Playing in a regional pairs event, we visit the
table of a pair who are very friendly and very
inexperienced. They are playing for free as a
fill-in pair. We are vulnerable and they are not.
RHO opens 1 and I hold
AJ1062 75 10942 92
This is pretty normal for our favorable weak jump
overcalls, but I'm very hesitant to preempt against
this pair. After all, I expect 65% or more of the
matchpoints anyway; why risk a disaster? After a short
waffle, I preempt 2 anyway, anti-percentage
The auction proceeds reasonably normally. LHO leads
the K and I see a useful dummy.
If I can pick up trumps and diamonds are 3-2,
I can make this. Meanwhile, RHO overtakes the
K, cashes the Q, and continues
with a third high club. I no longer need diamonds
to break, but I'm not real hopeful about picking
up trumps. Looks like RHO is planning a trump
promotion. I don't see how it will help to ruff
this in hand, so resigned to a probable down one,
I pitch a diamond. Surprisingly, LHO follows to
the third round of clubs as I ruff in dummy. This
looks as if it was a good start for the defense.
I suspect RHO has four trumps and was hoping
to have his partner ruff with the six or higher,
creating a trump trick. After all, he didn't
know that his partner didn't have a doubleton
club. If so, I can probably manage
a trump coup. I have enough entries, so
I can afford to cash the K now.
Surprise! RHO shows out, pitching a heart. So that's why he
attacked my trump holdinghe thought his
partner had four of them. Unlucky for them,
and lucky for me, it looks as if LHO has too
many trumps. I'll need some luck in the play,
I cash two rounds of hearts and ruff one low
in hand. Both follow, so RHO is known to be
exactly 0436. My only hope to make is that
LHO has the doubleton K and fails to
unblock, but these guys are not world champs,
so it's possible. I cross to the A.
No one drops the K, so I'm still alive.
The position is
It is tempting to cash my good heart pitching
a diamond, but that is an error. Instead, I
exit with a diamond. Happily, LHO wins this
trick and plays a trump. I win and exit with
my last diamond. LHO has to ruff his partner's
winner and concede the last two tricks to my
trumps. Making 3 for +140.
Obviously, the opponents lost their way a few
times, but a double trump endplay is a rare
and happy thing despite this imperfection.
in the end position is interesting; the loser-on-winner
play of cashing a good heart ruins the tempo of the
double endplay; LHO ruffs it, cashes his good diamond,
and exits with a low trump. Then I'm the one who is
Copyright © 2005 Jeff Goldsmith