Some general updates before I get to the bridge main course:
- Portishead will be performing in the Greek Theatre here in Berkeley, and Trentemøller a week later in SF. Yay!
- Another trip to The Netherlands planned early September to attend multiple weddings.
- I’ve traded in my struggles with CDMA for preliminary testing work on LTE.
Here’s a nice defensive problem. Of course I was unable to solve it at the table. Usually I need at least two windows of opportunity to grab what I want.
- I was close to doubling for takeout, but a small voice in the back of my head said no.
Partner leads the King and this is what I see.
Declarer asks for the Ace, I play my Jack and declarer follows small. Then he takes about three minutes before asking for a small from dummy. Huh! What? I win with the Queen and consider my proceedings. Does declarer have Jack – 4th in and is he looking for his 10th trick? Rectifying some count? A discovery play perhaps?
I play my King of to find out about my partner’s count. I get the 9 message: odd. I don’t believe he has three, so that leaves declarer with a singleton. I revert back to and declarer ruffs.
Suddenly it hit me like a dumb bag of bricks. Declarer is 1-7-4-1 and combines a 3-3 split in with the possibility of ruffing a with trump Ace.
Yes, declarer plays a to dummy’s Ace (via partner’s Jack) and I win the 3rd perforce (partner pitching his Queen of ). I see that a trump switch is too little too late now, so I try to promote a trump in partner’s hand. But declarer ruffs my with the 8 and partner takes another pitch. Declarer’s fourth gets eaten by trump Ace and the remainder gets claimed quickly.
When I was in with the Queen of I remember fingering the small trump in my hand briefly. In retrospect that was the Decision Point of the deal (apologies for making such a blatant Bush reference). I was so close to finding the deadly defence! I would need partner to be fully alert as well, he’d better ruff my winner (the 3rd ) as entry to be able to play a second round of trumps. Leaving declarer with four losers: three in and one in . And game, set & match for the defence. Alas!, this time it was not to be.