One of My Favorite Things
Playing set at IMPs with a very good partner against two
strong young players, I hold a hand on which I wasn't
perfect, but my early error allowed me great enjoyment later.
| KQ72 |
| A83 |
The bidding takes some explanation. We were playing a
mini-notrump, so the Northern 16-count had to open 1.
2 was Fourth Suit Forcing; when I rebid 3,
it was forcing to game. 4 was Roman Key Card
Blackwood; 5 showed two Aces and denied the
Q. 6 was an error; I should have bid
either 6NT or 5NT and allowed partner to choose which
slam to bid. If his Q were the Q,
6 would be much better than 6NT; as it is, I'd
much rather be in 6NT from partner's side.
Due to my error, I get to play this hand and on the
10 opening lead, 6 is not cold. Since
the lead might be a singleton, I must win this with
the Ace. I drop the J as East encourages,
just as a matter of habit.
Two lines of play suggest themselves. If the Q
is onside doubleton or tripleton, I am playing for an
overtrick. Alternatively, I can cash two high trumps
and hope for 3-3 spades to pitch my club away. The
two lines are pretty close, but I can also make on
some 4-1 trump breaks by finessing, so I think running
the J is slightly better. I try it and it holds.
One hurdle. I lead another trump from dummy East covers
with West following suit. On the third round of trumps,
West pitches a small spade.
Phew. The slam is now cold; I can now consider the
overtrick in more depth. That spade pitch is dire;
West is a good player, so he has either a small doubleton
spade or five of them. That's good news! If he has four
or more spades, I have all the remaining tricks on a
double squeeze. East must guard clubs; West must guard
spades; no one will be able to handle diamonds. This is
an ordinary type R double squeeze. Double squeezes are
my favorite plays, and I shall play for it. I cash two
more rounds of trumps, pitching clubs from the table.
West pitches diamonds and East clubs. I cross to the
K, cash the Q and East shows out. The
double squeeze will work and I just claim the balance,
saying, ``spade to the Ace, heart, double squeeze.''
The defenders look at my cards for a second and concede.
Making seven. I am elated. Not only do I love double
squeezes, my favorite play of all is to claim grand slams
on double squeezes. I am very pleased that my bidding
error allowed me to be in this position.
Partner comments, ``Well done. If I had known that my
four of diamonds was to take a trick, I would have bid
Copyright © 1994 Jeff Goldsmith