Last Sunday the teams season started for us, 13 and 17 don’t put us in the top regions. Oh well, we’ll recover. I played terribly, giving away a vulnerable game, completely mishandling one of my own. Pffff, I get sweaty thinking back to those and other horrible errors. Here’s a little success (my hand):
René opened a strong !C and the relay sequence started with 1!H (me showing !S).
2. 8+hcp at least 5 card !S
4. 12+ hcp
6. exactly four !D
8. 5-1-4-3 distribution
10. Two Aces of the same rank
11. You play this! Either our !S together are good enough for !C discards or a !C finesse as backup plan.
This was the complete hand:
I must admit I was a bit surprised finding only a thirteen count in dummy, but it’s a fair call with so much playing strength. René upgraded his hand the same way I did, are we in sync or what?!?
I got a trump lead for East’s Ace and back came a !C. Nasty! Now I have to finesse before I can check out the !S. Fortunately it proved to be onside. The current !S layout would have provided a parking spot for the !C as well, but these odds are a factor smaller than the !C finesse being right.
This one the opponents didn’t find, but they scored a couple of nice part score swings and finally the match tipped in their favor, 13-17.
Tuesday at Star. René was playing some tournament with Nira so substitute-time. I found Hans and we immediately agreed to not have a dull match. Fireworks, lots of them. First half we bid every possible game and defended mercilessly.
Second half. Less spectacular games with little room to score. There was one nice game where we pulled a smokescreen on our opponents.
East opened 1!D and I overcalled 1!S. Not too happy with such a bad suit and soft values, but with ten cards in the black suits I wanted to do something. West doubled, showing four hearts and Hans (North) raised me to 2!S (!). West ended in 3NT not worrying about the spadesuit.
But Hans did what he’s best at, do killing things to opponents. In other words: he found the !C lead. Declarer not blessed with second sight finessed into my bare King of !D and got beat one trick. Nice.
@Hans: thanks for playing and the big fun.
Last night Martin took me to the Melkweg in Amsterdam, Mogwai on stage. I own a couple of albums and I have seen them before, at the Lowlands festival a couple of years ago and at the Werchter festival this year. But these encounters were short and a bit shallow. This was a full and frontal confrontation. Expecting an internal reorganization of my organs (that’s what they are famous for), but it was not to be. They played a very solid set, not too noisy, but with plenty of exploding guitars. Good show, I’m happy, very happy.
@DX: Bringing a good book wasn’t really necessary 😉
Thanks Martin, I owe you. Too bad about Tool on the 9th of November, just too bad.
My dad turned 59 today. Congratulations! Next time I’m home we’ll be making this:
Cox’s apples: 5 pc
Butter: 100 gr
Sugar (Castor): enough
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC
2. Roll out the pastry approx. 3mm thick and cut into a circle big enough to cover the base of the plate with a 2cm overlap to allow for a ‘crust’
3. Peel, core and cut the apples in half
4. Melt the butter in a suitable (glass) plate, sprinkle sugar royally, and keep stirring until a caramel is formed.
5. Arrange the apple halves in a circular fashion and place the plate in the oven.
6. Carefully cover with the pastry round and tuck in the edges, bake at 200ºC for approximately 20 minutes : until the pastry has risen and turned golden brown
7. Remove from oven and ensure that the pastry has not stuck to the sides and the caramel is fully formed
8. Turn upside down onto a serving plate, the pastry is served as the base and the apples should be sitting on it all wonderfully caramelised and arranged. So before lifting the pan ensure the apples are not stuck to the pan.
Enjoy and bon appetit!
Lack of nice games this week. So here’s one I can remember from the Open Pairs last year. And big thanks to Hoek for helping me out with bidding diagrams. Best viewed in Firefox.
I was holding a fairly nice hand:
The bidding was quite jumpy (me sitting South):
1. Preempting them out of their !H contract
2. Showing a “good” raise, four card support
I got a diamond lead and dummy hit the table with:
The diamond lead went to my Queen and I took stock. A crossruff seemed like a good idea and I played my small Heart, East winning cheap. He played back a trump but I rose and initiated my crossruff. Leading to this position:
I was in my hand with six tricks in my pocket. I cashed the Ace of !S (maybe trumps are 2-2) but East showed out. Now I had a complete count of the hand, West is 3-3-4-3 and East is 1-5-4-3, also suggested by the bidding. I cash the !D Ace and play a small !C to the King. West has to play small or he gives me my tenth trick immediately, but now I’m in dummy to ruff the last !H. Now West has two choices: discard and grant me my tenth trick with the !S 8, or overruff and being placed in !C.
Here’s the complete deal:
Yesterday René (playing with Nira) got his hands on the next gem. It’s beautiful.
I don’t know about the bidding, but looking at the freak distributions, there must have been some action involved.
René was on play in 6!D and he got the lead of the !S Ace and another one. He discarded a !C on the King and led the Ten of !D (some good vibrations at the table), ducked all the way, West discarding. Next he cashed his Ace and King of !C and West discarded again on the second round. He grabbed his chance with both hands: a !C ruff, win the King of !H and then a small one to his Ace. He ruffed another !C and now a !S from dummy, overruffing East’s small trump. He had reached this position:
He ruffed his last !C with the King of trumps, and now he was in dummy for the Grand Coup. I guess East must have felt sick underruffing four times!
Last night at Star. This is why I play a relay-system.
1. 10-12 balanced
2. Stayman, or initiating a GF relay
3. GF relay
4. Showing four spades
5. Relay for distribution
8. Two Aces, !H!S or !C!D
9. That’s all I wanted to know
I boldly leaped to the !C slam. With the Queen of trumps smiling in dummy it’s a grand on a finesse (and some more). Even with a trump lead there was no play to it, I just ruffed a !D in dummy, only losing a trick to the King of !C.
This one looks hard to bid in a natural system, no?
Here’s a deal I just cannot keep to myself. René played this one on a pairs night at BC Star. That also justifies his bidding… kind of.
East led the Ace of !H and switched to a !C for West’s Ace. Two more rounds of !H, and look what happens to East. He’s squeezed in some weird kind of way! He can miss one !D, but the third round of !H just kills him, he has to let go of his !C guard.
It hurts to have too many trumps, doesn’t it? René ended up with eight tricks, losing three !H a trump and just one !C. Nice!
Last saturday, August 26th 2006, I attended the wedding of Kees and Julia in Bonhomme, France. What can I say? All was beautiful. Erik (Kees’ brother) said it was “een pittoresk, bijna Anton Pieck-achtig plaatsje”. It was a perfect wedding in a perfect setting.
It was also my first time as best man. Didn’t know what it meant or what consequences it would have. Well, I still feel important and a little responsible, though they only needed my signature.
After the ceremony they had arranged a small, intimate party with family and close friends. Lots of very nice vegetarian dishes, wine, beer and entertainment made the evening wonderfull. Warm feelings all over when I think back to it. I know it’s a one-time-only party (or so it should be), but these kind of parties, well, I would like to enjoy them a little more often.
Kees and Julia, we here at Vikingsinspace.nl wish you the best of luck!