Unit 216 & Des Moines Area Bridge
by Pete Wityk

PUZZLEMENT

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

                      1 

*     2     *    P

4    P     P    P

 

The 4 is led and this is the dummy that appears:

 

                                                10952

                                                1074

                                                5

                                                AK1095

4 lead

                                                KQ8

                                                AKQJ63

                                                K10

                                                J2
 

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:
 

                                                10952

                                                1074

                                                5

                                                AK1095

                J74                                                       A63

                95                                                          82

                98743                                                   AQJ62

                854                                                      Q73

                                                KQ8

                                                AKQJ63

                                                K10

                                                J2
 

Post Mortem:

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