“There’s a special satisfaction,” Donald Fagen of Steely Dan sings in his latest solo album, “when a job turns out so right …” And there was a special satisfaction in the following hand in the middle of the Thursday afternoon STaC (Sectional Tournament at the Clubs) game at the Airport Bridge Club, because it turned out just the way I thought it would.
Spades: A-K-Q-9-8-2; Hearts: None.
Diamonds: A; Clubs: J-10-9-8-4-2.
It’s Board 10, both sides vulnerable. East (Bob Linn) is dealer and he passes. Sitting South, I open 1 Spade, but I’m thinking 4 Spades. Unless the opening lead is a Club, I’ll take the first trick, bang out the top three Spades to draw all the trump (assuming it breaks well) and start hammering the Clubs from the top down until everybody runs out.
I’m reassured when West (Bill Boardman) overcalls 2 Hearts. My partner, Barbara Sadkin, passes. Bob goes to either 3 or 4 Hearts. I bid 4 Spades and everybody passes. Bill’s opening lead, as expected, is a Heart. The Ace.
“I hope you weren’t expecting anything from me,” Barbara says as she lays down a truly wretched dummy. “All I need,” I tell her, “is your two little Spades.”
Spades: 6-5; Hearts: 10-7-5-4.
Diamonds: J-10-5-4-2; Clubs: 6-5.
And it goes just the way I envisioned it. Trump the Ace of Hearts. The outstanding Spades split 3-2. And then I just lead Clubs. The split there is 5-0, but I still have one trump and three long Clubs left when Bob Linn runs out of Club honors. I only lose three Club tricks.
Spades: 10-3; Hearts: 8-6-2.
Diamonds: 9-8-6; Clubs: A-K-Q-7-3.
Spades: J-7-4; Hearts: A-K-Q-J-9-3.
Diamonds: K-Q-7-3. Clubs: None.
We got a tie for top board. Just one of the other six North-Souths bid and made 4 Spades. The only other North-South to win the auction got it at 4 Clubs doubled, played by South, down one.
At the other tables, East-West got to play it at 4 Hearts three times, two of them making the bid, one of them going down one. The other East-West was at 5 Hearts doubled, down two.