Join Bridge Winners
A Lesson in San Diego
(Page of 2)

North
AQJ42
AKQ64
7
86
South
5
1032
K83
KQJ752
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

This hand was the start of our downfall in the Tuesday-Wednesday KO at this year's Easter Regional in San Diego. It came early in the semi-final round against the eventual winners, Gillian Miniter, John Hurd, Joe Grue, and Geoff Hampson. I declared 4 against a small heart lead from John Hurd, which I let ride to my hand in order to start clubs toward dummy.

 To my surprise, John showed out on this trick, pitching a small diamond, and Gillian won the A. Since her partner clearly didn't want to ruff, she quite reasonably returned a second trump to protect against spade ruffs in dummy. When John followed with the 9, It seemed that I was on my way to an easy make: Pull the last trump, pitch my last club and losing diamond on the two high clubs, and then drive out the K, giving up two spades. As long as spades were 4-3, this simple line would yield ten tricks. I couldn't immediately see a way to succeed if spades were badly split, even though the K was likely to be on my left. And I might set myself in a cold contract by trying a more complicated line.

  

That type of mental laziness is probably my worst trait as declarer, and I paid for it here, as John's hand included KT987, along with the J9x.

Do you see what I should have done? It's true, there is no sure make, but I could have added to my chances by continuing clubs. LHO must wait to ruff the third round, and then he must lead a pointed suit. A spade return would give me two high spades and a ruff in dummy, so he is forced to play a diamond. Worst case, his partner holds the A over my K, and I must fall back on spades being 4-3.

 In actuality, John also held the A, but leading it now still sets up my tenth trick.

The moral of this story is that I could have taken care of half the bad spade split hands at no risk to my original line!

4 was made at the other table, where our teammate overcalled a forcing 1 opening with 1, exposing the bad split. 

5 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top