Jeff Lehman

Best Player in the Room

My pickup partner is a woman in her late 70’s.  Upon asking about her background, I learn that she  was a math major and computer programmer, practically a cohort of the women in the movie Hidden Figures.  Pretty interesting.

I read the names of the other ten pairs in the club game.  None I have heard of.  I conclude that I am the best player in the event, overlooking the Inconvenient Truth that no player in the room has ever heard of me, either.

The play tends to confirm my suspicion of the poorish quality of the field.  On one hand, I held A, AQxx, AKQx, AKxx and hear my partner open the bidding with 2!  Opposite K-empty sixth of hearts, I can count twelve top tricks plus a spade ruff for 13.  Knowing I cannot learn whether partner owns the K, J, or Q required for 7NT, I conclude a short auction with a leap to 7.  Good thing I was conservative: partner’s only side card to her K-6th of hearts was the Q.  Only one other pair bid the grand, and we had a tie for top.

UI is dispensed like mosquito repellent on a warm Minnesota evening.  Every score on each traveler (yes, traveler, no Bridgemates here) is announced verbally loud enough to be heard by whoever is listening.  On one hand a player spent more than 20 seconds determining her rebid after opening 1♣ and hearing a 1 response in an uncontested auction.  She finally rebids 2.  Not surprisingly, her partner bids again and the pair ends in 3NT.  (Responder’s hand was a quacky 11 count, and so the rebid was not abnormal, while opener had a full 15 count as I had surmised.)  If justice were appropriate, we received some.  Declarer failed to unblock the doubleton AK before she used dummy’s only sure entry and restricted herself to two heart  tricks even though dummy held QJ9xx.  Down one.

Later I declare this hand, on an uncontested auction of 1-1; 4-AP.

N
North
AQ95
A6
4
AQJ543
K
S
South
KJ742
Q84
872
108

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LHO leads the K and receives an encouraging spot card from his partner.  After due consideration, LHO switches to the 9 at Trick 2.  Your play?

Well, this looks like a singleton 9 to me.  I’m not about to let these opponents talk me into a losing club finesse, to be followed by a club ruff.

I rise with the A, draw trumps in two rounds and play back a club to force out the king and create pitches for my two potential heart losers.

Just one snag.  The whole hand (Common Game, November 20) is this:

 

 
N-S
N
North
AQ95
A6
4
AQJ543
 
W
West
108
K932
KQ1096
K9
K
E
East
63
J1075
AJ53
762
 
S
South
KJ742
Q84
872
108
 

 

So … everyone in the room except me won 12 tricks.  Am I the best player in the room?  I don’t think so!

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