Misplay this hand with Me


Misplay this hand with Me

Despite my reservations I have been persuaded to play in the European Mixed Teams Championship in the delightful town of Montecatini. During one of the early qualifying rounds I pick up a useful looking hand:

With only our side vulnerable my partner deals and passes and East opens one club. I could show both my suits by bidding three clubs but given the disparity in their strength I decide to take the low road and overcall one heart. West has nothing to say and my partner bids 1NT. That does not silence East, who bids two spades and when I introduce my second suit with three diamonds West bids four clubs. Partner raises to four diamonds and East bids four spades. As usual when both sides have a big fit I have no idea who can make what so I soon to five diamonds. It is only when West doubles that I remember the vulnerability. This has been our misguided sequence:

West leads the seven of hearts and dummy proves to be something of a disappointment:

I win in hand as East follows with the two. With a nod to the Rabbi I lay down the ace of diamonds, but only small cards appear. I play a heart pitching a club from dummy and when East discards I realise I have missed an opportunity. This was the full deal:

Pitching clubs on the winning hearts leaves declarer with three losers, two spades and a diamond, but throwing all dummy’s spades saves an all important trick.

As to the defence, West should surely have started with the king of spades, after which -500 would have been a certainty.

Remarkably we gained on the deal, as at the other table East opened one spades and South overcalled two hearts. When North responded two no-trumps South too it for heart support and jumped to four hearts, finishing four down to lose 5 IMPs.