Join Bridge Winners
No Boys Allowed: A Glimpse of the Women's Festival
(Page of 4)

I understand that some people oppose women-only tournaments, but personally, I love the fact that the WBF hosts a Women's Festival on BBO. The tournaments must be the most polite around. A lot of hellos and smiley faces and hearts and exclamation marks. No one is ever saying things like, "You have no brains for bridge. You should clean toilets."

Sure the games have a girly vibe, but it's part of the charm. The pleasant experience is enhanced with trivia and prizes. (No, this is not a paid advertisement)

There are no arguments about rules. Instances of criticism are the exception, not the norm. The tournaments vary in format and scoring. I typically prefer MPs and enjoy most of my success surrounded by robots.

At five minutes to 5 a.m., my eyes managed to open just enough to successfully register for the first tournament of the week. I was excited, but became nervous when I noticed what was first on the schedule--an individual event. 

I always feel a bit more pressure during individual tournaments because I don't want to be responsible for ruining someone else's chance to win. And boy was I out of practice! Hopefully, watching Michael Kamil and Michael Becker in the Vanderbilt was about to prove useful, or at the very least, nondestructive...

The tournament started off at a slow pace--fitting for the early hour. And at my table, I had the honor of playing the first card.

West
QJ84
KQ53
J753
8
North
K62
76
K102
K10432
Arielsp
107
J94
Q984
AQ97
South
A953
A1082
A6
J65
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
P
P
D
1
1NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
A
4
2
3
1
0
5
8
10
Q
2
1
1
7
3
J
K
1
2
1
2
7
J
3
3
3
1
6
3
K
A
2
3
2
4
A
5
2
3
4
2
2
Q
6
4
0
4
3
Q
6
8
5
0
4
4
8
3
9
9
3
5
4
6
7
K
9
1
6
4
7
J
A
5
3
7
4
8
K
4
9
0
7
5
J
10
Q
10
2
7
6
N/S +90
13

I chose to lead the top spade instead of 4th best. I don't know why. I just did. This is often the case--that I choose without knowing why--but it is especially the case at 5 a.m. Maybe there was a better lead, but for whatever reason, my finger wouldn't or couldn't consider it. 

While analyzing a 1NT deal is certainly not my strength, it seemed like my irregular lead might have been good for -1. Unfortunately that's not how the hand unfolded. I was pretty sure I noticed where the defense had gone wrong, so that was a positive sign. Also a positive sign--escaping with 50%, average, when you misdefend.

Board 2 was not at all forgiving of my condition or the hour. I lost track counting the points in my 2C opener more than once and had the additional, albeit foreseeable, responsibility of declaring the hand. The 4S contract could have been a 6H contract, but only one pair bid it, so I was content enough with the favorable opening lead and the 64% that followed. I had survived the first round, but I really needed to wake up because things were about to get interesting...

For Boards 3 and 4, my opponents were two ladies whose screen names were familiar to me from past Women's Festivals. I suppose one might consider this an unlucky draw, being up against not one, but two strong, sound players. If I didn't put the pressure on these opponents surely they would get it right and my partner and I would end up with a poor score for a normal result. What could I do? Look at my flat 5 count and raise partner's preempt of course! 

West
AK9742
J985
52
7
Arielsp
8653
1032
KQ
9652
East
Q10
AKQ6
73
AKJ43
South
J
74
AJ109864
Q108
W
N
E
S
3
3
5
6
P
P
P
D
3
6 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
4
2
1
1
0
Q
7
A
5
3
2
0
7
5
10
A
2
2
1
Q
J
2
3
2
2
2
10
6
A
5
0
2
3
K
6
3
8
0
2
4
9
8
4
9
0
2
5
11 tricks claimed
E/W -100
7

Maybe I was being crazy. It wouldn't be the first time. Nor do I expect it to be the last. I certainly didn't remember learning this kind of bidding while watching Kamil and Becker in the Vanderbilt. Where had it come from?

I wondered whether I would have been bold enough to make that call in a live session. With more boards? And I wondered whether the next time I tried that online I should expect a 0%, not 100%.

Board 5 was the second missed slam of the morning. But unlike the first, this missed slam was a missed slam you definitely don't want to miss.

West
A109632
107
93
A53
North
J932
10542
109874
Arielsp
KQ84
A654
AKQ
KJ
South
J75
KQ8
J876
Q62
W
N
E
S
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
5
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
7
2
A
2
0
1
K
5
2
10
2
0
2
Q
7
3
4
2
0
3
4
J
A
2
0
0
4
3
4
13 tricks claimed
E/W +510
5

My normal range for a 2NT opening is 21-22, but I know standard is typically 20-21. Of course, to some players 20-21 means 19 or 18 (you get the point). Anyway, knowing this, perhaps I should have opted for 2C. But I didn't. And because I didn't I was left wondering whether partner would have bid on if I had, in addition to wondering whether another partner would have bid on with the super accept regardless.

With two rounds to go and a score below 50%... well, you know what they say about desperate times...

West
K8764
86
A1092
AQ
Arielsp
J
A1043
J864
KJ82
East
A103
QJ75
753
943
South
Q952
K92
KQ
10765
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
7
2X West
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
3
Q
A
0
0
1
4
J
A
2
2
0
2
3
7
Q
K
1
1
2
4
5
K
2
3
2
2
5
A
2
4
0
2
3
9
J
7
2
1
3
3
J
9
6
6
0
3
4
6
A
5
9
1
4
4
6
7
10
10
0
4
5
K
3
3
5
0
4
6
8
4
J
K
3
5
6
Q
7
10
10
3
6
6
9
8
8
Q
3
7
6
E/W -500
13

I thought a balancing X might amount to a death wish opposite a passed partner. And I had such a bad 10 count! It had been so long since I had seen this auction that for a moment I wondered if my X was even take-out. I decided it probably was. Or maybe some hand that had the strength to X the first time, but an imperfect shape. (I never make direct take-out X's with two cards in unbid suits).

I recognized that this time I had put not the opponents, but my very own partner in an uncomfortable position. If anyone in the field could handle it, my partner could. She, too, is a regular at these tournaments. And as strong or stronger than the opponents I had earlier in the set. I knew she was nice, but hoped I hadn't tested her limits, that she could find it in her heart to forgive me if I had just created a disaster.

After thinking for a good minute or two, partner passed the X.

I defended tentatively, relieved when we set the contract by 2 tricks and for 100%. Other pairs also set 2S by 2, but no one else had been crazy enough to X.

I finished 11/32 with a 55% and .07 points. It was a decent start in a 'put some points on the board' kind of way. Especially considering the hour. It provided enough encouragement that I managed to win the second tourney on the schedule. Robot MPs of course! Since then, it's been IMPs and all downhill, but as always, what a lovely day playing bridge with the ladies at the Women's Festival Smile

36 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top