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Subject: 2007 Spring NABC Red Ribbon Pairs - third session rss

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Adam Ruprecht
United States
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We started the third session of the Red Ribbons in second, around a tenth of a board back after the carryover. We had another great session, with only four boards below 20 on a 51 top.

What would you lead from 985 AQJ 765 9765 on the auction P-1D-P-4NT-P-5S(two keys, trump queen)-P-6NT? If your answer wasn't the ace of hearts, they take everything; dummy had Q2 654 AKQJT92 3, declarer AKT7 KT 84 AKQJ8. I'm not sure -990 was any better; after a gambling 3NT opening, 6NT is off. -1020 got us seven out of fifty matchpoints. On board 17, I opened AK6 93 53 KT9654 1NT (for some reason I thought I had another honor somewhere, but this is what's in the hand records), then bid 3C over 2S, which went down three doubled for a clearly awful board. I then proceeded to misdefend the very next board to let 2S through for 14 matchpoints. We also did poorly not to reach game on JT65 K 92 K98753 opposite AQ J82 A765 AQT2; with the spade finesse working and a friendly heart layout, both 3NT and 5C make.

Everything else was decent, and although we had no absolute tops we had a number of excellent boards. Jeff got us 98 out of the 102 available matchpoints in one round - he found a weak jump raise of my 1H opener on Q6 9542 532 QT83 at unfavorable that got us to a cold game in hearts, and he managed to make an impressive six in 3NT on this layout:

Q862 AJ9
8 AK752
AK974 85
T97 AJ3

How is that possible? The opening lead was the spade ten, which solved that suit for four winners. When he led a small diamond from hand, South ducked, he inserted the nine, and North... ducked. Four spades, five diamonds, two hearts, and a club makes 12 for 50 matchpoints.

The second to last round included a test of how greedy I was feeling. I held QJ74 AK965 74 AJ unfavorable in 4th seat. North opened a club, Jeff preempted 2D, and South put in 2H. This looks like it will play poorly, but I have no reason to suspect that clubs won't work for the opponents, so I passed. As I expected, North bid 3C, but South surprised me with a 3S bid(!). 3S sounded forcing, so I passed that too. North ran to 3NT, and I started doubling; they gave up at 4SX, which we took for 800. South had K8532 QT8743 5 3. I'm not sure how to handle her hand, but I suspect the way she did it wasn't it...

We ended up with 59.62%, still in the hunt for first. We just needed to put up a semi-decent game in the last round, and we'd have an excellent chance of winning.

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