Here’s me closing the Philadelphia Series, Roth Open Swiss, round 1, deal 1. Barely awake, and Michael pushes me in a skinny 3NT. Hmmm, in a testosterone infused day dream, if all those skinny & skimpy contracts I play were actually scantily clad babes… Boy!, would my bridge life be the coolest ever. Cardboard reality, such an anticlimax.
- Is this a vulnerable 1 overcall?
There’s a glimmer of hope when my LHO decides to lead a fourth best . My Ace captures the Queen. An early inventory shows I have three solid tricks, so I need to set up six more. Two in and two in are easy, the rest should come from the minors, or something favourable in . I can count my LHO for almost everything outstanding. Now what?
I started by playing the King from hand and a low one via the Queen for … Wait a minute. Can I duck this? Should I take that Queen at face value? I start a small movie in my head. If I duck and West switches back to . I can’t really be hurt with whatever he switches to. But … the timing just feels wrong.
I decide to win it with dummy’s Ace, and switch back to . West wins his King and finds a switch necessary too: to a low . I ask for the King and slowly I creep towards my nine.
From here on it’s easy. I play a to my Queen and West wins his Ace. Back comes another and I let it run to my Jack. West follows to both my high and then a to dummy reveals the 4-2 split. I place West with a fourth round of and my Queen of is number 9.
Number 9! Cloud number 9. Number 9 dream. Perfume number 9. My mind is rattling with 9s in all forms and shapes. If there had been a crowd, it would have gone wild.
Now I’m wondering. Was my play actually correct? Did stripping West from safe exits give me a return on investment?