Playing in a regional swiss with a new and talented partner,
no one is vulnerable when a hand to test one of his theories comes up.
I hold the "big" hand and open 1. Partner thinks
that it's almost always wrong to pass opening bids, even
at IMPs, so he responds 1. I'm not in on the joke,
so I bid 1 and everyone passes. I have had better
dummies than this one.
The opening lead is the 9, obviously from shortness,
to his partner's Q.
That brings me down to three tricks, since my second heart
trick is getting ruffed. There's nothing to do but to draw
trumps, so I lead a small spade, inserting the 7. It
works, losing to the Q. I'm up to four tricks.
RHO cashes the other high heart, then returns the
8 to give his partner a ruff with the 8.
That's a suit preference signal, but evidentally, LHO
is unwilling to underlead his AQ. He continues
with a small club to his partner's 10 and my K.
I exit with a trump to LHO's K. He thinks for awhile
and cashes the A, drawing his partner's last trump,
then continues with another club. RHO puts up the Q!
I win, cross to the J, and discard a diamond on the
good 7. I have two good black cards left in my hand
and I've already taken five tricks, so I make 1!
I suggest to partner after the match that I might have
passed 1. He replies, "what would you have led
against 3NT?" "Probably the K." "That's their 9th trick.
If you led a spade, I could finesse the seven. That'd
probably beat it." "Doesn't look like it. What should I
pitch on four rounds of diamonds?" Our teammates arrive
and are +400 on the board, having duly bid and made 3NT.
I'm still not sure I'd respond to 1, but partner was
certainly right this time.
September 23, 1998