My Usual Garbage

Playing in a local unit game, I deal myself my usual garbage:
 S:62 H:Q1032 D:Q109 C:10932
I pass and consider if I want to call Hearts or Losing Tricks (a Barbu reference). The bidding is swift and partner leads a top heart against 4S: as I see:
S: 983
H: J85
D: 76
C: AKQ84
S: 62
H: Q1032
D: Q109
C: 10932

All Pass

Dummy's bidding is curious; 3S: should not be invitational (double is an artificial game try) but she had a limit raise on the previous round, so she was making up for lost time.

I encourage the first heart trick (to discourage a diamond shift away from the Ace), and partner continues the suit. Declarer ruffs with the S:10. Looks like he has 150 honors. He plays two top clubs, partner dropping the C:J on the second round. He reflects on this and shifts to a diamond, winning the Ace in his hand and continuing another diamond. Oddly, partner flies with the D:K on the second round (why?) and plays a third heart. Declarer ruffs with the S:J. Yup, 150 honors.

Something funny is going on. It looks as if declarer has four spades, one heart, six diamonds, and two clubs. That seems impossible, but it's not my play yet. Declarer ruffs a diamond in dummy, as partner follows low! Odd. So he's 5152. Partner just did something strange in diamonds. I wish I knew why.

Now, for some reason, declarer tries to cash the C:Q, but when I follow with the C:9, he changes his mind and ruffs it with the S:7. Partner discards a heart. Obviously, partner has a trump honor and chose not to overruff.

Declarer now plays a good diamond. Partner discards his last heart and dummy ruffs with the other high spade. Suddenly, I'm required to make a good play. Carefully, I discard my club winner, setting up dummy's long suit. When declarer plays a club from dummy, I ruff with the S:6 to beat the contract. Declarer thinks about this for a long time, but tries the effect of overruffing with the S:Q. Partner beats that with the S:K and exits with a trump, winning the last trick with the 13th trump.

The situation at the end was

S: 83
C: 84
S: K54
H: 9
S: 62
H: Q
C: 10
D: J4
When declarer ruffs his diamond in dummy, if I don't discard a club, he can play a club and discard a diamond from hand. Partner is forced to ruff and lead into the S:AQ. The same happens if I fail to ruff high on the club from dummy; partner is forced to ruff or overruff my S:2. But it does no good for declarer to discard on the S:6 as partner can now underruff and will get a trump trick.

It was nice to be able to make a cool play, even though I had garbage. We didn't do very well, but this hand made my day.

Copyright © 2001 Jeff Goldsmith