Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good, but not good enough

Doub Doub, of West Hartford CT, and Adam Waldavsky, of New York City, won the NABC+ Fast Open Pairs in Las Vegas. This was board 5 from the second final session (hands rotated):

Q 4
A J 10 2
Q 8 7 4
6 5 3
10 8 5 J 7 6 3
8 6 K Q 7 4
10 3 A 6 5 2
A Q 10 9 4 2 7
A K 9 2
9 5 3
K J 9
K J 8

The auction was Pass by West and North. East opened 1 and South, Wildavsky, overcalled 1NT. West bid 2NT which showed clubs (I'm guessing he or she plays the HELLO convention). North, Doub, doubled and East dutifully bid 3. The auction proceded Pass, Pass and Doub bid 3NT. 3 doubled would have been better for North--South (for an easy 500), but neither side held four trumps and East--West escaped.

West led the 10 which was won by the ace as declarer dropped the jack. East shifted to a club and declarer again played a jack, losing to the queen. If West cashed his A, that would set up the king and declarer could then squeeze East in the majors for nine tricks. West, after some thought, continued diamonds. This was better than a club, but not good enough -- West needed to shift to a heart instead.

Declarer won the diamond with the king, played two more diamonds (discarding a club from his hand) and then four rounds of spades. East was endplayed. He tried a low heart which was won by the 10 in dummy. Declarer led the 2 from dummy towards his 9 and East was endplayed again.

Making plus 400 was worth 66 matchpoints on a 77 top.

Deals such as this are why I love bridge. It really is a beautiful game.

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