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Nov 21

System win… well nearly

Sunday at the El Cerrito sectional.  We got seeded to the last bracket, asked to be bumped up one bracket to at least play 7×7 boards instead of 7×6, but then at the last minute they merged the bottom two brackets together.  Oh well.  At least let's hope we can win that.

The first match is quite flat, but our teammates misplay a game for a 15 imps loss.  Second is a blitz, and third a near-blitz as well.  Seems we are doing OK-ish.  Then comes match 4, again not much until this board comes up.

North deals
None vul
Martin
KJ
xx
QJxx
KJxxx
Antony
AQTxx
AKTx
Axxx

Will you reach the slam in either pointed suit?  Playing some normal version of 2/1 it doesn't seem very easy to find the 4-4 diamond fit before a signoff in 3N or 4 occurs.

At our table Martin opened 1 (unbalanced, 1 is Polish) and rebid 1N, which I thought showed 54, but was actually 5-4 in the minors either way (I mixed up with the 2 rebid).  Seeing no intelligent way to investigate for slam I just leapt to 6… 6 of course.  When partner failed to correct to 6 we ended up down 1 on a club lead for a 11 imp loss instead of a 10 imp gain.

So we scored a lowly 47VPs in the first four matches of the Swiss.  Luckily, we now get a chance at submarining after the lunch break.  Indeed, the 5th match is a 17VP win and the 6th a blitz (+ a director call that we cancelled when we saw it would not matter at all).  So before the last match, we stood at 84 VPs, tied for second and playing the leaders, who were 7 VPs ahead.  At least we just had to do well to win.

I can't help but try and swing in that match, for example opening 2 in first seat, all white, on JxxxxxJxxxxxx (partner raises to 3N and goes down 1, should go down 3 if the opponents don't block their clubs).  Still, they have a partscore so it's going to be only a few imps.  On the very last board, holding Axxx xx Jx QJxxx, I make a fairly normal X after 1-(2), that partner converts to penalty holding AQTx(!!) for 500: all in at the right moment, and we end up winning 16VPs.  Doesn't that sound enough, especially when we learn that the other team at 84VPs got blitzed?  But wait!… they got blitzed by a team at 81 VPs… who end up winning by 1.  Argl.