Pizza Break

In our club, we usually order pizza part way through the game, since many of the players don't get a chance to eat dinner between work and bridge. After the third round, we typically have a five-minute pizza break, and everyone tries to be dummy on the last hand of the third round.

Playing in that club game against reasonable, but not very experienced opponents, it is the last hand of the third round and the pizza has just arrived.

S: Q32
H: AKQ54
D: K9
C: K73
S: K854
H: J107
D: QJ3
C: AQ4
3C: was artificial, asking partner to bid 3D:. The 3NT rebid showed a hand with probable 4-3-3-3 shape, exactly three hearts, and 12-15 HCP. 4NT was natural and invitational.

West leads the S:J, and I want to play this fast because my pizza is getting cold. The opponents play ``Jack denies, ten or nine implies'' leads, so the S:A is on my right. I play low from dummy and East wins the (presumably singleton) Ace. After a moment's thought, he shifts to a small club.

I am cold for eleven tricks and rate to be winning this board by playing it in notrump, but I would like to make six. In order to do so, I need to sneak through a diamond trick. Since that will only give me eleven tops, I'll need to squeeze someone. West is marked with five spades, so he's the only one I can squeeze, which means I need to play him for the D:A. I think the best way to get him to duck it is to advance the D:J. I do and it holds.

Since I am in a rush, I just claim now, saying to West, ``you hold the D:A and five spades, right? If so, I have the rest on a squeeze.'' East glances at the cards, puts his cards back and runs for the pizza with all of us in hot pursuit.

Copyright © 1995 Jeff Goldsmith