Eddie’s Home Game Revisited
A couple of nights ago, I returned to the hotel very depressed. I had just finished a terrific Indian dinner but I left my glasses in the cab and was a moment too late to retrieve them. Ray and I were meeting Eddie Kantar and Phillip Alder for a prearranged bridge game. To provide me with the most light (I was incognito in prescription sunglasses) we sat at the back of the tournament hall. All around us sections of players were playing in the Life Masters’ pairs but I think the bridge in our little corner was likely among the best in that room. Ray played very well but it was our opponents who shone. At the end I found I was no longer depressed at all.
Let’s see if you can defend as well as Eddie Kantar on the hand. This is your hand S K742 H KJ962 D J8 C J2. South (me) opens a 12-14 notrump and all pass. Your goal on the hand is to try to defeat the hand (of course) but also to hold declarer to the fewest possible tricks. You lead a small heart and you see this dummy:
S Q65 H A54 D Q7653 C 43
S K742 H KJ962 D J8 C J2.
Declarer plays low and partner plays the H10 as declarer wins the HQ. Declarer now plays the DK and it holds. What do you think is happening and what is your plan? Stop and think about it now. Declarer continues with the D10, you perforce cover with the DJ and Phillip (your partner) wins the DA. He plays another heart, which you win and play a third heart. What is your plan now?
That was a trick question. You cannot play a third heart. Here is the whole hand.
|S K742||S A98|
|H KJ962||H 1073|
|D J8||D A42|
|C J2||Linda||C Q1098|
If you continue a heart then declarer will throw her D9 on the HA and eight tricks are hers. Eddie found a shift to the CJ. As it turns out there is no way to prevent declarer from making seven tricks at this point nor is there any way for declarer to make eight tricks. In practice, I won the second club and cashed the other club honor throwing a diamond from dummy. I cashed the D9 and exited a spade. Phillip won the spade, cashed a club and exited a spade to Eddie’s King and now whatever Eddie plays my hand or dummy is high.
You can try different variations but after Eddie’s great switch the fate of the hand is sealed.
By the way, I now sit the proud owner of two new pairs of eyeglasses with thanks to Judy Wolff. (I shall always have a backup with me.) Judy kindly lent us her car so that we could travel around Las Vegas as we bought replacement glasses. I think I look very cool in my new frames.