Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pentiction 2008 Recap

Jonathan Steinberg and I spent the week of June 9-15 in sunny Penticton, B.C. As luck would have it, we ran into friends and Winnipeg Regional teammates Bob Todd and Mike Yuen at the Safeway before the first session, and we found out they were staying in the same hotel as us -- in the room next door! So we had plenty of company for the week.

The bridge went very well all week. Both Jonathan and I set a new personal regional best with over 111 masterpoints for the week; congratulations go out to our teammates, Gerry Marshall and Bernie Lambert as well (Bernie won the tournament with 117 points as he played on a different morning KO team that outperformed us).

L TO R: Bernie Lambert, Gerry Marshall, Daniel Korbel, Jonathan Steinberg.

There weren't that many hands throughout the week that I found to be spectacular, but here are a couple of slams where Jon and I did well on. Both were large swings in our favour.

I found the South hand awkward to bid and am not really sure what the best course of action is. I really don't like opening these hands 1D and rebidding 2C, so I decided to open 1C, planning to raise 1S to 2S if partner were to bid it, and just bid 1NT over 1H. Jonathan's 3H jump rebid was forcing and slammish, so I upgraded my hand and my hQ and drove to the five level. Jonathan knew that his hand was gold (nice cQ!) and bid the slam. 6H and 6C are both excellent contracts, much better than 6NT, but with both key suits splitting 3-3 any grand slam makes! The other table played 3NT, making only 6, so we won 13 IMPs.

This is another awkward hand, but there was nothing wrong with the final contract. Jonathan received a low spade lead, which he decided to duck around to his ten. Judging the lead to be from length, Jonathan made the great decision not to make the normal club play of leading a low club toward the Jack, as he was afraid of a spade ruff. Instead, he cashed the cA, dropping the cQ, and from there was able to claim his slam in top tricks. +920 was worth 14 IMPs as declarer misguessed 6NT at the other table.

No more bridge until Vegas -- hope to see everyone there! Vegas, baby!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Canadian Bridge Week Wrap Up

Congrats to these winners of Bridge Week events:

Canadian National Teams Championship

1. Nicolas L'Ecuyer, Marc-André Fourcaudot, Dan Jacob, Kamel Fergani, Robert Lebi,
Vincent Demuy

Canadian Womens' Teams Championship

1. Pamela Nisbet, Karen Cumpstone, Martine Lacroix, Pascale Gaudreault, Kismet Fung, Susan Culham

Canadian Seniors Teams Championship

1. Stephen Brown - Edward Zaluski - Bill Bowman - John Bowman, Ottawa ON; Jurek Czyzowicz, Gatineau QC; Doug Fraser, Victoria BC

Canadian Open Pairs Championship

1. Cameron Doner, Richmond BC; Bradley Bart, Burnaby BC

Full results can be found here.

Jonathan Steinberg and Bert Eccles placed 4th in the COPC event this year. Although they were leading after Day 1, they were unable to resist a strong surge by the eventual winners, Cam Doner and Brad Bart. Here is a hand that Jonathan played on day one:

Jonathan arrived in 3NT (Bert's double of 1S showed 4 hearts) and was greeted by a low club lead from West. He won the cK in the dummy, crossed to hand with a diamond, and led another club up. When West rose with the cA and continued clubs, Jonathan was pretty sure that West was 5=5 in the black suits. It seems that he is simply a trick short, but do you see how he made his contract?

Jonathan won the cQ, and exited a club, allowing West to cash the rest of his club suit. East, feeling the pressure of having to protect both red suits, discarded a spade on the run of the clubs. When West played a spade next, Jonathan ducked! Now he had lost 4 tricks, which rectified the count for a squeeze against East. East played a heart now, but nothing mattered and East had to surrender in one red suit or the other when Jonathan cashed the sA. Well played, and this board was worth 18 / 24 matchpoints en route to a solid 67% game.

It's off to Penticton shortly for the regional there, where "squeeze expert" Jonathan Steinberg and I will be playing all week with Bernie Lambert and Gerry Marshall. Wish us luck!