So, in the Sunday Swiss, we asked to be put in the AX of the Swiss. No more bunny hunting for us. We did well, ending up with 120 victory points over the six matches. But a team we beat by 12 imps in the head-to-head pipped us by finishing with 121 victory points. So, we were third instead of second (first was at 145 VPs, well ahead of either of us, and we did lose a tight match to that team by 4 imps, so no heartache there ...).
Still, we could have been second in A instead of third. By one measly victory point! Obviously, with that small a margin, every board would have made a difference. But there are two boards I messed up that come to mind.
This was against the team that came in second. I was West and held:
LHO led the Ace of Spades and switched to the Queen of clubs. How do you play the hand? Decide before you go on.
Obviously, I have two losing diamonds with no place to go. Hence, I need to play the heart suit for no losers. The question then is the right play for the heart suit. Did you just plop down the top two hearts because a 2-2 division is the most likely? Then you go one down.
What I needed to have thought about was the auction. RHO passed on the first round and then bid 3S, so he is dead minimum but because he is willing to push us to game, probably thinks he has a heart trick. From the lead, LHO has telegraphed the AK of spades, QJ of diamonds and probably the K of diamonds. That leaves exactly the QJ of hearts and diamonds for RHO. I need to go up with the king of clubs and hook the heart. I need to take the view that hearts are 3-1 with QJx with RHO.
The board was a push because the other table also went down 1 in 4H. But I should have made it.
We beat the very last team by 17 imps. We would have beaten them by 25 imps if I had gotten this board right. I was West and picked up, as dealer, this 7-5-1 hand.
LHO led the Ace of diamonds. I ruffed and led out the small heart. LHO won with the Ace and played back a heart. I took this with the king, discarding a spade. 4H is cold for them. 5Cx is a good sacrifice if I can keep this to down 2. The key then is to play the clubs for no losers. How do you play this?
I played low to the Ace, and LHO showed out. So, down 3. Our teammates were in 5H making against our -500, so we lost 5 imps on the deal.
The key, as before, is to count out the high card points. Where are the spades? RHO probably has them, but did not introduce them. LHO has A of hearts and AK of diamonds. I should play the spades before touching clubs. I would have then discovered that RHO had AJ of spades. LHO with AQ hearts, AK of diamonds and Kxx of spades. Why would she leap to 4H? Because she is void in clubs. I should play low towards the King and pick up the Queen of clubs on a finesse back to hand when LHO shows out on the first round.