Sunday, September 27, 2009

My luckiest hand ever

Last week I encountered a hand which is probably the luckiest hand I'll ever encounter. It was the first hand of a club evening, and lady Luck clearly had choosen sides.

It reminded me about hands played by the Hideous Hog in the book "Bridge in the Menagery" by Victor Mollo. He ends up in slams where he seldom has an 8 card trump fit, needs a poor trump break, and where opps have an important decision to make at trick 1 or 2.

This was my hand:
x
AKJT9
xxx
Qxxx

LHO started the auction:
1 - Dbl - pass - 4
pass - 4 - pass - ...

When is trumps we play Kickback RKC (4 is RKC, so you save a step and can always ask for the trump Queen). I wasn't sure if 4 was natural, but if it was we surely had slam. If it was Kickback, I should show my keycards. So I bid 5 showing 2 keycards without Q. Now partner bid 5, again, it could be 2 meanings. He could be running away to his own suit again, but it could also ask for Kings. Looking for grand slam after an opening is rare, but it was still possible. And my first argument still counts, so I responded to the King ask with 6, denying any outside Kings. Partner passed.

1 - Dbl - pass - 4
pass - 4 - pass - 5
pass - 5 - pass - 6
pass - pass - pass

LHO lead A and dummy came down:
AKJxxxx
x
Qx
KJx

One can hardly call this a GOSH. Anyway, that would be a discussion for after the game.

RHO played 2. LHO now started thinking, and eventually continued a . Ok, take it from here.

Since he continued , LHO couldn't have A. If that's the case, he should have the rest of the HCP (Q, Q, KJ and A = 12HCP), maybe not the J. The only way to win, was if Q would be doubleton, so trumps splitting 5-2. If we got that far, we still needed a 3-2 break. Chances were slim, but they existed.

So I cashed AK and saw the Q drop. First success! I drew the rest of the trumps (luckily I had JT9, although JT8 would be enough for a ruffing finesse), and took the finesse. 2nd success! Now A, fingers crossed for the 3-2 break. 3rd success, 6 made in a 5-1 fit with an A and AK outside, and trump Q offside. :-)

Afterwards we agreed that the Double was clearly wrong, and also that in such situations we better don't play Kickback RKC.

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