And a Half?
This Life Master Pairs has been a roller-coaster.
In the first round, the local TV station did a report
on the game. Since we had the only table with any light
near the doorway (why were all the national events held
in "bar lighting?"), they chose to film us and interview
me. I happened to be facing the doorway where they had
room for the camera. We all tried to be nice and charming,
but it was a lot easier for our opponents. On the first
board, we doubled them in 4. They only made two
overtricks. -1190. On TV. On the second board, red on
white, partner balanced vs. their strong notrump.
His choice was reasonable, but it sure didn't work out.
I stole a trick in the play to end up -800. On TV. We
left the filming area with four matchpoints. Believe it
or not, the first board got us half a matchpoint (out of
64). Someone else did that?
Despite those misadventures, we managed to qualify. On
the third day, we played a pair of internationalists who
have formed a new partnership. I held AJxxxxx Qx Jx Kx.
I opened 1, and partner responded 1NT, semi-forcing.
RHO doubled. I bid 2, of course, and LHO doubled.
All pass. How bad can this be? The opening lead was a small
heart and I saw:
RHO won the first trick and shifted to a trump.
I won with the A and knocked out the other
high heart. LHO won and shifted to a low diamond.
RHO inserted the 10. I scooped up the trick,
crossed to dummy in trumps (they were 2-2), pitched
my other diamond on a heart, and led towards the K.
The ace was onside. Making 4, +670.
In large fields, it's nearly impossible to get
a complete top, but this time I note that as my
estimate. After the session, I see
we did not get a top, only 63 and a half.
AND A HALF?????
Copyright © 2002 Jeff Goldsmith