He Took His Eye Off the Ball

Playing the Blue Ribbon Pairs, I have a kibitzer who is hard to keep quiet. A client is on my right and a pro is on the left. Both red, I pick up  S:AQJ65 H:3 D:QJ107 C:K87 as dealer and open 1S:. LHO overcalls 2H:, partner raises to 2S:, and RHO competes to 3H:. I have a stiff heart, so I compete to 3S:, and no one doubles. LHO leads the H:A, and I see
S: K2
H: 1098
D: K54
C: Q10543
S: AQJ65
H: 3
D: QJ107
C: K87
3S:all pass
Curious choice by partner. Raises on two are sometimes sensible, but three low in RHO's suit should give him pause. Fortunately, the hands mesh pretty well, though there is a substantial danger that I'll get tapped out.

Everyone plays low on the H:A, LHO tries to cash another, and I ruff. I need to get my side suits set up before drawing trump, and there's a fair chance that I'll run into a ruff, but there's nothing I can do about it. I might as well get diamonds started, so I profer the beer card. LHO doesn't think for very long and grabs the ace. I expect him to tap me again, on which I'll pitch a club, but instead, he quickly shifts to the C:2. I play low from dummy, and RHO thinks for a while before playing the ace. That makes it pretty clear that clubs are 4-1, and it can't hurt me to try to stop a ruff, so I follow in tempo with the C:K. This minor falsecard seems to work (it ought not—do I really have two singletons and have bid only 3S:?), because he continues with a third heart. I can't afford to ruff this, so I pitch a club on it. That looks pretty strange to the kibitzer. First I unblock a winner, then I discard my newly-created loser! Anyway, LHO wins the H:J and glares at his partner. He's obviously pretty annoyed that he didn't get his ruff. Eventually, he exits with a diamond. It's pretty to win in hand and draw trumps pitching the D:K, so I do. Making 3S:.

In the endgame, the pro took his eye off the ball. When he was in with the H:J, the position was

S: K2
D: K5
C: Q1054
S: xx
H: Qxx
D: xxx
S: xxxx
D: x
C: Jxx
D: QJ10
C: 7
If he plays another heart, what do I do? If I ruff in my hand, RHO has the long trump. If I ruff in dummy, RHO can pitch his last diamond, and then how do I get to my hand to draw trump? He was on tilt and not thinking carefully.
Copyright © 2018 Jeff Goldsmith