A Lighter Look
WRONG SUIT, MY LADY.
The term “A Lighter Look” has been applied literally this week. One “look” and you have made your contract…and another you are soon to go light!
You have one of the finest hands you have held for some time:
and open a Precision Club. Partner does not have too much, 7-9 hcp which is quite a lot bearing in mind your hand. You are able to ask him his exact shape and find out something about his honour cards. 5 clubs, 3 diamonds, 2 hearts and 3 spades… and he holds the K and Q among his assets. He must have more, probably that J (as no black suit queen...indeed just that Q) . It looks like just about a claim for at least 14 tricks. So, you decide you will not extend yourself and only try for 13 and to get an extra imp or so, have a go at 7NT.
Partner makes some comment that you must have a good hand as he lays down dummy on the lead of the Q:
You would not want your right-hand opponent to have all three missing clubs but otherwise, there seems no impediment to a quick claim.
There was! Even though clubs were 2-1! Somehow, that Q looked a bit out of place or slightly the wrong shape for a diamond!
After a few nervous seconds, partner had to pick up the Q and put it in its rightful place, with the hearts!
Suddenly, the claim could not be made. The board turned from a claim to a nightmare!
2 spade tricks, 3 in hearts (thanks to the “queen shift”) 5 in clubs and 2 top diamonds added up to 12. The 13th had to come from diamonds but East could comfortably throw all their spades and came down to Q7. Julie delayed the inevitable but there was no successful finesse at trick 12. 16 imps out as the opponents were in 6. 13 imps in had Julie bid 7 or had the Q stayed with the diamonds.
That’s an awful lot of imps on a slight mis- view of one’s hand. For those of you longing to learn who Julie’s partner was and for the benefit of Patrick Carter, here are the two cards:
Can you spot the difference? It’s worth knowing if you want to avoid a bad swing of 29 imps on a board.