presents Professor IMP's Weekly
was discussing deals from the ING Bank Top Circuit. About fifty of the strongest
pairs in The Netherlands play in this event. The format is pairs with Butler
scoring (imps). Not surprisingly, the level is quite high with several world and
national champions in the field. All these experts hate to take unnessary risks,
but from time to time even they they have to face the moment of truth. The
professor showed this hand to his pupil as an example:
|'A matter of
North, Both Vulnerable: 6 KQ3 AKJ103 KJ62
sitting East. The dealer passes and you open with 1. Your left-hand opponent
overcalls with 1,
which is passed back to you. So you double and the guy on your left redoubles.
Your partner bids 2 and your right-hand opponent comes to life with 2. What would you do now?"
Before the student even got a chance to answer, Professor IMP
continued his lecture. "You double again, of course. Show them who's boss!"
After the second double everbody kept silent.
doubled West led the Q and dummy unfolded:
|| J 3
7 5 2
A 10 8 5 3
|| 6 |
K Q 3---
A K J 10 3
K J 6
"How would you defend this
hand, young man?"
"Eh, I think I would overtake the Q and continue with a few more
diamonds," the student muttered.
"Wrong, totally wrong!," the Professor's
face turned purple with anger. "First of all, how many times do I have to tell
you that before you touch a single card the first thing you do is wait for ten
seconds and nothing else? Moreover, just try to count your defensive tricks. It
looks like that you are bound to make something like three diamond tricks, a
spade, a heart and hopefully a club. That means one down only, so the situation
requires a delicate defence."
"Should I duck the first diamond then and wait
for the club switch?," the student asked. The professor nodded his head in
approval. At trick two West indeed produced the 2, indicating an odd nummer of
clubs. Dummy's ace won the trick, while declarer followed with the queen. Next
came a heart and East inserted the queen, which held the trick, West following
with the eight-spot. As East-West were playing standard count signals, it looked
as though West had four hearts.
"Take it from there, young man," the
professor proceeded. The student went into the tank. After a while the fog in
his head lifted: "If no club trick is available, we have to work on an extra
trump trick. Therefore we have to preserve our communication in diamonds."
After winning the Q, the student played a high club, ruffed by South who now led a low
spade towards the jack. West grabbed his queen and returned a diamond for East
who cashed a third diamond. West discarded his last club and when East next
played a club, a trump promotion provided the setting trick.
"You see young
man, it's all a matter of communication":
|| J 3
7 5 2
A 10 8 5 3
| Q 10 5 2
10 8 6 4
9 7 2
|| 6 |
K Q 3
A K J 10
K J 6 4
|| A K 9 8 7 4
A J 9
7 6 2