He Took His Eye Off the Ball
Playing the Blue Ribbon Pairs, I have a kibitzer who is
hard to keep quiet. A client is on my right and a pro is
on the left.
Both red, I pick up AQJ65 3 QJ107 K87 as dealer and open 1.
LHO overcalls 2, partner raises to 2, and RHO
competes to 3. I have a stiff heart, so I compete to
3, and no one doubles.
LHO leads the A, and I see
Curious choice by partner. Raises on two are sometimes sensible,
but three low in RHO's suit should give him pause. Fortunately,
the hands mesh pretty well, though there is a substantial danger
that I'll get tapped out.
Everyone plays low on the A, LHO tries to cash another,
and I ruff. I need to get my side suits set up before drawing trump,
and there's a fair chance that I'll run into a ruff, but there's
nothing I can do about it. I might as well get diamonds started,
so I profer the beer card. LHO doesn't think for very long and
grabs the ace. I expect him to tap me again, on which I'll pitch
a club, but instead, he quickly shifts to the 2.
I play low from dummy, and RHO thinks for a while before playing the ace.
That makes it pretty clear that clubs are 4-1, and it can't hurt me to
try to stop a ruff, so I follow in tempo with the K. This
minor falsecard seems to work (it ought notdo I really have two
singletons and have bid only 3?), because he continues with a
third heart. I can't afford to ruff this, so I pitch a club on it.
That looks pretty strange to the kibitzer. First I unblock a winner,
then I discard my newly-created loser! Anyway, LHO wins the J
and glares at his partner. He's obviously pretty annoyed that he didn't
get his ruff. Eventually, he exits with a diamond. It's pretty
to win in hand and draw trumps pitching the K, so I do. Making
In the endgame, the pro took his eye off the ball. When he was
in with the J, the position was
If he plays another heart, what do I do? If I ruff in my hand, RHO
has the long trump. If I ruff in dummy, RHO can pitch his last
diamond, and then how do I get to my hand to draw trump? He
was on tilt and not thinking carefully.
Copyright © 2018 Jeff Goldsmith