|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
We had a huge start, but then had zeros in each of our last three rounds. Here is a hand from when things were going well:
Board 28, favorable, I held as dealer:
Kxx Q9xx Qxxx Qx
I passed and LHO opened a 12-14 1N. Eric bid 2, showing the majors. RHO then jumped to 5!
I passed, and Eric bid 5. I wasn't sure if this was a slam try or a diamond fragment, but I had an easy 5 call. (I considered slam, but Eric was under pressure and I had too much minor suit junk to believe that we were taking 12 tricks.)
LHO led the K (K from AK) and here was the dummy:
QJ9xxx AKTxx Ax -
(Eric later said he meant 5 as showing better spades than hearts.)
I ruffed in dummy and led the A. RHO followed with the jack. I led a heart to the queen as RHO pitched a club. Now what?
I can make an overtrick by running spades and pitching three diamonds from my hand. But what if spades are 4-0? If I pull the last trump, LHO can take the spade king with his ace. Then I cannot get to hand for a spade hook, unless I use the fourth trump which is needed to ruff dummy's diamond.
So I abandoned trumps -- which can hardly be dangerous given the auction -- and played on spades. My caution was rewarded when RHO showed out on the first round! I was able to claim when LHO won my king with his ace -- win the return, cross to hand with a trump, spade to the nine, run spades and crossruff.
Unfortunately board 2 did not go so well. Third chair, favorable, I held
Jx KQT9x AJx JTx
Eric passed and RHO opened 1. I doubled, LHO passed, and Eric bid 3 -- showing values, not preemptive. RHO and I passed and now LHO bid 3!
This is passed to you. Do you pass, double, or bid 4? If you pass or double, what do you lead?
I doubled and led the J. I figured that LHO had heart shortness, some spades, and a poor hand. This lead turned +200 into -930 when dummy tracked with Qxx xx xxxx Axxx. Declarer sucked up the spade suit -- poor Eric had Kx -- and ran four clubs, pitching one of her two small hearts.
(-170 was the same zero as -930, the error is in the lead, not the double.)
Update: I did not give the full scope of our late collapse. Our scores on the last three rounds were 1.1, 0, 1.7, 3.8, 12, and 1.1 on a 12 top.