Sunday, March 8, 2009

A virtual frown

Playing bridge online last week, I had a defensive problem. I held:
9 7 A 9 8 6 5 A Q 10 7 J 5.

I opened a skimpy 1 and left-hand opponent overcalled 1NT. Partner passed and RHO bid 2 and alerted it as a transfer. LHO bid 2 and RHO raised to 4. Partner led the 7 and this was the dummy I saw on my right:

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

Apparently North-South don't play Texas transfers, or they don't know that this sequence shows a mild slam try.

Declarer played the K from dummy, and you? I didn't see any reason to duck, so I took my ace. Now what? When I looked at the hand records later, I saw that most of the East defenders woodenly led back a heart, hoping partner could ruff. That would mean that South had five hearts. Yes, he could, but I thought that was a long shot, so I switched to a diamond. Good news. Partner had the K and we cashed three rounds (diamonds split 4-3-3-3), and they were down one.

The deal is not over yet, so what now? If you count declarer's high-card points, partner can't have the A, but she might have something in spades. I led the fourth round of diamonds, and declarer glared at me. Ok, well, we're playing online, so I didn't actually see a cyber-frown, but I could feel his exasperation.

He played low and my partner won the trick with her doubleton Q for down two. Here are all four hands:

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

Plus 100 our way was worth 8.01 IMPs, a nice little pick-up. To read more about a trump promotion, click here.

You can see all the results and maybe figure out who was also glared at, if you click here.

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