The current crisp weather here makes my inner viking smile. How can one complain when you can resolve the tingling of skin with glühwein and hearty soul food? Style wise I’m in heaven, next to wearing my near-endless supply of stripy shirts, I get to wear stripy coifs as well. Yay me!
My team is doing well in the Amsterdam regional competition. With just two matches to go we’re in first place, but the margin is only marginally wider than the skin of my teeth. I don’t feel pressured or nervous, I can look back on a solid season, and as Kees and I are scheduled to play the last two matches I have promotion in my own hands.
Here’s a deal from a regular Monday night. I have lost a bit of sleep over it for sure.
Briskly we bid to the NT slam and when West leads a I see I’m not cold.
I win the lead in hand and my to the Queen loses to the King. Back comes another and West discards a . When I cross in I see West has started with all five of them. No problem, I still have four tricks there. I cash some more pointed suits which leads to this position:
So far I have lost only one and I have to extract three tricks from this combination (dummy’s 4th went away on my 13th ). I have full count, East is 3-8-0-2 and West is 3-1-5-4.
This is easy, there are only three relevant positions: Qx, Tx, or QT in East.
At the table I led a low towards my hand and East offered nothing of interest. Scratch that QT! Which one is it? Do I play East for the Queen or the Ten? My kingdom for divine inspiration! I could feel the electric zing in the air, the tension of knowing there actually is a right decision.
Of course I picked the wrong one.
Why, oh why was I torturing myself, seeking where there is nothing to be found? The odds are firm for this one, cashing Ace and King works 5 times out of 15 combinations, while running the Jack only works for 4 combinations out of 15. My probe for more information was moot, especially against a crafty defender who might surrender the Ten of voluntarily.