The World Serious
I'm having a great weekend. My girlfriend talked me into
playing a sectional instead of watching my favorite team
compete in the World Series. Fortunately, they won the
Series yesterday, so today's Swiss starts on a happy beat.
It continues, too, as we are crushing everyone.
Near the end of the first session, this hand arises:
As dealer, I open a strong (15-17) notrump. Partner bids
Stayman and rebids 2NT over my 2 response. I'm
feeling good, and I told her I was going to bid 3NT with
any excuse, so I do. Upon seeing dummy, I wonder why she
was so conservative; yes, we may have a problem in one of
the majors, but conversely, I rate to have a diamond fit,
so we may be able to run 9 tricks anyway.
West leads the 6, playing attitude leads. That
looks like his smallest one, so I try the J from
dummy and it holds. Time to take stock...that was easy.
This contract is cold with one spade, one heart, four
diamonds, and three club tricks. I don't have the beer,
so all that can matter is overtricks.
Since any other line risks going down, I, of course,
knock out the A by playing a diamond to the
Queen (might as well leave them with the illusion
that the J may be missing). West wins, and after
a bit of thought, continues with the K.
Bonus! I now have ten tricks and play for eleven.
It's a pretty sure thing that West has the K
or he'd've played a heart back. I win the spade
and play one right back. If he ducks this, he's
going to be squeeze-endplayed to give me a heart
trick in the end, but he wins and continues the
That's even better. I pitch the low heart from
dummy, run the diamonds, on which East discards
a club, and play a club to my King, on which East
shows out, leaving this position:
with West still to discard. I have a count on
the clubs, so when he apparently effortlessly
pitches a heart, I lead a heart up to dummy
and say, "King!" looking at West. Right I am!
He has been criss-cross squeezed, so I take the
last trick with the Q to make eleven tricks.
We gain an IMP on the board, which turns out to be
worth one VP, but it's not important as we win the
event by a mile anyway. It's been a great weekend.
Copyright © 1996 Jeff Goldsmith