Maritha Pottenger

These three hands are from the San Diego Unit Game, September 16, 2018.

Kent and I usually have at least one auction that no other table duplicates, but today we had more than usual. We got to two slams that no one else bid, and 2 bottom boards where no one else managed to be playing what we were playing!

Hand #16

West: 1052 K9 KQ63 KJ76

East: 7 AQ632 J1087 A102

West opened a weak NT (12-14). North doubled—penalty oriented. I could have started a run-out system to bail in 2, but I elected to go for the gusto and passed even though I was worried about spades. This forced a redouble by partner and everyone passed. To my surprise, the lead was a fourth-best heart. When the dust cleared, we had three hearts; three diamonds and four clubs. [South should have bid 2—to play—over the double, but that is another story. With a psychic lead of the A; followed by the Q; and finally the J overtaken by K, the opponents take six spades and the A for down one.] Instead, our redoubled result scored +1960 for our side.

Hand #14

West: 104 AQJ652 A3 J85

East: KQ76 K762 AKQ76

In the East seat, I opened with 1. Partner bid 1. I jump-shifted to 2 and partner rebid 3. I bid 3NT and partner bid 4. By partnership agreement, we don't go past 3NT with 4 or 4 unless we are looking for a minor-suit slam, so that becomes Minorwood—Key Card asking in clubs. I responded 4NT which showed two Key Cards and the Queen of trumps. Partner deposited me in 6.

South made the best lead of a trump. I won it on Dummy to lead a spade toward my KQxx. South took the A and put another club on the table which I took in Dummy. I'm going to have to do something with those hearts, so I played the A, discarding a losing diamond, and then the Q to try to coax a cover. RHO (North) played low smoothly, so I ruffed and the 10 fell on my left. Looks like South started with K10x of hearts, so I cashed the Q and ruffed my third spade on Dummy. When I ruffed one more low heart, the K DID fall on my left. After pulling the last trump, my last losing spade and losing diamond go away on the good hearts in Dummy.

Hand #23

Dummy: 1095 Q98 J63 KJ43

West: 876 K754 KQ2 1097

South (Dummy) deals and passes. You pass in the West seat. North opens 1 in third seat and partner doubles. South raises to 2 and you pass again with your flat 8-count.

Partner leads the 2, presumably trump suit preference showing something good in clubs or perhaps diamonds. You play the 7 since you have both diamonds and a heart card. Declarer takes the trick in his hand and plays the 4 to partner's 5 and Dummy's J. You win the Q and return another spade. Declarer takes it and plays a low diamond which partner wins with the 9. Partner returns a third round of spades! Declarer has opened his AKQJ suit in third seat. Declarer plays one more diamond and partner's A eats your K. Partner now cashes the A.

You signal encouragement and partner returns a heart to your K and Declarer's J. Kent Hartman, who sat West, found the killing heart return. Declarer has two losing options: (1) win the Q on dummy, discarding a club. When Declarer leads a club from Dummy, Kent hops second hand high with the 9 and Declarer loses two club tricks; (2) ruff the good the Q with his last trump to play a club toward Dummy. [I must have the A for my double.] I will grab my the A and cash the good the 10 since Declarer is out of trumps. Either road leads to the magic +200 for our side.