Feel free to contact Bud Stowe with any suggestions for this new site.
PUZZLEMENT by Pete Wityk
I am playing in a match pointed pairs club game with a regular partner against a competent but not exceptionally strong pair. As second chair with all vulnerable, I, for a change, am dealt more than my share of cards with:
♠ KQ8 ♥ AKQJ63 ♦ K10 ♣ J2
Dealer opens 1♦. I am certainly strong enough to double and bid my own suit. So, I *. The next chair bids 2♦. Partner emerges after a little thought with *, which is responsive showing values without wanting to bid a 4 card major ( presumably 4-3 or 4-4 ) or bid clubs at the 3 level. Opener passes and I bid where I want to play, 4♥. Three Passes conclude the auction, which has been:
N E S W
* 2♦ * P
4♥ P P P
The 4♦ is led and this is the dummy that appears:
This looks to be a common contract and I expect to take 11 tricks and so should most of the field. I call for the 5, West plays the A and I play the 10. The 2♥ appears on the table. I win the A with E following. I lead the J♣ to tempt an ill-considered cover. It doesn’t happen and the A wins. I lead the 2♠ to my K which wins the trick. Then the K♥ draws the remaining trump. Now, the 2♣ is played to the K and I trump the 5♣. When both follow to the ♣, I claim since I can get to dummy to discard the two remaining ♠ in my hand on the 2 good ♣ in dummy and then have all winners in my hand. The full hand was:
♠ J74 ♠ A63
♥ 95 ♥ 82
♦ 98743 ♦ AQJ62
♣ 854 ♣ Q73
Taking 12 tricks for +680 was a tie for top. In my working life, I worked with a number of consultants from India. One of their favorite statements at any unusual occurrence seemed to be, “It is a great puzzlement to me how this happened.” And, it is a great puzzlement to me how this happened. There were 7 +650, 2 +620, 1 +200 and one +140 besides the 2 of +680. I can believe that a cow flew by at the two tables not in game. But, taking 10 or 11 tricks means that the N player didn’t consider this line ( i.e. take the ♣ finesse for 10 tricks, establish two ♣ winners with 3 losers to discard, or that W players, except for two, when faced with this problem all jumped up with the A♠ at their first opportunity ).
So, it is still a great puzzlement to me how this happened.
Submitted November 19, 2017