My name is Maris Matisons and after a strong pressure from Nataly (just see her photo and U will understand why I gave up ) I agreed to have my own blog about bridge and tourism and bridge tourism together and hopefully about other stuff. I am based in Latvia, however playing everywhere. This is the first time I am doing it, so be nice and enjoy!
I have just arrived from Poland, from the bridge tournament named “Wiosenny” Mityng Łódzki 2010 or "Spring" 2010 meeting of Lodz. It is 3 day tournament, which includes IMP, Min-Max competition and on of series tournament of the 11th Grand Prix Poland Pair 2010.
We were 2 pairs, headed to this tournament by car and the road took us some 11 hours, starting form 17:00 from Riga. Poland has only 1 hour time difference, so it is not a big deal. Along the way, we had one long stop for dinner. Then in Poland we had 40 minutes delay as one track – beam handler – was down, and another delay was a 20-minute search in the city for the hotel.
Hotel "Centrum" rooms were very good - 4,5 stars from 5 , with special price for bridge players - 203 PLN (approx. 50 EUR) per night per room. Breakfast was 2,5 stars from 5. Bad news were that the hotel had the casino, which ultimately became the most expensive cost item of the whole journey Any number of vodka cocktails were for free, everything else for money, however we found out later the the vodka cocktails got pretty expensive...
Back to story.The tournament consisted or 5 pairs tournaments + GP of Poland. GP stage was canceled due to the tragedy of Smolensk. All Poles were shocked, of course, and there was wide variety versions about what was happened.
In 2 of the 4 tournaments we managed to get the award for best foreign pair (respectively 100 and 80 PLN), except for second Latvian pair there were also some Lithuanian and Belorussian players. occasionally , our pair was considered as Swedish one, probably because of my surname – I had played with a Swedish partner once . And the IMP tournament we won and got a large tin Cup J, 4th . tournament was not so successful at all, but in overall I am very satisfied with the play, that was the first tournament won in Poland.
Back to bridge. Interesting boards:
Sitting on E, 1S opening by opponent and my turn to bid, but what? Here what I dont like, and must take into consideration:
- we are vulnerable, opps are not,
- partner has not passed yet,
- nor 2D, neither 3D are describing my hand precisely
- 4th level can be too much
Deciding that every bid is bad and everything is not good I passed.
On the second round after opponent bid 1NT it is already clear that there is no need to jump to higher levels, HCP are more or less equally divided for both lines . So, we finished in 3D doubled, which was just made, however brings us „only” 80% per this board.
The next board was a start of our misfortune.
2S= constructive decent preempt in S, (2D would bet preempt in a Major and 0-6 HCP), and the main question for me was if there is a need to dbl 3H in m atcpoints competition. I did double this contract, taking into account that for 90% opponents don`t have more than 8 trumps, (we normally do not preempt in 2nd level with voids) I had S shortness, opposition in trumps and scattered hand values.
As old saying says: HCP divided equally, both sides have 8-card fit only, so the one who is playing on the 3rd level has to blame himself
After opening lead in club the contract will be always defeated, unfortunately the opening lead was S , which was ducked. The declarer exited with a spade again, I took with the ace, switched to the diamond.. even now switching to clubs would create serious problems to the declarer...however the real life is different from our dreams and it was just made...
So, it is – two „JUST MADE” stories, one good for us, second for our opponents. Additionally - 3 from 4 torunaments was wan by non-Polish pairs!
Overall conclusions about Poland bridge meetings- good organization, friendly atmosphere, special prices for bridge players and strong bridge palyers, surely stronger than average Baltic torunament.
Thats it for today. See you soon again