08 April 2011

How to butcher a contract

While I'm sure you need no such instruction let me share a story. After two passes my RHO opened 1, I jumped to 2 (intermediate), 3 from dealer followed by 4 by dearly beloved partner. Small club lead:
7 3
A J 9 7 5 2
A 9
K T 5
K T 5 2
Q 5
Q T 5 4 3 2
Yuk. Lots of points, lots of shape but poorly fitting. Worse the club lead destroys our one good entry to dummy. Even if we can set the diamonds up we may never reach them. There aren't many good chances but I decided to play a diamond to the Ace so I could ruff my club then finesse in trumps. I'm still going to need something unlikely like the A onside though.

No sooner had I designated the diamond deuce from the deck the King dropped from South. Well that's wonderful as I'm just about home now; I'll lose a heart and two spades. So I ruffed my club, South covered the Q, so I cashed the J and North showed out. Hmmm, no matter, if I exit hearts to South spades cannot be attacked and I'll get one away on the diamond. That's all very cute, work well, South was suitably grumpy at being end played twice and my partner happy.

At another table after identical play South ducked the Q!
Q J 6
J 8 7
9 7 4
7 3
A J 9 7 5
K T 5 2
Q T 5 4 3
A 9 8 4
K T 8
8 6
How ill do you feeling now with the lead stuck in the East hand? I got that spine chilling, sweat inducing shaking feeling that I'd misplayed it.

How to correct this little problem? Ruff the club with the Q then lead the five towards the knave or nine.

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