Monday, December 10, 2007

San Francisco NABC

Bob, Fred, I and Jerry

San Francisco was a great place for the US Fall Nationals. We did so and so, nothing I would call a success but I guess we didn't embarass ourselves totally either. We won a 1-session BAM, a top-bracket consolation knockout (losing our first match on American soil a mere 14 hours after a 20 hour trip and 9 hour time-zone skip) with MÃ¥rten Gustawsson and Gunnar Andersson.

The Blue-Ribbons had us finish 31th out of 104 reaching day 3 (416 pair entering) and the North American Swiss saw us fade to 28th place day 3 (160 teams entering, 40 made it to day 3), playing with Robert Bitterman, Jerry Helms, John Diamond and Brian Platnick.

In the Swiss, a distributional layout started off day 3. The first 2 days boards were shuffled each match but the final day all matches played pre-duplicated boards. South, all white (deal rotated):


The auction went:
1H - pass - 2D - 2S;
pass - 4S - 5D - pass;
6H - pass - pass - X all passed

1H was 11-15 5+suit, 2D was artificial gameforce with at least 3 hearts, pass after 2S denied shortness in spades and 5D was natural. 6H was a reasonable guess, or so I thought.

West obviously thought X was a general vote of mistrust for the contract and failed to lead a diamond, which of course would have resulted in a swift 2 off, instead opting for a surprise attack in clubs. This was lucky for us and I managed to take the first round finesse in diamonds after collecting the trumps for +1310 (need to, no re-entry otherwise after drawing trumps) for +9 imps vs 6D making at the other table.

Britain's David Bakshi found the text-book switch to a heart at his table against 6D, removing the entry to dummy prematurely and declarer was not prepared to finesse in trumps first time around and went down. Well done David!

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