The Fives of Spades
Playing in a local duplicate against average opposition,
I pick up with both sides vulnerable:
A742 KQ742 QJ Q4
We are playing the Flannery convention whereby a 2
opening bid shows 11-15 high card points, 4 spades, and 5 hearts.
This hand certainly qualifies, so I open 2. LHO passes,
and unexpectedly, so does partner. RHO happily bids 2,
so perhaps I shall get to play in a major after all, but LHO tries
3. Partner thinks better and doubles, and RHO retreats to spades,
which I double, ending an eventful auction.
I lead the Q, partner's suit!
On the diamond lead, partner plays the 8 and declarer wins the King.
the K, the A (where is partner's double?), and
plays the 10. I play low, letting partner win the
Jack. He shifts to the J, Queen, Ace. My J
is overtaken and partner cashes the Ten and Six, declarer following.
Partner leads the 2, ruffed with the Six and overruffed
with the Seven. I have saved the 7 and partner ruffs it with
the Ten. Declarer overruffs with the King, cashes the Nine of trumps
and claims holding the 53 over my stiff Four. Down two. ``Sorry partner,
next time I'll have the Five of spades so that we can get them for 800.''
| 8 |
| A742 |
| J10 |
| KQ9653 |
The very next day finds me in another duplicate against inexperienced
opposition. I am South; West deals and opens a weak 2 and partner doubles. 2NT
would be artificial in our methods, so I bid a very aggressive (perhaps foolhardy) 3NT.
| A9532 |
| 86 |
West leads the K, and I pause to take stock. This is not a very good
contract, but I have two heart tricks, one spade, one diamond, and three clubs
if I can get the clubs right. The diamond finesse would give me eight tricks,
and I might be able to manage an endplay for nine, or possibly the double finesse
in diamonds might be working. For the moment, I have nothing better to do than
to start clubs. The 3 is covered by the Jack, Queen, and Ace.
At least clubs have come home. East fires back the 2 to my Jack and
the Queen. West continues with the 3. I try the double finesse, playing
the Nine, but East wins the King and shifts to the K. I follow and West
drops the Jack as I win the Ace. All of a sudden, I see that
this time the 5 is where it belongs. They both follow to the
diamonds, and I cash the clubs ending in my hand leaving:
On the last club, West is triple squeezed. The spade
would have been best if I had only the Seven and not the Eight,
but, happily, he pitches the J. The 8
completes the circle. East must overtake the spade or West will
be forced to lead into my heart tenace. When he does, he has to
lead from his 74 into my 95, and I make the hand
with three club tricks, one heart, two diamonds, and three spades.
``Thank you partner. That spade Five was an awfully good card.''
| 953 |
| 10 |
| Q74 |
| 8 |
Copyright © 1992 Jeff Goldsmith