Column 7B75 by Richard Pavlicek
Todays deal occurred in the Spingold Knockout Teams during the Summer North American Championships in Las Vegas. I know this too well, as it was one of the critical deals in a match that my team narrowly lost.
Our teammates held the East-West cards on the bidding shown. After Souths takeout double, West jumped to three diamonds as a preemptive raise and North entered the auction with a responsive double a modern gadget which shows equal support for the unbid suits (especially the majors). East jumped to five diamonds to continue the defensive barrage, and South took a stab at six hearts. West doubled, not just because he held five trumps, but his partner had opened the bidding and usually would provide a trick or two.
|6 × South|| 9 6 5 4|
Q J 7 3
9 6 4
10 8 6 5 4
10 8 6 3 2
| Q J 8 3 2|
K Q 9 7 5 4
| A K 7|
A K 9 2
A Q 10 8 7 2
Despite the five-zero trump break, the contract could not be defeated. West led a diamond and South chose to ruff in hand (retaining dummys ace). Four rounds of trumps were led (South discarding a spade) to exhaust the suit except for Wests long trump, then the club queen was finessed. When this held and clubs divided two-two, declarer continued to lead good clubs until West ruffed with his only trick. Making six hearts doubled gave the opposing team a fantastic score of 1210.
In the other room I held the North cards and my partner, Bill Root of Boca Raton, also doubled one diamond; but our West opponent made an incredible leap to five diamonds. This bold bid (insane might be a better description) was devastating. There was no way to discover our heart fit, and we elected to double five diamonds for a sure profit of 300, rather than speculate on six clubs (which makes).
The net result of this deal was a loss of 14 IMPs and we lost the 64-deal match by just 10 IMPs. It still hurts when I think about it.
© 1985 Richard Pavlicek