Join Bridge Winners
Pretend to Be Steve Weinstein
(Page of 4)

After eliminated from Reisinger, I have no plan of playing bridge on the last day. I go watch world-class players play. I follow Kit Woolsey at the beginning. During a hand when Kit Woolsey and Bart Bramley play against Steve Weinstein and Bobby Levin, Steve asks me to play dummy for him. I get my chance to pretend to be Steve for a few minutes. After the round, I stay with Steve Weinstein and watch him play.

This deal comes up 

Levin
9873
98
984
AK54
Weinstein
J
AQ53
QJ1072
Q72
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
X
P
2NT
P
3
P
P
P

West leads K, which can be from either AK or KQ, East follows 5 (standard). West shifts to a diamond, East wins K, cashes A, and plays the third round. Steve unblocks T from hand, and lets dummy win the third round, West discards 4. While Steve is planning the play, I pretend to be him again, think about how I would play this hand.

Levin
987
98
AK54
Weinstein
AQ53
QJ
Q72

Spades look 4-4, and nobody should have 5 hearts given this auction. If West has 4-4 in the majors, he would respond 1, not 1, so West should be 4-3 in the majors, and East is 4-4. The whole distribution should be West 4-3-2-4 and East 4-4-3-2. If K is onside, we can count to 8 tricks: 3 diamonds, 3 clubs, and AQ. However, Since West just pitched a spade, East is the only defender guarding both majors. If we can duck a heart and ruff 2 spades, eliminating West's spades, there is a chance to reach this approximate end game:

West
Jx
J10
North
x
x
Ax
East
Q
K10x
South
AQx
x
D
26

When A is played, East will be squeezed in both majors.

Levin
987
98
AK54
Weinstein
AQ53
QJ
Q72

This plan looks promising. However, there are several possible ways it can go wrong. (1) If spades are not 4-4, all inferences we just have will be wrong. (2) West may have K in the end game and cash a club, and we are down 2. -200 will be a disaster in B-A-M. (3) When we duck a heart, East-West can return another heart to break our entry required for the squeeze. If I were Steve, I would ask if the opponent may raise 2 with 3-card support, and what is the requirement of doing that.

At this moment, Steve does ask the opponents if they may raise 2 with 3-card support! The opponents will raise 2 with 3-card support when holding 5431 distribution. Since East has exactly 3 diamonds, 3-?-3-? will not make any 5431 distribution, spades must be 4-4, and our read should be accurate.

The next problem is how to reach this end game without interruption.

West
Jx
J10
North
x
x
Ax
East
Q
K10x
South
AQx
x
D
26

If we ruff a spade in hand, and duck a heart, it looks way too suspicious. It is normal for defenders to keep playing spades, stay passive and avoid blowing up a trick, but it's very abnormal for us to shorten our own trumps. If we duck a heart to East, who knows he's the only defender guarding both majors, he may read the position and return a heart. It is better to play 9 from dummy and let it run, which is very normal if we have AQTx or AQ7x in hearts. If West is not aware of the coming squeeze, he'll probably play a spade back to help us eliminate his spades! After that, we can play a club to dummy, ruff another spade, cash Q and reach the end game above. The only thing we need to worry about is K being offside. If we really think that is the case, in the end game above, we can throw West in with a club, force a heart return and settle for down 1, which is fine, since 2 is probably making with an overtrick or two.

Steve starts to play. He plays 9 from dummy and let it run. West wins J and returns a small spade to East's Queen, Steve ruffs. Things look very promising now. West starts with AK J, and East starts with Q AK, with or without J. East needs K for his opening, Moreover, if West has K, he would have probably doubled 3. Steve plays a club to Ace, ruffs another spade, dropping West's A, cashes Q and plays his last club to K. East starts to tank. Steve says "Looks like I got you", tables his hand and claims, 3 making for +110.

West
AK64
J76
63
9863
Levin
9873
98
984
AK54
East
Q1052
K1042
AK5
J10
Weinstein
J
AQ53
QJ1072
Q72
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
X
P
2NT
P
3
P
P
P
D
26
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
5
J
0
0
1
3
4
K
10
2
0
2
A
2
6
8
2
0
3
5
7
4
9
1
1
3
9
2
3
J
0
1
4
6
7
Q
J
3
2
4
2
3
A
10
1
3
4
8
2
Q
A
3
4
4
Q
6
4
J
3
5
4
7
8
K
10

Steve asked the question I wanted to ask, and played the same way I wanted to play. I did a good job pretending to be Steve Weinstein!

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