Above His Pay Grade
Playing online vs. robots (i.e. idiots), I encounter
a fairly rare end position.
In third position, I hold K7 Q AKJ972 A1054. I get to open
1. LHR doubles, partner preempts to 3, and RHR competes
with 3. There's no point in bidding 4; they'll just bid
4, so I end the proceedings with an immediate 5. If
partner really is joking, at least I'm not doubled.
LHO leads a trump, and I see
I win in dummy as RHI follows and take the club finesse. It
loses and a club comes back. I think that's a minor defensive
error, though the winning defense would be missed by most players.
I'm pretty sure the A is offside, so I run my minor suit
winners, hoping LHI has both heart honors and I can guess his shape.
He follows to four rounds of clubs while his partner shows out on
the third round, so it's reasonable to play him for 4-4-1-4 shape.
Before the last trump, the position is
Lefty lets go the 8, so I pitch a heart from dummy and
exit with a low spade. He was 4-4-1-4, so I make my contract.
When he was in with the K, the winning defense is to
continue with the K. That's not an easy defense to find,
and it's particularly hard when you don't have count signals
available. In a high-level game, I expect most players to find
it, but defending against a squeeze without the count is way
above the robots' pay grade.
Copyright © 2019 Jeff Goldsmith