Thanksgiving was turkey-free and I’ve stayed clear from any black Friday (or Cyber Monday) madness. I will leave for Seattle on Wednesday. For Thursday I’m still a bit on the fence, either go check out Seattle or getting warmed up at some small side event. I’ll let the rain decide. Then Geoff and I will join forces with our team mates and enter the Keohane North American Swiss Teams.
The deal below is from the home knock out series I talked about earlier:
- Exactly 4 card suit, 8-12 hcp, unbalanced
I had an easy raise to game after Geoff opened 2, but when the opponents competed to 5 I decided to draw my axe. Two quick tricks, a clear lead, 8-12 hcp sitting across and vulnerable opponents seemed enough for a decently bloody reward. I lead my stiff and dummy puts down:
Urgh! That’s quite a good dummy. The travels via partner’s Queen to declarer’s Ace. A hits the table and I’m pretty sure it’s a singleton. So I rise and now I’m at crossroads. Where is Geoff’s entry? At this point I’m pretty confident Geoff is holding a 4-1-3-5 (maybe a 4-2-2-5) with King – Queen of , Jack and a mystery card.
Partner has followed with just small cards so far, nothing to encourage me to underlead my Ace. But if Geoff doesn’t hold an entry in then we’re not going to defeat it, I decide. I whisper a small prayer and lead a low . Low … Low … And slightly higher. Something inside me shatters in uncountable little painful fragments.
I write down -850. Full deal:
Declarer was ready for -500, but after I had won the Ace and considering my enormous pause, he understood the predicament I was in. That declarer afterwards confirmed the magnitude of my defensive problem and agreed with my play provided a little solace after all.
In retrospect I probably should have taken all the small cards at face value. Unusual cards at unusual moments reveal a specific holding or signal and I guess it works the other way as well. It is too much to ask for at the table, but if North (with exceptional & high speed visualization skills) does not cover the in trick one, it will lead to a successful defeat of the contract, stuck in dummy declarer has no plan, play or prospects.