Redeeming

Hi all

In a week I’ll be in Reno, participating in the Nationals. I have planned to play the IMP Pairs (with Drew Hoskins) and the Vanderbilt (with Geoff Hopcraft). Both partners are capable of creating action and generating imps and stories. I’ll post them here.

Here’s another Beowulf story from last week at Piedmont.

North
KQ5
K
AKJ6
A9763
South
AJ74
743
Q943
K5
West
North
East
South
 
11
pass
12
pass
23
pass
24
pass
3
pass
3NT
pass
4
pass
4
pass
6
a.p.
 
  1. 15-17 bal or any 18+
  2. 6+
  3. Natural
  4. Natural

Perhaps I shouldn’t have ventured with 2, it shows (or should show) more than this crummy four card suit. On the other hand finding a fit might get a bit difficult if I can’t take the slow approach. Anyway, Geoff pushed to slam when he found out I was holding too.

My LHO starts with the Ten of , and I take stock. I have two paths, establish the or try to ruff two in dummy. If the opponents had started with the latter plan would have been fairly easy to execute. But the lead creates some transportation problems. So I decide to establish dummy’s .

After winning the King of I draw two rounds of trumps with the Ace and King, the Ten hasn’t shown up yet. Next I cash the Ace and ruff a with the 9, LHO discarding a . I cross to the King and ruff another with the Queen. This is the position:

North
Q5
K
J6
6
South
AJ7
743

My plan was to cross again in , extract the outstanding Ten, cash the and pitch dummy’s losing on my long for thirteen tricks. I fell off the bridge when East ruffed the to dummy and cashed the Ace for down one.

North Dealer
EW Vul
North
KQ5
K
AKJ6
A9763
West
T8632
QT85
87
T2
East
9
AJ962
T52
QJ84
South
AJ74
743
Q943
K5

Mere minutes later the solution hit me. A surge of pure, redeeming insight made me want to crawl back in time and replay those last couple of cards.

Instead of crossing to dummy with another , I should have exited in . The opponents can take their trick but now dummy’s void and Queen function as entry to draw the last trump. Combining the chances of any favourable split with an unfavourable split but a well placed Ace of . It might be talking towards the cards, but assessing the value of that overtrick in 6 should have steered me in the right direction.

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