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A night at the Young Chelsea

by David Stevenson


I played with a British Junior International. First board, KQ to 8 spades, bid 4S, double, pass, 6C, cold. 4 matchpoints out of 30, running score 13.3%.

I can live with that! LHO opens, RHO bids NT, I lead a spade from QJx (why not?), 11 tricks, no mps, 6.7%.

Not a brilliant start. Oh well! 1C by RHO, 2S with KQ10 to six at Red, LHO has five hearts and three spades to the ace, and doubles - for penalties! Two off, no mps, 4.4%.

The oppos wander off happily and a new pair arrives. 2NT by LHO, 3C by RHO, 3D by pard, Whack! -1400, 2 mps, 5.0%.

The oppos now bid to 3NT despite their major fit, and make ten tricks. 4 mps, 6.7%

2H by LHO, pass, pass, what do I do with 17 HCP and poor spades? OK, 2NT, even though I seem a bit heavy for it. Partner raises to 3NT, whack! Partner has a seven-count but no spade stop. Eight tricks if I get a 3-2 diamond break, or guess who has the length. I don't, of course, and lose 300. 2mps, running total still 6.7%

Another happy pair leaves the table. Next! Partner opens 1NT, I compete to 3D which is doubled. We have 23 points, you know! Anyway, I count the hand carefully - one trick too late! -300 instead of -100, 4mps, up to 7.6%.

Oppos then bid up to 5H. However, the finesse works, so it makes. We get 14 mps out of 30 - nearly average! Phew! We have got above 10% at last, and will not fall below again! 12.5%!

The oppos judge well to play in 3S which makes exactly for 7 mps. Then the next pair make 3NT +1 (13 mps) before partner and I mess up the defence to 1NT, which makes when I am endplayed (3 mps), and a bad defence by me to the next 1NT allows two overtricks for 1 mp.

Good thing we are not playing rubber bridge, I say, and partner just looks at me. Score over the first twelve boards: us 0, oppos 6720. New oppos, and we get a plus score! No matchpoints, of course, but we make 420 with 7D cold! Partner then doubles 5D, which makes, and after 14 boards we have magnificent 12.9%!

It could not last, and over the next four boards we get two above-average boards and a top. Three poor boards, and then the Director tells us that we are sitting out. Despite originally telling us we had 25.2%, it was mis-scored, and we actually had a magnificent 23.0%.

Next afternoon in the American club I get 46% with an American lady lawyer [see Didi]. Not very good, she says apologetically. Twice as good as it could have been, I reply!


Editor's note:

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