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:
K4 KQ2 QJ98 K632
After two passes, the star on my right opens 1. I
cannot enter the auction yet, so I pass. South responds 1,
which is passed around to me. 1NT seems obvious, so I bid it.
South, knowing his partner has partial spade support, bids 2,
which is again passed to me. Since I won't sell to 2 when
they have an eight-card fit, I double for takeout. Partner leaves
it in and we defend 2 doubled, though I have some trepidation
as to the sensibility of this action.
Partner leads the 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 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 2. Since partner is marked with four hearts, he
must be 3-4-3-3 or he would have bid 3 rather than
leave in the takeout double without an opening bid.
It seems obvious to shift to the K, so I do. Partner
signals encouragement and declarer wins the Ace in dummy. That's
good; declarer might have had the J, and I would have
just blown a trick. Quickly, I have to decide whether or not
to play the 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 9. That's good; he must have QJ9.
Declarer continues with the
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 Q
or J and has no club losers, but declarer does not know
that yet. He thinks that I might be endplayed. I continue with
the 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 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
Copyright © 1993 Jeff Goldsmith