Playing in an open sectional Swiss, we have won all
our matches save one. We lost that by one to the
only vaguely decent team we have met. Despite that,
we are quite a bit behind them. This match, we are
playing another reasonable team.
We are vulnerable against not.
LHO deals and opens 1, and I hold KQJ QJ74 AQ1093 J.
That diamond opening isn't good, but things look up when
partner overcalls 1. RHO passes, and my only
raise available is 2, so I make it. LHO doesn't
double (good!), and quite surprisingly, partner jumps to
4. Even more surprisingly, RHO chimes in with 4!
What's going on? What hand can RHO have not to bid 1
and now bid 4? There is none. I guess he chose not
to bid originally, because he has a lot of spades and very
few high cards. I have no idea if LHO psyched his opening
or chose not to double 2 because he wasn't sure he
wanted a diamond lead. He's not going to get one unless it
is a singleton, I suspect, and since partner will get pitches
on my spades, I think we can make a slam unless we are off
two key cards. If I bid Blackwood now, partner can't bid
above 5, so the only question is if I'm safe at the
five-level. I think so; partner hardly has only one key
card for his leap to 4. But it wouldn't surprise
me if we were off the black aces. So I check, and I get
nailed. Partner bids 5! How can that happen? I
have the Q! He must have seven hearts and feels
that he should show the queen himself, since he thinks I
have three hearts. Joy. I have had this happen before,
but never when I had four trumps and wasn't prepared for
it. With only three trumps, I might well not have risked
this' happening. Well, I can't play anything
below 6, so maybe one of the key cards we are
missing is the trump king. If so, it'll surely be onside.
I bid the slam without much confidence. Nobody doubles.
That's not a clear sign, but I can hope. The bidding has
Not surprisingly, RHO fires out a club. Partner wins
with the ace (good!), ruffs a club, and takes a heart
finesse. It wins, and he claims 12 tricks immediately.
This is, not surprisingly, a sizable swing, enough almost
to blitz the match.
Looks like this time the opponents were nailed.
We blitz the last match, but we
are never able to catch the leaders. Even if we had
beaten them (can anyone find two IMPs?), we would not
have passed them.
Copyright © 2011 Jeff Goldsmith