Force de Tour
Playing in an open Swiss with a decent team
and outmatched opponents, I pick up:
K653 AKJ4 10972 4
This meets our standards for an opening bid; since we play five card
majors, I open 1. Partner responds 2, which we play
does not promise a rebid. I am supposed to rebid my diamonds, but
that does not seem right, so I rebid 2NT, which is not forcing, but
shows a doubleton club at least. Partner cheerfully bids 3NT, West
leads the 2, and I see that this contract is not cold.
If all goes well, I can get, in theory, four spades, three hearts, and
two clubs. The technical line requires spades 3-3 or the lead from
J10xx, the heart finesse, and honor doubleton or both honors in clubs onside. I also
need some sort of blockage in diamonds, or they get four diamonds and
a club. All this seems a bit unlikely, so I think I shall play for
defensive errors, instead.
| AQ9 |
| K653 |
First, I play the 9 from dummy, just in case, but East covers
with the Ten and I win in hand. Since I do not want them shifting to
diamonds at any time, I must attack them myself. Who knows, perhaps
a diamond trick is out there lurking. I cross to the Q and
float a low diamond. East plays low, and I insert the Ten in tempo.
To pause here would be unethical, so I have planned my play in advance.
West wins this with the Jack and continues spades, which I am happy to
see break 3-3. One hurdle established. Since I now have no technical
play at all with the dummy entry removed, I continue diamonds. East
hops Ace to play a low heart. Perhaps I should run this around to the
Nine, but I do not think that will work, and I still have my hopes to
get them to play clubs for me. The heart finesse works giving me eight
tricks. I cash the last spade, West pitching a heart, East pitching a club.
More diamonds. I continue with the seven, covered with the eight and
won with the King. East is 3-4-3-3. It looks as if they have discarded
well, purely by accident. I expect him to continue with a
heart, which is likely to set me, but he shifts to the Q. I doubt
that this is good for me, since I need all the tricks but one, but I win
the Ace and start cashing hearts. On the third heart, West throws a club
and East drops the Queen. I do not know who he thinks he is fooling by
this, but perhaps his partner will not be awake. I continue with the
6, and West is caught in a submarine memory squeeze. Clearly, he
does not know if the six is master and since he holds the K and
the Q, he does not know which to keep. Obviously, if the
heart is high, I have nine tricks, so it is foolish to worry about it,
but in the end he believes the fall of the Q, and discards his
winning club. East wins the 8 and disgustedly concedes to my
good J on the table. No overtricks.
Copyright © 1992 Jeff Goldsmith