-son duo, also competent.

There was an awkward entry of 11 teams, and so the format would be a full round robin, with 8 boards against each team:

  • 6x 8 boards on the first day
  • 4x 8 boards on the second day.

Before I forget, thanks to Mike Amos for directing, and making the somewhat complicated movement run smoothly.

Our high hopes were dashed already after the first day. The lowlight of the first day involved giving up a stone of flesh in the form of 56 IMPs to one team over 8 boards. Luckily, the VP scale stops at 43+ IMPs = 20.00 VPs.

Playing more for pride than anything else, I thought I'd share a couple of the deals that came up in the last session of the second day. At this stage, we were in contention for second place. 

North
Q4
Q6542
105
AJ105
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1NT
3
?

You seem to have quite a good hand given the auction. Make up your mind before the next page.

West
8752
987
J4
9842
North
Q4
Q6542
105
AJ105
East
KJ1096
A3
KQ732
3
South
A3
KJ10
A986
KQ76
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1NT
3
?
D

  • If you bid 3NT, you go quietly -1, the contract being wrong-sided
  • If you bid a bold 4, score up an easy +420
  • If you doubled, score up -530.

Wait, -530, not +100? Unfortunately partner leads the spade ace (not fatal), but continues with a second spade (fatal) -- bye bye heart trick. 

Declarer remarked that 4 (doubled) is actually a good sacrifice against 4. I offered her that contract instead if she preferred.

Teammates brought back a normal -420, when the 1-count didn't find a bid.

The immediate next board (previous was B8 of 1-8, and this one B1), again none vulnerable.

As dealer, you pick up a distinctly non-Yuan hand

  • A Q 4 3
  • A K Q 6
  • K J 10 4
  • 10

And open a routine 1. LHO and partner pass, at which point you notice ...

... You've been color-couped again! The 4 is the heart 4.

North
AQ43
AKQ64
KJ10
10
W
N
E
S
1
P
P
2
?

What's your choice?

At our table (not rotated: declarer North). You can follow the play by clicking "next".

West
North
AQ43
AKQ64
KJ10
10
East
South
987
J10875
763
62
W
N
E
S
1
P
P
2
2
3
3
4
4
P
P
P
D
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
2
A
10
0
0
1
A
10
5
3
0
0
2
2
3

  • 4th best 4 lead to the ace 
  • A switch, and another

What's your choice?

Aha! On my auction, presumably RHO thinks I have to be 5-6 in hearts and diamonds (why wasn't his partner void on the A!). For the diamond switch to make sense, RHO (West) has to have the diamond length.

I put in the jack, and it held. The rest of the play was straight-forward: heart to dummy (both follow), club ruffed high, high trump, cash diamond king, trump to dummy and run the 9. The full deal:

West
K102
2
AQ92
AQ985
North
AQ43
AKQ64
KJ10
10
East
J65
93
854
KJ743
South
987
J10875
763
62
W
N
E
S
1
P
P
2
2
3
3
4
4
P
P
P
D
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

West apologized profusely for balancing.

Just another push.

We did not win. (Nor did we manage second, alas).

Well done to Tony Ratcliff + John Salisbury and Filip + Diane Kurbalija, who won handily!

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