Bridge Week in Pasadena used to be one of the
largest regionals in the country every year.
It ran for ten days straight. Now, it is only
six days and about average size.
The 1997 Bridge Week had a very exciting hand
in the Wednesday evening pair game.
The bidding needs some explanation. North
was embarrassed by his opening bid, so he
doubled 3 to try to slow down the auction.
4NT was key card Blackwood for spades,
and 5NT asked for specific kings. 6
showed the K, but so did East's double.
Trusting the opponents more than partner, I
bid 7 rather than 7NT, hoping that
partner's 10 was the jack.
West led a small club. Dummy was a bit of
a disappointment, and the club lead was even
more of one. I won the A and played
a small club from dummy with an innocent air.
Evidentally, their lead conventions were not
up to disambiguating my club holding, so East
flew with the K. After the trump break,
it was over. I immediately announced, "I wish
there had been a diamond lead. I would have
made it honestly then."
The club lead ruined a wonderful and rare
end position. After the expected diamond lead,
I would have run eight rounds of trumps, leaving
Note that each defender has yet to discard on the
ninth trick. Neither can successfully. If
West discards a club, I'd play a club to the A
and play the Q, pinning the J. If East
discards a club, I'd ruff the low club, setting up
the Q. Therefore, they must both discard
hearts, making my small heart in hand good.
This is a double trump squeeze with menaces in
two suits guarded by both defenders. The "riffle-diffle"
club menace makes it work. Too bad there was no diamond
lead. These hands come up in alternate decades.
July 10, 1997