Dummy of My Dreams

Playing in a local regional pair game, I sit down against a pair I don't recognize. Even though I don't usually play pairs, that's still unusual.

In second chair, I pick up a pretty good hand,  S:87 H:KQJ1093 D:A63 C:A5. RHO opens 1C:, and I overcall 1H:. LHO passes, and partner bids 1S:. We play that forcing, though it does not promise a great hand. RHO passes, and I can't do less than jump to 3H:. All pass quickly, so I'm not expecting much in dummy.

The opening lead is the S:K, and this dummy appears.

S: Q10965
H: 2
D: Q105
C: QJ62
S: 87
H: KQJ1093
D: A63
C: A5
Pass3H:All Pass
The dummy of my dreams! It might have a cover card, maybe even two if I can get to dummy to take a club finesse. The S:K holds while RHO encourages. He continues with the S:3. What? Did LHO really lead a doubleton king? Really? Maybe he is underleading AKJx thinking his partner has a singleton in order to get a ruff without setting up dummy's suit. That'd be nice, so I try the S:Q. Pipe dream. RHO wins the S:A and plays a trump. No attempted trump promotion? Maybe she figures I'd just pitch a loser. Did he lead from S:KJxx? This is weird. I hop trump king, which holds. I might as well continue trumps, so I do, and LHO wins the second round, then shifts to the C:9. That's nice. Now I have a dummy entry! I put up dummy's C:Q, RHO covers, and I win. Cool. Things are looking way up. I'm up to eight tricks with lots of promise for a ninth.

Let's take stock. LHO showed up with the S:K and H:A. That leaves 12 HCP for RHO's opening bid. She doesn't have a singleton, so she probably has all 12 of the HCP. I ought to be able to endplay her in diamonds, but I need to know her shape first. So I draw another round of trumps. I have already pitched one spade from dummy, and I pitch another on the third round of trumps. RHO shows out, pitching a spade. I draw the last trump, discarding a club from dummy. RHO also pitches a club. The hand is down to

S: 10
D: Q105
C: J6
H: 93
D: A63
C: 5
RHO is known to be 4-2 in the majors, so she's either 2-5 or 3-4 in the minors. If she's 2-5, I can duck a diamond and drop the D:K for my ninth trick. If she's 3-4, I can cash another trump, pitching a club from dummy, and she's squeezed. She can't pitch a diamond or a spade or I have a trick by force, so she has to pitch a club. Then I'll cross to the C:J, ruff the spade, and play a diamond to the 10, endplaying her.

So I play another trump. LHO pitches a club. Excellent! Now, I have an even cooler plan, one which caters to RHO's being 4234 or 4225. I pitch the spade from dummy, and RHO squirms. She's squeezed in three suits, and one of the menaces is opposing voids! If she pitches a diamond, I'll drop the king; if she pitches a club, I have two club tricks. So she has to pitch the 13th spade. Then I can cross to the C:J, ruff a club, and play a diamond to the ten as before. Cool. After a few squirms, she tosses a diamond. The D:A fetches the jack, so I claim for +140. If RHO had pitched the S:J on the penultimate trump, I'd cross to the C:J and if LHO showed out, I'd drop the D:K. If not, I'd ruff the club and endplay RHO in diamonds.

Various approaches work in the end game, but I like the variation where RHO is squeezed out of her S:J, even though I don't have any spades. It's just a winner she needs to be able to cash when in with a diamond. Of course, had she not covered the C:Q...

Copyright © 2012 Jeff Goldsmith