Monday, September 28, 2009

Board 10

Board 10
Both sides vulnerable

♠ A K Q 8 5 A 9 7 9 6 3 ♣ A J


I open one spade in second seat, partner bids one notrump, and I raise to two notrump. Partner bids three spades. This should be weaker than an immediate raise to two spades. (Four spades would show a three-card limit raise.) I'm supposed to pass this bid, and if I weren't vulnerable I would, since partner might have made a tactical response with virtually nothing. (Ira Rubin believes that you shouldn't pass partner's non-vulnerable opening unless you're prepared to double three notrump. If you subscribe to this theory, this means, in practice, that you pass with four or five high-card points and respond with either more or fewer.) But I needn't worry about a tactical response when we're vulnerable, and knowing that partner has three spades has improved my hand. It seems unlikely we can take two more tricks in spades than in notrump, so I bid three notrump. Partner passes, and West leads the five of diamonds:



NORTH
♠ A K Q 8 5
A 9 7
9 6 3
♣ A J





SOUTH
♠ 9 6 4
J 10 6
K 7
♣ Q 10 9 5 3






West

North

East

South

Pass

1 ♠

Pass

1 NT

Pass

2 NT

Pass

3 ♠

Pass

3 NT

(All Pass)





The play proceeds three--queen--king. The opening lead has given me my eighth trick. Terence Reese once said that where there are eight tricks in notrump there are nine. By that, he meant that if you simply cash your eight tricks, the opponents may be unable to defend the end position. I don't think he had this deal in mind when he said that. I see nothing better to do than to try the club finesse. I lead the three of clubs--seven--jack--king. It's not over yet. I need four-four diamonds and the jack-ten of spades dropping. Using the third round of spades as an entry to my hand means I may have to abandon dummy's long spades. But I don't need them. I'll wind up taking three spades, four clubs, and a trick in each red suit, curiously taking more tricks in my hand than in dummy.

Unfortunately, diamonds are five-three. To top it off, spades are four-one, so I finish down three:




NORTH
♠ A K Q 8 5
A 9 7
9 6 3
♣ A J


WEST
♠ 2
Q 4 3
A J 8 5 4
♣ 7 6 4 2


EAST
♠ J 10 7 3
K 8 5 2
Q 10 2
♣ K 8


SOUTH
♠ 9 6 4
J 10 6
K 7
♣ Q 10 9 5 3


Perhaps I should have passed three spades after all. I had seven tricks (or so I thought). If partner could contribute two tricks--or even one and a half--he probably would have bid three notrump himself.

In the replay, North raised one trump to three, and South corrected to four spades. Funny how that worked out. By driving to game instead of inviting, North made the choice-of-games decision harder. East led the deuce of diamonds. Declarer lost two diamonds and a trick in each of the other suits for down two. I'm wrong again. We do take two tricks more in spades than in notrump.

Me -300
Jack -200

Score on Board 10: -3 IMPs
Total: +40 IMPs

1 comment:

  1. Sam Stayman used to advocate opening 1C with 2NT rebids containing 5 card majors so as not to wrongside the hand . I suppose this hand is an exception . He did have checkback for the 5 card major available.

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