27 November 2010

In a hurry

At last weekends tournament there were a couple of times when the buzzer went and we hadn't quite finished the hand. This wasn't unusual, it seemed to happen to most pairs at some stage, of course it wasn't us who was slow. All the excuses you'd normally hear for slow play were pulled out by both sides and there were no official penalties. On one board, just after an opponent had opened 2 the director came over and stated that if we weren't finished in the next 2 minutes he would grumble most seriously at all involved.

A K 7
A K 8 7 4 3
K J 7 6 5 3
8 5 2
9 2
Q 6
J 6 3
J 7 6 5 3
J 9 5 2
Q 9 8 4 2
Q T 9 4
T 8 4

Under time pressure the NS players bid:

at this point North fidgeted for may precious seconds then on spying the directing wandering menacingly nearby bid 6 announcing something like "I don't know. There isn't time for a real auction".

South let the opening heart run around to the Queen, played off the two top clubs and proceeded to ruff two clubs with the 9 and T of hearts claiming 13 tricks when hearts were 3-3. Ouch. We weren't able to share -1460 with any other unfortunate EW players so zero matchpoints was our lot. The popular contracts were 3NT which is correct and successful and 6NT which is doomed. Would North and especially South have bid like that if they were allowed a more relaxed auction? Maybe, maybe not but it didn't feel good.


  1. NIce story. I empathise with you immensely. Slow players are nothing more than cheats : cheating others from a fair share of the alloted time for thinking abouts their bids and play of the cards. I hate them. Anyway keep up the good work with your blogging. Don't let lack of response/comments put you off. People may still be reading them in their hundreds. Yours Howard Bigot_Johnson ( real name John Howard Gibson, Sheffield England )

  2. I think we all know the local players who always tend to take excessive time - as HBJ, I do consider it to be a form of cheating. Of course there are times when you do need to think and take your time, but not for every card.

    In this case you were very unlucky. 'Rub of the Green' as Bobby Wolff would say.