Notes for the Bridge Prize Tour Individual held in NYC in December 2002.
© 2002,2003 Adam Wildavsky.
Hand Records -- hands 1-18
Hand Records -- hands 19-24
The entry fee was $100 per player ($90 if paid in advance.) 14 tables (56 players) played two sessions Thursday afternoon and evening. We played three board rounds, changing positions after each board so that we played one board with each player at the table. 32 pairs qualified for the final held at 9AM Friday morning. There was no carryover into the final. Everyone who made it to the final won at least $100, which meant they broke even after paying for their entry.
Everyone used the ACBL Standard American Yellow Card, with 4th best leads and A from AK. There were no alerts or announcements. No questions or explanations were allowed, except for "Whose lead is it?"
Top on a board was 7, average was 84. There was no carryover. I scored 106.5, or 63.4%, and won $4000 for first place. Full results are available at the archive of the Bridge Prize Tour site.
I'll go through the boards in numerical order, not the order in which I played them.
1. I sat W. The opponents had a normal auction to reach 3N and my partner made a normal club lead, but on this hand the S4 would have worked better. Declarer ducked a diamond to my J and it didn't matter whether or not I cashed the SA.
2. I sat E. Our auction was
W N E S P 1N P 2C 2S 2N P 3N
I took my life into my hands to bid 2S and my partner led a diamond! I knew declarer had five of those so I switched to the SQ. Declarer covered this and now we took the first nine tricks. I'd have been happier to go +200 on the lead of the SA and a diamond switch.
3. I sat S.
W N E S P P 1N P 2C X P P 3C P 3N
Partner took 10 tricks on a club lead, but where was the redouble? That would get us +960 with best play (two overtricks), and EW have nowhere to run.
4. I sat W.
W N E S 1H 3D 3S P 4S P 4N P 5H P 6S
After a diamond lead and a trump shift my partner, Elliot Sternlicht, did not want to risk a heart ruff so he drew trump and tried to ruff out the heart queen. If S had held Qxxx he'd have had a showup squeeze. I like his line, and even better it worked.
5. I sat E.
W N E S 1H P 1S 3C P P 4H P 4S
I like Chris Compton’s 1H opening here. I would have done well to save, or to suggest a save with 3D or 4C. I didn't want to direct a club lead with 4C so I decided to leave well enough alone.
Chris finished second in the event. The next board didn't hurt either of our chances!
6. I sat S.
W N E S P P 1D 1H 1S P P X P 2C P P 2S X
After underbidding twice I got out the axe even though I held no trump trick. Partner had me covered. Chris won my heart lead and returned the H9. I ruffed and switched to Ace and a diamond. Declarer won the J, pitching a heart, but his DK was ruffed low and after a trump to the K I scored a second ruff for +500.
Chris did well to balance over 1S -- at some tables it was passed out there.
7. I sat W
W N E S 1S P 2S X 4S
Partner played the C7 under my CQ so I continued the suit and declarer had the rest of the tricks. Partner apologized saying he ought to have discouraged but I don't think I'd have found the heart switch. He could make certain of things by overtaking the club and cashing the HA himself.
8. I sat E.
I played with Margie Gwozdzinsky while Sylwia Uniwersal declared. We knew that with three Poles at the table we were asking for trouble!
W N E S P 1H P 2C P 2H P 4H
I led the D2 and Sylwia took what seemed like a normal line. She ruffed a diamond in dummy, cashed the CA and ruffed a club (I played low, then the 10) and ruffed another diamond. Her DJ was now good -- she'd have been more likely to make the hand if it weren't! Now Sylwia cashed the HA and the hand could no longer be made. When I got in with the HJ we cashed two spade tricks and I scored a diamond ruff.
Declarer seemed apologetic but I think I'd have taken the same line.
9. I sat S.
W N E S P P P 1H P 1S P 2C
In third seat at favorable I resisted the temptation to open 2D. I couldn't have been more pleased to have the chance to pass out 2C. E and W had each underbid slightly and we went -170.
The board didn't score as well as I'd expected. One pair duplicated our result, one went -130, and two managed +100, perhaps against 3NT with the DJ lead.
10. I sat W.
W N E S P P P 1H P 1N P 2S
Again I failed to open in 3rd seat -- this time perhaps I should have. All seemed well, though -- my opponents missed a game. I'd have passed 2S with the South hand but bid 3S with the North hand. Our matchpoint score turned out well below average. Three pairs went -170 with our cards, perhaps against 1H. With no trump lead declarer could also hold himself to 10 tricks in spades by trying to ruff a fourth round of hearts.
11. I sat E.
W N E S 1S P 2C P 2D P 3N
I led a normal heart. A minor suit lead would have beaten it.
12. I sat S.
W N E S 1D P 1S P 2S P 4S P P P
I led a club and partner won the nine with ace and returned the suit. Declarer can make the contract if he wins in hand and leads a diamond up, ducking when I split. That would be a tough play even if he could see through the backs of the cards. In practice he won in dummy and in due course went down one.
13. I sat W.
W N E S 1C 2C P 6H
14. I sat E.
W N E S P 1C P 1D X 2C P 3N
I led the SK and we held it to 3.
15. I sat S.
W N E S P 1C P 1D 1S 1N P 3N
Declarer won the third spade, partner pitching the HT. Now declarer played a club to dummy and ran the H8. Partner returned the D2 and declarer hooked for -150.
16. I sat W. This was a pretty hand -- I may not have given it best play.
W N E S 1C 2S 3S P 3N
I didn't like my spades for notrump play but was reluctant to bid beyond 3N.
I could see that South (Debbie Rosenberg) might have some discarding trouble so I ducked two spades and won the third. Debbie pitched the 3 and 6 of diamonds. I played I heart to the 3, Q, and 5. Noticing that the H2 was missing but with nothing to do about it for the present I played a club to the J and the CA. With 3-2 clubs I'd make an overtrick by bringing in the hearts or finding a squeeze. Alas LHO pitched the D2. Now I played a heart to the A, LHO completing an echo. My best play now is probably to cash the top diamonds and play a heart to the K. On the actual lie I can throw Debbie in with the fourth heart to lead a club into the Q. Instead I lead a heart and guessed to finesse when Debbie followed low. I'd have made the hand even if I played the HK. I run the DJ which LHO must duck and then I throw him in with a spade.
17. I sat E.
This was my worst matchpoint result by far, and I don't think we did anything wrong.
W N E S 2H P 4H
I led the SA and Debbie played the 4. I knew this could have been from J74. That was all right, I thought -- the spades could wait. I switched to the C2, knowing the Debbie had to hold a minor suit Ace and that she'd switch to spades when she got in. Alas she never got in. Declarer won the CK, ruffed out Debbie’s DA, played a trump to to Ace, and pitched both his remaining spades on the top diamonds.
18. I sat S.
Debbie made an overtrick in 6N but most of the field bid and made a grand slam.
W N E S 2N P 5N P 6N
19. I sat W.
N John Fout
S Joe Grue
W N E S P P 1H P 3H P 3S P 4D P 4N P 5H P 6H
20. I sat E.
W N E S 1S P 1N P 2S
John Fout played the hand double-dummy after the CJ lead. He won in dummy, played a trump to the K and another trump to the Ace. Now he won the club return in his hand to draw the last trump. He thus eschewed the diamond finesse and made an overtrick when the K was doubleton offside.
I thought this would be a good result but it was my second worst, two matchpoints out of seven. At one table the DK was led on the same auction and declarer made 170. Two other 170’s were scored and one +200!
21. I sat S.
W N E S 1C P 1S P 1N P 3D P 3N
I thought my T9 of partner’s suit might prove useful so I forced to game. They were useful, though not in the way I'd anticipated!
My partner, Augie Boehm, won the ST lead in his hand and cashed two more rounds, relieved to find the suit 3-3. Now he led a diamond towards the Q. Joe Grue won the K and tried the Q, A, and 8 of clubs. Augie worked out to duck and we scored 600 for a shared top. There are 3-1 restricted choice odds in favor of ducking. With AKQ8 of clubs West had six ways he could have played his first two cards, but with AQ8 he had only two ways. Another way of looking at it is that there are three different ways he could have been dealt two honors with the 8, but only one way he could have been dealt three honors with the 8.
Could West have been dealt AKQ87? That complicates matters, but if Joe held the CK I think Augie was ready to congratulate him for finding a tough defense.
22. I sat W.
W N E S 1N 2S X
This was revenge of a sort. In the qualifying game South had taken a save that unluckily went for more than the value of their game, getting us a zero. Here he went for 800, but it turned out to be just over average for us.
23. I sat E.
W N E S 1C P 1H P 1N P 3N
My partner led a diamond. Declarer took an inconsistent play in the club suit, playing low to the J and then after a diamond return leading the 9, which I covered. I had played the 2 on the first round of clubs. Giving count with the five not only would have served no purpose, it would also give up a trick in the suit if declarer guessed it.
Declarer had no entries for the percentage play in hearts now but we still had to defend carefully to hold him to nine tricks. After winning the CA he ducked a spade and I overtook my partner’s J with the Q to return a diamond. Declarer cashed a club, partner pitching a diamond and then tried the SA. My partner, John Gassenheimer, was careful to unblock the SK, letting me score my C8 to hold declarer to nine tricks and a top for us.
I probably should not have overtaken the SJ. The unblock is easier to find if I still have the SQ, since declarer would likely have taken the spade hook had he held that card.
24. I sat S.
W N E S 1N P 3N
My partner led the H8 and declarer won the Q and led a diamond. I tried the effect of the DK. After winning declarer cashed the DQ and gave me a trick with the Jack. I switched to the C2 and the contract was down one instead of making an overtrick.
This shows the effect of luck in the game. At his table Michael Polowan made the same DK play on the same auction, but declarer entered dummy with a heart to take another diamond finesse.