On the brink of 2017/2018 I reach out to you. Like seasons nightmares pass too, I’m in a good place. Just as finding a beautifully marbled pebble on the beach that wows you for a second, I uncovered a little .. truth that is still reverberating in me. It was there all the time, I just never saw it clearly. If I ever get to write my opus magnum, my odyssey, this will certainly be a key element.
Here’s a deal from a HOK club night, I was playing with Gerrit.
- Usually unbalanced
- I have offence not defence
I chose to overcall just 1!S but when the auction gets back to me we’re already at the 5-level. Wait! What? We’re white against red and .. Wait! What? Vulnerable opponents usually don’t fool around, at least not against me they don’t.
A few seconds tick by and I decide my !S suit is worth more in offence than in defence, I bid 5!S. Gerrit smoothly raises me to slam and East finishes the auction with a smack.
West leads the 2 of !C and this is what I see:
There is a small issue in the trump suit but the !C suit takes care of any !H losers I might have. This slam looks pretty good. I call small from dummy and East ruffs. Wait! What?
I have a moment of revelation, the full distribution of the deal is crystal clear to me after three cards have been played. East is 4-4-5-0 and West is 1-1-5-6. Does that match with the bidding? Yes it does! I unblock my Queen of !C to have a finessing position left against the !C Ten. East tries to cash her !D Ace but I answer it with a small trump.
I cross to the Ace of !H and run the Jack of !S. For the length of a heartbeat I fear West might hold the stiff Queen but I stick to my perceived odds. I cast a small sigh when West follows with a small one. I cross to my hand by ruffing another !D and my two top trumps take care of the outstanding trumps. I claim the remainder.
5!D would have gone down only 1, for a measly 200 points. Gerrit showed skill and trust for raising me to slam. It’s a nice feeling when your partner is on the same wavelength as you are.
Happy New Year’s Day! And when that’s through, happy days throughout the year, too.