Not Good Enough!
Playing in a knockout match against a team that's playing
quite well, at both vulnerable, as West, I encounter the following defensive problem:
I lead the Q, and declarer covers as partner
wins the Ace. Partner continues a second spade and,
to my disappointment, declarer ruffs. Declarer draws
two rounds of trumps ending in hand and plays a heart.
I don't see a way of beating the hand
unless partner has the K, so I win and continue
with a club. Declarer wins in hand, runs all his
trumps, and squeezes me in the rounded suits to make
3|| Pass|| Pass|| Dbl|
Pass|| 5|| All Pass|
This is the last hand of the set, and as soon as play
concludes and the opponents get up, partner accuses,
"why did you take your A? If you duck it,
you break up the squeeze!" "No, that's not good enough.
There's a squeeze without the count. Look what happens
if I duck:"
"What do I discard on the last trump? If I pitch a heart,
declarer just gives me a heart and the dummy is good."
"Hmmm...yeah, I see."
The second half of the match goes very poorly for our side
and we lose by a lot. The dinner conversation isn't very
bubbly, so I think about this hand a little more. Suddenly,
I exclaim, "I blew it." "Of course you did or we wouldn't
have lost, bozo. After all you have ME on the team." "Yeah,
yeah, I mean that there was a defense to 5 in the first
half. Ducking the heart isn't good enough, nor is winning
the heart." "That leaves revoking." "No, I have to play
the Q or J, neither ducking, nor winning.
Declarer must win or I simply cash our third trick. So he
runs the trumps. On the
second to last trump, I discard a high heart, not the small
one. Then, if he cashes the last trump, I can pitch my
A and partner can win the heart and cash a spade."
"See, I told you you'd messed up. Believe me next time
when I tell you you are an idiot." "Yeah, right. Why
are you wearing that beer?"
Later, I can't sleep. That hand is driving me crazy. It'd've
been such a great hand if I'd've found the triple unblocking
play, playing partner for the doubleton ten...wait a second...
not good enough! If I had pitched a high heart coming down
to this position,
then declarer has a counter. He doesn't cash the last trump,
but plays a heart instead. If I win, it's over, so I have
to let partner win the 10. What now? If he plays a
club back, declarer wins the K and cashes the last
trump, squeezing me. Nah, that partner wouldn't do that.
He'd play a spade, doing declarer's dirty work for him. I
guess the only defense was for partner to find a club shift
at trick two. I wonder if I ought to tell him.
June 15, 1998