Missed Another One
Playing in a regional Swiss against good opposition, I deal and pick up
7 AK8763 42 AK53. I open 1 and partner bids a forcing 1NT.
It's IMPs, so I rebid 2. (At matchpoints, I'd seriously consider
underbidding a little with 2 just in case partner is about to pass.
The major rates to score more than clubs.) Partner takes a preference
to 2, so I raise to 3. He should be able to figure out
when game is good, so it's worth the small risk of going minus in 3
to allow partner an intelligent decision. He passes quickly (uh, oh!), and
equally quickly, LHO fires out a small spade. I see
We play Flannery, which is why partner didn't bid 1. But
it looks as if we have missed an excellent game here. Who didn't
I win the spade and plan to ruff two clubs in dummy. If all goes
well, I could make five. So I cash two clubs in hand, and everyone
follows. I lead a third club, LHO follows, and partner reaches
for the 9. "Hold it. Ruff high, please." I'm not in
game, so I want to make extra sure I make my nine tricks; if RHO
has two clubs and 10x and I ruff low, he can overruff and return a
trump and I'll lose five tricks. In practice, RHO follows. (Oh,
well.) I ruff a spade, then lead the last club. LHO ruffs with
the ten (did I blow a trick?), and exits with the K. Yes,
he underled KQxx for whatever reason. I ruff and draw
trumps, which are now 2-2, so I make ten tricks. The safety
play didn't cost a trick. Whew.
At the other table, my counterpart bid 4 after a similar
start, 1-1; 2-2, and also made
ten tricks. Maybe I didn't bid enough. K&R says my hand is worth 19 points, but
my sequence seems pretty sensible to me.
Copyright © 2013 Jeff Goldsmith