Ross Taylor

After 10 matches 2009 CNTC in Penticton

Keith and I just completed match 10 – another loss – albeit by an almost negligible 2imps so we scored 14 VP’s of a possible 25. Did not check our placement yet; we were in 10th place before this match.

I had a chance to pick up 7 imps when I held J KQ98xx K Q108xx. The guy on my left opened 4S (limited by his failure to open Namyats); Keith passed, and my RHO passed in no distress. We were equal white, and my head told me to stay out of this auction. But I am a sucker for shapely hands, and I re-opened 4NT.

Keith responded 5C, and everyone passed. Keith had Ax x A98xxxx K7x. He played 5C well to go only down 1 for – 50. Had I passed the hand out we would have beaten 4S by three tricks for +150.

Nevertheless our team mates did score +140 in 3 spades making, and we won 3 imps anyway.

Two hands later I held xx x J432 AJ98xx. We were vul, they were not. My RHO opened 1H, and I passed. LHO responded 1S, and Keith overcalled 3D. RHO said 3H. At this point, even though I cannot make it – I should simply bid 5D and put maximum pressure on the opponents.

If they double us, we only go down 1, and we push the board at –200. If they bid on to 5H, in this case they will be +450 as 5H happens to make – but sometimes it won’t. In fact, I messed around with a 4C bid; and they subsided in 4H and anyway Keith was void in clubs.

Towards the end of the set, I held QJ8xx A9 AQx 9xx. Keith opened 1S, and I responded 2NT – either a forcing raise OR a strong balanced hand. He bid 3H natural and I bid 3S, confirming I had the strong raise type hand. Next Keith cue bid 4C, which was nice, but limited by his failure to bid 3NT – which we play as a “serious slam try” – stronger than a 4C cuebid.

I was guiltily aware that I might be about to launch into the stratosphere opposite a hand not dissimilar to mine in terms of HCP. I could bid 4D now, but I thought there was a risk of a lead directing double. So I simply bid 4NT, and when Keith showed 2 key cards I jumped to 6S.

They led a diamond through the AQ in my hand; but Keith rose casually with the Ace; knocked out the spade Ace and claimed shortly thereafter. Turned out it was a club lead I should fear – not a diamond lead.. Keith had K9xxx KQJx x A8x. This netted 13 imps to the good for your fearless adventurers.

Now we are sitting out match 11 (twelve more to go) and wait for our team mates to finish up and score. That bottle of wine which has been decanting all day looked mighty inviting and we are watching Celebrity Poker on tv; discussing the hands from the day; debating the merits of the various Miss Penticton Contestants we may each have seen throughout the day, and I am writing this blog. Wish our results had been better today, but hey, we’re only half way done.

If anyone would like to contact me directly I can be reached at

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