Tuesday, March 13, 2007

'A cow flew by'

This is an expression I picked up in a Hugh Kelsey book. It means that your mind wandered off to something you saw outside the closest window (like a flying cow ;) and you just dropped the ball. That's what happened to Frederic in this 6NT on deal 3 from the final match against Aronov-Mihov:

Ax
JT
AJxxx
K8xx

K9x
AKQxx
87
AQx

We reached 6NT after a strong club auction where South showed hearts and dummy diamonds and clubs. A low club lead to the J and Q followed by a diamond floated around to the 9. Diamond continued to Q and ace and when entering the hand after unblocking the hearts, RHO discarded a spade. The deal is now an open book and this is the remaining cards:

_____Ax
_______
_____xxx
_____K8
Txxx______QJx
__________xx
__________KT
T9x_________
_____K9x
_____AKQ
_______
_____x

This is a classic double-squeeze position and and cashing the hearts means West must release the spade guard and dummy can discard the 8 of clubs on the final H honor. After a club to the K, East is finished and dummys small diamond or the 9 of spades is the slam-going trick.

Then came the 'cow', and declarer called for the last diamond instead of the club on the final H. Endposition ruined and -50 on the scorecard. What we didn't know was that declarer went 2 down at the other table in the same contract.

Frederic is a very good cardplayer; things like this happen to even the best. I'll show you a deal later where I fouled out, but first two more crucial deals from the very last match.

Beware of the cows.

1 comment:

Jan said...

I remember very well this deal. I had just finished our last match which we won, but to no use - we were far to down in the A group, and I rushed to table 1 to see how the Swedes had performed. I was however blocked by my team-mate Milovan Milovich who had watched the match (we were 6 in our team so a pair was free for kibitzing) and he said "Jan, I can't believe it", "I saw a serious blunder in a slam and it's incredible it could happen at table 1".
Well, we all know that these things happen (geee if we know!) In fact, also at the other table declarer failed.
Personally I would have cashed the club Ace, club KING and after having unblocked the two hearts in dummy, returned to the hand with a third round of clubs to the Queen. In this way the club distribution would immediately be clear (if 3-3: claim) and in the actual situation it was no doubt to discard the club menace at the end position.
Fredrik was indeed desperate (although their pair had a good 790 for another board) and passed an anxious ten minutes while waiting for Marten and Krister to finish in the closed room.!!
J-O