Playing in a regional Flight A Swiss, we lose the first
match when an opponent passed an artificial forcing
bid out of confusion. It was very right. Her partner
yelled at her for the rest of the match.
On the first board of the second match, I hold
Axxxx Axx xx Qxx
LHO deals and opens 5. Partner passes, and
RHO bids 6. They are probably going down,
but it seems much more likely they'll make than go down
two, so I see no reason to double. And I'd like partner
to make his normal lead.
It is the Q. Dummy says, "we're probably off
two aces," as he puts down
This looks good. I wish I had doubled. Declarer
plays low, and before I play, I stop to think about
the hand. If declarer has eight diamonds, which seems
likely, then unless he has three clubs, he'll have all the
tricks when he gets on lead. That means I need to
give partner count. But if he has five hearts, how
does he know whether I have three hearts or two? He
won't, and he'll not know I have the A. After
all, I didn't double, so he will probably try to
cash a second heart. That could be a disaster. So
after double checking my calculations, I rise with
the A, knowing that I may blow the second
undertrick. But at least we won't let declarer make
when he should go down. I suppose declarer could
be 0292, but that is far less likely than partner's
misguessing at trick two.
Nope. Declarer ruffs, cashes the A and ruffs
a club high, crosses to a high diamond, ruffs another
club high, and crosses to dummy with a trump. Partner
shows out. Declarer now has 13 tricks, eight diamonds,
four clubs, and the K. He goes into the tank.
After a minute, I finally interrupt him, "just claim."
He thinks for another 20 seconds and claims 12 tricks.
He didn't realize his K was good. I gnash my
teeth, and, holding in my annoyance, I apologize for
pressuring him to claim and tell him he made seven for 1390.
Of course, the overtrick is irrelevant; our teammates
are in 5 making six to lose 13 IMPs and the match.
It's just not our day.
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Goldsmith