On Monday I played with Drew Hoskins in the Burlingame Regionals. I thought our setup (a 6-bagger consisting of Jason Rosenfeld, Foster Geng, Ari Greenberg and David Grainger) was already a force to be reckoned with, but when I saw Mike Lawrence at the playsite I felt tiny again. If I had known he was going to be there I would have brought half a dozen books for him to sign.
Here’s me picking up eleven imp:
The auction was short: 1NT – 3NT.
I can count six solid tricks, but when East shows out on the small lead I have seven already. I can play truly va banque and finesse in and play a towards the Queen for nine. But I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket.
The finesse is almost unavoidable so I take it immediately. I’m glad to see the Jack wins the trick, that’s number eight.
I’m going to assume East is 4-5-4-0, for he pitched he a small on the first trick. My plan is to remove all of East’s idle cards and then place him to grant a trick to the Queen.
So I continued by cashing Ace and King of and the King, ending in dummy. I got off lead with the Ten of to West. West saw his partner’s pain too on the run of and decided not to cash his last . Instead he switched to the Ten of . I ducked and East won his Queen.
East exited with his remaining small and dummy took it with the Ace. I crossed to my Ace of and put East on lead again with my Jack, discarding the from dummy. East sighs and grants the smiling Queen a trick. Nine!
At the other table declarer was less inspired and collected his eight tricks. I agree the defence looks less than optimal (East could have kept a , for example), but after a long day most players get a little soft. Capable declarers and defenders can and will take advantage of that.