Excess of zeal tends to make for some unlikely contracts. To
make them, one must sometimes find the only chance. Playing
IMP pairs red on white, I am South, East deals and we reach
4. We've both been bidding agressively, since we're
in an 18-point game.
| 983 |
| AQJ4 |
As to the bidding, I am not at all contrite, but I truly
wish partner had a third trump. It's a shame that much
of his high card strength is wasted, what of it there is.
West leads the K and when that holds, continues with
a small diamond. East wins the Queen and continues the suit.
West wins the Ace and continues diamonds. I duck, wasting the
beer, and East contributes the King, which I ruff with the 9.
They have set up my J for me.
What do I need to make this? I've already lost three tricks,
so I need to find the trump Queen, successfully finesse against
the K, and do something with the fourth spade. Yeah, right.
I have only one sure entry to dummy and I need to take two spade
finesses. It must be right to play West for the trump Queen,
finessing the 8 and gaining an extra entry. The fourth spade
will either go on the J or I can hope that spades are
3-3. I lead a low heart to the 8, which holds. A spade finesse
wins and another trump to the Ace fetches the Queen from West. I
don't know how good West is, but I must consider whether the
Queen is a true card. Since they were raised, clubs are probably
4-4. Diamonds are marked 4-3. If spades are 3-3, trumps are
2-3, giving East 3-3-4-3 shape. If the Q is a falsecard,
then spades are 2-4 and East is 4-2-3-4. West seems like an
unimaginative player. If he were up to a falsecard, he might've
played the Queen on the first trick, hoping that I had KJ109x, to
kill a dummy entry. I'm playing the hand for true cards; if that
was a falsecard, he beat me. I ignore the good J in
dummy, finessing spades once more. That passes off and I draw
trumps: the Queen having proved doubleton. That means spades are
3-3, so I cash the A and claim.
The heart play at trick four was important. If I had ruffed with
the four or the five, West could have defeated me by rising with
the Queen on the first round of trumps, denying me a second entry
Copyright © 1995 Jeff Goldsmith