Rubbed It In
Bridge Week has been going poorly for me. After
a bunch of knockout events, I've lost 80% of my
matches, despite having played fairly well. Oh, well.
I'm even up IMPs for the tournament.
In the quarterfinals of yet another knockout, we
are playing against an expert player who is famous
for screaming at his partners, opponents, teammates,
even himself. His partner is an easy-going expert.
We have had the better of it when I pick up at
K8632 84 3 K9854.
Partner passes in first chair and the screamer
opens 1. I decide that Michaels is a bit
rich on these cards and I don't want to have to
judge what to do if I bid 4 over their
4 and it gets doubled, so I overcall 1.
The Easy-Going Expert bids 2 and RHO cues
2. It sounds like they are going to reach
3NT and I'd like to suggest a club lead if partner
is on lead, so I make a "lead-averting" double of
2. LHO passes and RHO thinks for a long
time, then redoubles. I pass, although I give
fleeting thought to 3, and LHO also thinks
for a long time and passes. Partner does, too,
and we are in 2xx. That wasn't what I had
I lead my fifth-best club (3rd and lowest) and
dummy wins the ace. Partner encourages as declarer
drops the Jack. Declarer thinks about the hand for
a little while and takes
a trump finesse, which succeeds. He thinks some more.
He crosses to dummy with a diamond and tries another
trump finesse. When partner shows out, he has a clue
that this one might not work and rises with the trump
ace. He's in big trouble now. I ruff the next diamond,
draw dummy's last trump, and run clubs at him. He ruffs,
cashes two hearts, and I claim the balance for down one!
6NT was frigid, as was 6 and 7.
We are +400 vs. their vulnerable grand slam!
In order to avoid laughing or gloating, I get up
and leave the table. It's the last hand, so that's
OK. I can't, however, keep the story to myself.
I've told it to half a dozen friends already when
I decide it's time to apologize to the Easy-Going
Expert for telling this story on them. As I get
to the table, I hear the EGE screaming at his partner,
"you revoked and you yelled at ME!" This might not
be a good time to mend fences.
When we compare scores, it turns out our teammates
missed the slam, so we only gain 14 IMPs on the
board. We win the match by 13. After the final
comparison, I think about it for a little while
and remark to my team captain, who has just returned
from turning in the result, "hmmm...we won the match
on that board!" He replies, "I know. I've already
rubbed it in."
July 12, 1997