Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Slip of the Wrist

Playing in the A/X Swiss on the last day of the Seattle NABC, you pick up this nice assortment with All Vul. AQ63 Q854 6 AK62. You are actually playing an 11-15 HCP Roman 2D, so this hand, while at the top end, does qualify.

Partner bids 2N asking for your shortness, and you bid 3C, showing Diamond shortness. Partner now bids 4D over that, not something you have talked about. You bid 4H, and partner now bids 4N, RKC. You bid 5S, 2 with the Q, and partner signs off in 6H, which you pass. The opening lead is the 5 of Clubs (3rd and 5th) and you see this hand.

K854  AKJT  A73  Q8

AQ63  Q854  6  AK62

Looks like a pretty nice Grand to be in, oh well. Not paying a lot of attention to the board, you win the Q of Clubs in dummy, and lead the A and K of Hearts out. Everyone follows to the first round, and RHO pitches a high Diamond on the 2nd. You cash the third Heart on Dummy, cross to the A of Clubs, and ruff a Club on dummy, while LHO sheds a small Spade. Now you cross to the A of Spades to pull the last trump and claim, except that LHO goes and ruffs the A of Spades with the last trump, and you realize too late that there is a real problem. You still have a Spade loser to go with the ruff, and you are going down in 6, when you were cold for 7 Spades if you ruffed Diamonds.

This happened to our opponent on Sunday, he had to apologize to his partner for the hand. When our partners bid 7H on the hand, and played for the 2 Diamond ruffs, we wound up getting to the 20 IMP area of the scale, something you do not see too often.


  1. RH - ruffing 2 diamonds starting at trick 2 looks automatic here as you have no more losers unless trumps go 5-0.

  2. When hearts proved 4-1, play DA and ruff D with HQ. Now play your remaining small trump to dummy and draw the last trump, pitching a spade from hand. You have twelve toppers even when spades do not break.

    Since there is next to zero chance of being overruffed if second round of diamonds is ruffed small, best I think is as Anonymous suggests. Whole sequence is: CQ, DA, D ruff small, heart to high honor in dummy, diamond ruffed with Q, last heart to dummy, finish drawing trumps and claim.

    Maybe the opener hand is too big for 11-15 call? That seems true, but also second guessing to the nth.