Playing in the second round of the Grand National Pairs,
we oppose two regular teammates. No one is vulnerable
and I am dealt
J10 J1095 864 QJ106
in fourth seat. Partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls
1NT (15-18). All pass. My opening lead is obvious,
the J. We see
with some awe. Dummy sheepishly admits he was underbidding.
After a few rounds of, "of course, you know who is
playing it," etc. my J holds. Partner discourages,
but when your jack holds, partner's signal isn't all that
critical. I try the 10. It holds. Partner has
played the two and the three. I don't think this suggests
a club shift; I think he needs to hold his spots, because
declarer has created some sort of tenace position against
him. I can't think of which one, but I don't care. I have
an obvious shift to the J. Guess what? It holds.
This is going pretty well! Partner encourages, so I continue
hearts to partner's K and declarer's A. Rats.
I was on a roll.
Declarer cashes two rounds of clubs and looks a little
annoyed when partner shows out, pitching a spade. I contribute
the Q so that partner knows what's going on in clubs.
Declarer crosses back to the Q as all follow, and
plays the 5. I play small, and after some consideration,
declarer inserts the Curse. Partner wins the 10 and
considers for a little while. He announces, "I'm about to
make a weird play," and exits with the Q. Dummy wins,
and declarer thinks again. This is a double-dummy problem
from our standpoint, though not declarer's.
After due consideration, declarer continues with the
J from dummy. Partner wins, and with a flourish,
exits with the 2 to dummy's 3! I claim,
"no one can beat a pair of tens," and declarer ends up
The play was pretty fancy (well done, partner!), and
it occurs to me that
partner opened the bidding, declarer overcalled 1NT,
dummy apologized for underbidding, and I took five
tricks! (Tens full of jacks.) If declarer
got the endgame wrong by exiting with his low diamond,
I could have taken seven tricks!
It's also not everyday that you see a three-spot
established by force.
Copyright © 2007 Jeff Goldsmith