presents     Professor IMP's Weekly    Master Class  #5         To Prof. IMP Index


Prof IMP 
-
'When one hundred percent 
is not enough'

The TAS Open Pairs Championship in The Netherlands is a true pairs pandemonium. For months, thousands of players are competing for part scores, stealing overtricks and avoiding safety plays. Their goal is to reach the finals in April, where the happy few - about 70 pairs - will divide the big prize money between them. In one of his lectures Professor IMP showed a hand from this year's quarter finals to his favorite student:

A K Q J 7 5 4 3  A 7 2  4

You are the dealer with nobody vulnerable.
"How would you open this hand, young man?" the professor asked.
"It seems to me like a prototype South African Texas 4 opening bid, showing solid hearts and a side ace," the student was quick to respond.
"Correct. Now partner bids 4, a general slam try, and you bid 4NT Roman Key Card Blackwood. Hearing one ace you close the auction with 6. Nothing special so far. West leads the Q and dummy goes down:"
 

- 
S/Neither K Q 9 8 4 3 
10 6 
K J 
A 5 3
 
  -      ---  
e
A K Q J 7 5 4 3 
A 7 2 
4
 

  

- 
WEST 
- 
Pass 
Pass 
Pass
NORTH 
-- 
4 
5 
Pass 
EAST 
- 
Pass - 
Pass 
Pass 
 
SOUTH 
4 
4NT 
6 
 

 
 

 
"Six Notrump would have been a reasonable shot in pairs, but would in fact go down on a club lead. We are lucky we avoided that trap. The current contract looks utterly healthy. I am sure I can ruff a diamond in dummy. To draw trumps first and to develop a spade later is even better and in fact hundred percent," the student noticed.
"Is that all you have to say, young man?" Professor IMP was a bit irritated by all these obligate observations.
"I believe so," admitted the pupil hesitantly.
"In pairs one hundred percent is sometimes not enough," the professor proceeded. "Let me teach you an old trick, which still might work once in a while. It's just a matter of giving them the wrong picture of your hand. So take the A and ruff a club in your hand at trick two. Do this calmly, so that everybody is well aware of your singleton club. Next comes your stiff spade. If West has the A, it might slip through after you painted a picture of your hand: how often does one have two singletons?
So if West ducks, you ruff a diamond in dummy and end up with the precious overtrick. And that's exactly what happened in real life where South scored the top on the board."
 

- 
S/Neither K Q 9 8 4 3 
10 6 
K J 
A 5 3
 
  A 7 5 
 
  9 8 6 3 
  Q J 10 7 6 2
J 10 2 
9 8 2---- 
Q 10 5 4 
K 9 8
e
A K Q J 7 5 4 3 
A 7 2 
4
 

 

- 
 
 

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