This was my favorite hand of the tournament--it is a great hand on a lot of different levels.
Vul vs not you hold:
As you sit counting your points, RHO opens 1 Spade in front of you. You double, LHO passes and partner bids 2 Clubs. RHO rebids 2 Spades and it is your call. A case can be made for 2NT, but I think another double is a standout, and that is what you do :). LHO passes again and partner bids 3 Clubs. This is passed to LHO who looks anguished and eventually bids 3 Spades, which becomes the final contract. This is a multiple-part problem--first, though, what is your opening lead?
I felt like I had some table feel on this one...my LHO had passed all too happily over each of the doubles, but when 3 Clubs was passed back to him, he looked like he had a real problem. I had a strong hunch that he had an awkward hand with modest spade support and club shortness, so I decided to lead a trump. I thought about a small one like some of you suggested, but ended up leading the ace, prepared with apologies if my partner had the stiff king. I knew that I had struck gold when this dummy hit:
I wasn't hard-pressed to get another trump on the table--my partner followed suit both times. Declarer drew the last trump, my partner throwing the six of clubs. Then he led the jack of hearts. Consider what you'd do now.
I won the ace of hearts (partner played small) and cashed the king of clubs, my partner following with the jack and declarer with the deuce. Now I tried to imagine declarer's distribution. It seemed consistent with everything that had happened for declarer to have 6-2-1-4 shape and if that was the case, I could beat the contract for sure by playing back the king of diamonds. After one final re-count, I decided this was definitely the best move, and gave it a shot, hoping for down 1, but really hoping to see declarer's stiff queen fall on this trick. I got one out of two--partner followed with the ten and declarer with his small singleton. When the dust settled the contract was down 1 and I felt like Garozzo, even if only for a few moments :). Declarer's hand: KQJTxx QJ x Qxxx
So, on this one--if you led the ace of trump and shifted to diamonds after winning the first heart, you get +50 and 90%. Sorry--I know how unlikely that is, but I have to trumpet an occasional success story. Any other defense is -140 but you still get an above average score because many bought the contract your way in notrump and went down multiple tricks.
Main Event wrap-up
6 months ago