Me and my partner planned to play in only one tournament – women pairs. At the beginning we thought we could go by car with another pair, taking into account that the delegation from Latvia consisted of 10 people. However, we had chosen very unpopular „women” category tournament, therefore there was no one else who would go to Poznan at the necessary dates. Thus, it was decided to find other ways of getting to Poland – two women driving a car for 16 ours...Well, this was not a dream trip for both of us.
Luckily, we found airplane tickets to Warsaw for affordable price and the second half-way was not expensive, too – we went by train directly from Warsaw to the playing area (The venue place was situated right near the Poznan Central Railway Station).
As to living place – we cooperated with our friends from Latvia and found some nice villa near the city border, which was not very far however, it took us 15 minutes by tram. The tram stop was just the opposite the main entrance of the Poznan International Fair, the venue place. Some say it is good to have the accommodation as close as possible to the playing area, but I would argue. I like to spend this time for mind clearing of everything not connected to the game in the morning; and for mind switching from the analyzing deals to relaxing thoughts in the evening
This year it was really a disaster for all women players – only 43 pairs were registered. For that reason there was no necessity to make it right – the qualification, the semi-finals and the Final. First two stages were combined and in fact we were playing very long qualification meeting the same opponents many times. It was even decided by the organizers to reduce sessions by 2 one day, which was very helpful of them, as we could finally go to shopping
Unfortunately, we did not get into the finals, taking 24th place, while 22 pairs were qualifying. And as it usually happens our destiny was decided in the last deal by ME, not my partner ...
So, the last deal of the qualifications – I can feel from our play, that everything is possible, so I must do my best in this deal. This is the deal.
| 10 7 6 4 3
K 8 4 3
| A K Q
A K 10 9 7 4 3
Q 9 6 2
A Q J 9 8 3
| 9 8 5 2
J 10 5
K 5 4 2
The problem starts when my partner opens 2C in Precision, which already took us too high. However, our system allows to introduce my diamond suit and I am forcing her to slam, planning to hear H cue and afterwords asking for aces. Maybe grand slam is possible. However, my plan is not successful, partner denies a fit and a cue in the bidding, stopping in 5D, therefore I decided to risk and to jump to 6NT, which for sure has some chances and which is better than 5 in a minor playing for min-max, anyway
As you can now see, my only problem after spade (why not heart, dear? ) lead was guessing diamond suit. What is clear:
1) There was no additional information from the bidding about opponent distribution.
2) Theory tells us, that having 9 card suit in that case you should place Ace, King for dropping the queen.
After thinking for a while a had recalled one interesting theory of symmetry, which I can describe in the following way. In case you or the dummy has the singleton it is very likely that one of the opponents will have the singleton as well. This singleton will most likely be in your longest suit – ususally trump suit. Now, if you look at the trump suit break of 1-3, you can imagine that the Queen will be in the hand, holding 3 cards, most of the times.
Probably, this was the worst decision I made. I decided to follow this theory. One down.
I can now say that it was a wrong decision because in fact I decided to play against the field. Taking probabilities, I doubt that many of players know and regularly use this symmetry theory, therefore most of them will likely to use my first 2 statements, playing for dropping the queen.
Some say – this is what a women bridge is like And here we are – failing to get into the finals for the 2nd time in the European Championships.
The whole tournament was rather well-organized and the cappuccino, sold in the lobby, was very tasty, too I liked this new thing, when you can print the individual score sheet, using your badge, right after the end of session.
I really did not like the idea of having 5 sessions of 10 deals as it makes the bridge day very long because of many small breaks between these sessions. In fact, these tournaments are usually very tense in terms of playing time. You are supposed to play many days in a row from early in the morning till the late evening. That means, that if you are not playing MUCH bridge back home, it is almost impossible for you to succeed in this cruel bridge marathon. I am not complaining, though, I like playing very much and I like playing much. It is just not so impossible now for me, while raising 1,5 years old son
P.S. It was only a day after, when one Russian player told me the second half of the symmetry theory. In case your hand and the dummy EACH are having its own singleton (means you both have 2 singletons), then probably opponent will not have any singletons! It really would help, but .. Oops, too late! Suggestion: If you are learning some new theories, try to do it in-depth, studying all the details. It can cost you getting in the European Finals one day