Trust Thy Partner
I'm playing in the finals of a compact knockout with one of my
favorite partners. There was only one other strong
team in the event; we dispatched them handily in the
semifinals. We are winning the finals as well.
At favorable vulnerability, in fourth seat, I pick up
A2 AQ876 92 AK93
Pretty good hand. LHO opens 1 and there are two
passes to me. With a hand this strong, I have to double,
which the next two players pass. RHO runs to 1.
He's in trouble. I double in tempo. Amazingly, LHO
runs to 2! Not surprisingly, that's passed around
to me. Of course, I double again. It looks like I have
about six tricks in my hand and partner is not broke.
LHO passes 2 and partner goes into the tank. She
eventually emerges with 3, passed to me. The bidding
|LHO|| Partner|| RHO|| Me|
1|| Pass|| Pass|| Dbl|
Pass|| Pass|| 1|| Dbl|
2|| Pass|| Pass|| Dbl|
Pass|| 3|| Pass|| ?|
Rats. They were getting creamed. My natural reaction is
to bid 3NT out of pique, but is that right? No, I'm sure
it is not. Partner has nothing but diamonds, and if she
had the A, she would have bid 3 in order to
reach 3NT from my side. If she had anything outside of
diamonds, she would surely have left in the double. Upon
reflection, I'm sure it is right to pass. We might make
5, but we rate to lose a spade and a couple of
diamond tricks, so we are high enough now. I'm glad I
didn't react simply due to testosterone; I'm sure that
I've done the right thing by passing.
It turns out to be true. Partner has
Jxxx KQJ1087x xx. 3 is quite high
enough, although the opponents misdefend by never
leading trumps, so partner makes eleven tricks.
At the other table, my hand was in a vaguely similar
position and bid 3NT. He went down a bunch, so we obtained
a moderate pickup.
I knew partner couldn't have much more than just diamonds,
because I knew my partner. I think, however, that she might
have bid 3 directly over 2. Once I doubled 1,
we were in a forcing auction, so to bid 3 immediately
should show a weaker hand than to pass and then pull my double of 2.
On the other hand, I could have had one more quick trick, and
then 5 would have made, so maybe the stronger of the two
sequences was justified.
Copyright © 2001 Jeff Goldsmith