Friday, January 18, 2008


Everyone is familiar with the expression: "the operation was succesful but the patient died". My partner, Magnus Eriksson managed to get it right the other way around: "the operation was a failure, but it was only way to save the patient"!

First look upon these hands as a play problem:



After you open 1C (red/white), the next hand jump overcalls 3H and there's no stopping your partner after you admit to a spade suit over a takeout double. She puts you in a grandslam in spades after checking the 'vitals'; how would you play it on the ten of spades lead?

I think the best way, taking the preempt into consideration, is to cash two rounds of trumps and go about establishing the diamond suit in dummy. With the last trump with RHO, you're fine. A, K and another diamond ruffed, heart finesse and another diamond and finally enter dummy with a club ruff to draw the last trump and enjoy your grand, taking the final trick with the 'beer card', the mighty 7 of diamonds! Ain't life great?

Not so fast! Magnus was dealt:


... and decided to 'fake' a heart void by doubling 7S! He of course hoped to scare the opponents into 7NT instead, making them think a heart lead would then give him an immediate ruff and he liked his chances much better in 7NT with those minor suit holdings.

Some people can't be bluffed (as many poker players probably have learnt the hard way) and everyone sat for it without any particular deliberation. I was about to lead a spade but now of course led a heart away from my K empty-seventh instead.

Oh, yes. You are right. This deprived dummy of an entry prematurely and he was belly up. Amusing? Yes. Deserved? Maybe less so..

Sometimes being too clever for your own good, is exactly what's best for you!

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