Nothing is more fun than swindling several tricks. An unusual opening lead by partner allowed us to cooperate to take an amazing number of tricks. Declarer helped. Playing IMP pairs against an internationalist on my right and his client on my left, I hold in 4th seat, white on red:
 S:K4 H:KQ2 D:QJ98 C:K632
After two passes, the star on my right opens 1D:. I cannot enter the auction yet, so I pass. South responds 1S:, which is passed around to me. 1NT seems obvious, so I bid it. South, knowing his partner has partial spade support, bids 2S:, which is again passed to me. Since I won't sell to 2S: when they have an eight-card fit, I double for takeout. Partner leaves it in and we defend 2S: doubled, though I have some trepidation as to the sensibility of this action.
S: 1053
H: A54
D: K542
C: A108
S: K4
H: KQ2
D: QJ98
C: K765
1S:PassPass 1NT
All Pass
Partner leads the D:7, declarer ducks smoothly, and I put up the Jack. It holds, declarer following with the 3. That is a surprise. Partner must have underled the D:A. We know something that declarer does not; I bet we can take big advantage of this. Can we reconstruct declarer's hand? He must have five spades and he cannot have four hearts or he would have rebid 2H:. Since partner is marked with four hearts, he must be 3-4-3-3 or he would have bid 3H: rather than leave in the takeout double without an opening bid.

It seems obvious to shift to the H:K, so I do. Partner signals encouragement and declarer wins the Ace in dummy. That's good; declarer might have had the H:J, and I would have just blown a trick. Quickly, I have to decide whether or not to play the S:K if declarer leads a spade. I think not; I'd like to get the chance to use it on the fourth heart. After a little thought, declarer leads a small spade off dummy and I am prepared to play low. Declarer wins his Ace and partner follows with the S:9. That's good; he must have S:QJ9. Declarer continues with the D:10. Partner bravely ducks again and declarer tries to drop my Ace, but that doesn't work as I win the Queen. We cash two rounds of hearts, ending in partner's hand and he exits with a club ducked to my King. We have book already and I'm sure that we are getting at least two trump tricks.

Can we really get him? Yes. I know declarer has the C:Q or C:J and has no club losers, but declarer does not know that yet. He thinks that I might be endplayed. I continue with the D:9 and declarer blithely pitches a club as partner takes his Ace. The old winner-on-loser play! Now, when partner continues with the thirteenth heart, I can ruff with the S:K promoting a third trump trick. All in all, we take three spades, three diamonds, two hearts, and one club for +1100 on a partscore hand. The client is about to receive a lesson from the pro. As we leave the table, partner comes up to me and says, "That was FUN!"

Copyright © 1993 Jeff Goldsmith