Kees and I played in Purmerend last Saturday. Not too high profile, elderly opponents abundant, hopping from one bar to another on the “Koemarkt”, enjoying the sun, drinking Estaminet Premium Pils, and generally having a blast.
Did I mention we agreed to play Phantom Club? It’s a system that revolves around assuming your RHO has opened 1. So you can open aggressively having just overcall values and then practice all your partnership bidding agreements. Adam Meyerson wrote about it here. Spooky!
This was one of my grande moments:
That’s a fairly pure 17-count. RHO opens in 3rd hand 1 and I have an easy overcall.
I decide we won’t get rich by defending 2, so I rebid my . LHO starts with a and dummy comes down.
It seems defending 2 would have been the right choice after all… RHO plays her top 3, and on the last one I have a decision to make. LHO has echoed a doubleton so I pitch a instead of ruffing, LHO discarding a . The lady on my right ponders for a while and puts down a 4th , looking for a promotion but giving me a sluff & ruff. LHO’s 7 forces dummy’s King while I pitch my last small .
By now I’m fairly confident LHO is holding both missing honors for her 2 call and probably some cards, too. I wave to the waiter to order two beers and a strip squeeze with split fork. Come again? On my 5th trump this is the position:
I pay close attention to LHO’s final discard, here’s the little “if-then-else” I visualized:
If ( discard) then cash Ace and exit , use Ace as entry for free ; If ( discard) then cash Ace to strip West from , exit Queen to place West; Else Fatal Exception("Revoke bridge license");
I take 9.
Without the sluff & ruff I can work towards the same position for 8 tricks, East doesn’t have a to fire through me to prevent the placing.
After 32 boards Kees and I end up with 63.73% and a 5th place, good for some “Jonge Jenever” and Italian delicacies. We didn’t encounter any Ghost Busters… fortunately.