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The Subtle Joy of Counting: Part III

Robert Frick
Robert Frick

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Part 1

You pick up:   9 x    J 8 6    Q x x x    A Q x x x

You pass, Lefty (your left-hand opponent) passes, and your partner opens 1. Righty (the opponent on your right) passes, and you bid a «semi-forcing» 1NT. Your partner passes, and it looks like you will finally get to play a hand…. but then Lefty then balances in with 2. You have no reason to compete, and apparently your partner does not either, so the final contract is 2. You of course lead the 9, and dummy comes down with:

    9 x
J 8 6
Q x x x
A Q x x x

 8 2 
 Q 4 
 9 8 6 4
 K 8 7 6 2

That’s somewhat of a disappointment — you were hoping spades would be 3-3, or that you could over-ruff declarer. Fortunately, dummy can only over-ruff you once. Partner plays a small spade and declarer wins the K.

Actually, this is a somewhat surprising development — it appears that…

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