Pawan Matta and I lost all hope right from the get-go on Tuesday at the
Club. On our very first hand, we ventured to the edge of a slam in Hearts, but stopped at a 5-bid. I played it and made an overtrick. That will be bad, Pawan reckoned. Everybody else will bid it. Here’s the hand. Airport Bridge
Spades: None; Hearts: K-J-8-7-6-5-2
Diamonds: K-Q-8-6-2; Clubs: 6.
Spades: A-6-4-2; Hearts: 9-4
Diamonds: A-J-7-3; Clubs: A-K-9
Spades: Q-9-7-5; Hearts: Q-10
Diamonds: 5-4; Clubs: Q-J-4-3-2
Spades: K-J-10-8-3; Hearts: A-3
Diamonds: 10-9; Clubs: 10-8-7-5
It’s Board 1, so nobody’s vulnerable. I’m sitting North and I’m the dealer, looking at a fistful of red cards. I open 1 Heart. I forget Pawan’s response. It could have been 1 Spade or 2 Diamonds. I rebid the Hearts. She ultimately goes to 4 No Trump to ask for Aces and, having none, I bid 5 Clubs. She signs off at 5 Hearts.
I think East led a low Spade, taken with the Dummy’s Ace. I pitched a Diamond and led a Heart from the board. West (Don Grant) appropriately held up his Ace and my King won. I led another Heart and watched Ace and Queen fall together. Clear sailing after that.
This terrible hand gave us 7.5 match points out of a possible 8. North played the contract at 4 Hearts at all but one of the other tables. Only one fared as well as I did. Six times they made just one overtrick. Then there was the unfortunate North who bid the slam in Hearts and guessed wrong on the trump play. Down one.