I'm playing a regional Swiss with a new partner.
He's a good player, but tough to get along with.
I'm definitely regretting my choice. Not only are
we not getting along, we are getting massacred.
Pretty much, at this point, we are only playing for
pride. My primary goal today was to decide if I wanted to
play with this fellow in the future. I already know
that I don't.
Partner deals me my normal number of aces
and kings for the day:
QJ10972 2 QJ42 63
He opens 1 and RHO doubles. I don't need
to get involved in this, particularly since we
play that 2 shows a different hand than this,
but I'm fond of 6-4 hands, so I bid 1. The
opponents are silent after this; they've seen us in
action and know we can produce a competitive auction
on our own. Partner rebids 2, and I have an
easy 2 rebid. Partner now bids 2NT. He
could have many different shapes, but he rates to
be either 2524 or 1534 with about 17-18 HCP. I
suppose he could be 2533 as well. Is game possible?
Just barely, I think, so signing off in 3 is
too conservative. Bidding game is too much, so
I make a descriptive game try with 3. Partner
thinks about this for about a minute, which is normally
time for him to play two full hands. He eventually bids
4, which, of course, becomes the final contract.
The opening lead is the J and I see
4 was a good choice. Switch his aces with his
kings and he should sign off in 3. And know
we are too high already. With most of his stuff working,
however, game should have play. I assume he was trying
to decide whether to trust me or not.
Anyway, while I like the bidding, the contract is not
cold. We have two aces to lose, I'm not real hopeful
about the club finesse, and there's the fourth round of
diamonds to handle. It can probably go on the 9;
the lead is probably from the J10, but that's by
no means a sure thing. LHO might be leading a doubleton.
Probably nottrumps are probably 1-4, but RHO could
be 3145. Come to think of it, I'm glad I bid 1.
I suspect that 1 doubled would not be a pretty sight.
The lead isn't a singleton, so I might as well try the
club finesse. Not surprisingly, it loses. Also not
surprisingly, a small trump comes back. They had time
for that, but it does seem like the normal defense. Just
in case RHO is 3154, I win the Q in hand. Fortunately,
LHO follows...spades could have gone Hawaiian. We'd probably
have been doubled if so. Just as it is obvious for the defense
to prevent diamond ruffs in the dummy, it is obvious for me to
force them to do it. I lead a diamond to the king and ace.
Another small trump comes back. Odd. The K wins in
dummy as LHO pitches a heart. So spades are 1-4.
I'm still not willing to bank on the club finesse, and I
see a way around it. I cash the A and ruff a heart
to hand. RHO pitches a diamond on the second heart! I'm really
glad I didn't pass my first time. Next, I knock out the trump
ace. RHO thinks about this for a while and exits with a diamond.
I draw the last trump, pitching a heart from dummy, and cash the
last high diamond. LHO shows out, so I have a claim. Even
though I know the club finesse is a near lock, with RHO's
being dealt 4153, there's a double squeeze. Since I enjoy
claiming on double squeezes, I do. Partner disputes
my claim! RHO wants me to play it out. Technically, I'm
not supposed to, but I do just for show. I cash my last
trump and LHO is glaring at everyone. The position is
Finally LHO just folds her cards. Partner is informing
everyone that RHO could have had the 10 and then my claim
is busted, but it was very unlikely. I have learned not
to argue with him.
Copyright © 2004 Jeff Goldsmith