Full Speed Ahead
Playing in a regional pairs event where everyone has at least
1500 masterpoints, we come to the table of two internationalists,
well-known for their lightning-quick play. We reach 3NT on an
uncontested auction and I see:
| AQ874 |
| 92 |
West leads the K and I see that 3NT is not cold. I
have only seven tricks off the top and they have found my
weakness immediately. I shall duck a few hearts and see what
happens. On the first heart, East follows with the 2, but on
the second one, he pitches the 2. Surprise! West
had KQJ1098 and failed to bid. That doesn't bode well
for the spade finesse, but I shall need to get spade tricks to
make this, so I win the second heart and play a small spade to the
Jack, Queen and King. East wins and exits a low diamond to dummy; West
following with the beer. I'd like to play the other spade from my hand,
just in case West began with J10x, but I can't believe that
she'd not play low from that holding. Could she have a stiff Jack?
If so, I should play low to my Nine and set up four sure spade tricks.
She didn't play the J in tempo, though, so I think she really
has J10 doubleton. I don't want to damage my entries yet, so I cash the
A. Fortunately, both follow, but with low cards.
I continue with a high spade and East wins while West and I pitch
hearts. East continues with another diamond
and I follow low and West pauses.
Since bridge is played at blitz speed at this table, she must be
showing out, but, to be sure, I ask ``are you out-showing?'' She
nods and I claim on the double squeeze. We have time to get a Coke.
In the hallway, I note to partner that a club shift by East would
have broken up the endposition. Perhaps he should have played more
Copyright © 1993 Jeff Goldsmith