This week we had a home match against a team from St Andrew bridge club in Glasgow. It was not St Andrew first team, (we have them next week), and I can't actually remember the name of the team, but they have several good players, and we played at table 1 against Bill and Suresh.
The auction makes for a pretty pattern, but that isn't the reason I chose to mention this hand. We knew we'd done pretty well to make a plus score, but at the other three tables, the scores were -620, -550 and -620 for our team. At one table, there was this auction:
Our other South decided to pass the South cards (too strong for a pre-empt, too weak to open, apparently), but apparently it was time to bid after the opponents opened 1♠, and then came back in again after the opponents bid game (if you're going to do this, why not just open 5♣?). Unfortunately, North hesitated over 4♠, so there was no question of letting the result stand, and the score was corrected to 4♠ making. At the time, there was some debate about this, but I don't really see why - I don't think you can make any other decision, which is why North's hesitation is terrible.
At another table, the opponents ended up in 5♣X, and this was an easy make when our West decided to lead the ♠A. I think taking a look at dummy is a good idea, but leading the ♥A seems like it's probably less likely to give anything away. The opponents made 4♠ with less controversy at the other table, for a total of about 1500 points out on this one board...
We were about 3000 points down at half time, so probably both gambling a bit when we bid this one:
Finally, here's a less exciting hand, but one that I think I definitely misplayed:
I think the reason I went wrong is that I was thinking about the play in 4♠, where I have no chance unless the trumps are 3-2, which is pretty much a textbook psychological error. When things look (relatively) straightforward, you should think about the way they can go wrong. I very rarely take the trouble to envisage what will happen if trumps break 4-1 before I start playing a hand (probably at least in part because of how many hand-shuffled boards I've been playing lately....). It's a habit I should get into.
We lost the match 11-5 in the end, although I think we acquitted ourselves quite well. 11-5 next week against St Andrew would be an excellent result. Hopefully will play a bit more bridge this week, as I'm trying to get some practice in with Martin before next week's East District Pairs, and Jess is away in Amsterdam, so I have nothing else to do in the evenings...