I was South on this deal from the final of the Life Master Pairs in Long Beach. After my 1 opening, West made a light 2 overcall (vulnerable too) and my son Rich bid 2 (forcing). In competition this does not promise another bid, so with my tweener I had to choose between a conservative 2 or 2 NT, and an aggressive jump. Forever an optimist, I tried 3 NT; then Rich corrected to 4 with his undisclosed fit.
West found the best lead of a club and I finessed the queen, which seemed a good bet on the bidding. Not. East won and returned the 6 to the king, ace; then West led the J to my queen. I next cashed the A. Good news! The queen fell, but this also meant I could not ruff my diamond without losing a trump trick.
I considered my options: One was to win the A and run all my trumps, reducing to Q-2 7; then if West had K-x left, I could throw him in with the 7. But I didnt trust this West to have his bid, so I decided to try Plan B, running the Q to East. (This would also work if West held the K and East the J.) East returned a club to remove dummys entry, then I ruffed a club. Wests shape appeared to be 1=3=6=3, so I established the heart suit with a ruff; making four.
Did you notice how the contract could be defeated? West must duck my K; then when East wins the K, another diamond would be fatal whether I drew trumps or not. At double-dummy, 4 can be made only by ducking the original club lead. Hmm. Ill remember that the next time I play against this West maniac.
© 2003 Richard Pavlicek