Saturday partner Celine Murray didn’t stick around for the final results of the afternoon session, but when Sunday’s Swiss team game ended, I find a message on my cell phone from her. How did we do? Not good, I tell her when I finally call her from our Restaurant Week restaurant on Hertel Avenue later (Craving, a worthy successor to its ancestor, Samples on Allen Street). But also not last. 40.63%. Still, not as good as the morning session, a slightly more adequate 44.55%.
We had fun in the afternoon, unlike the morning, when it seemed like we were grinding our way through the hands. Plus Celine was more focused. The morning, however, rewarded us with what I had been told on Friday was unlikely, if not impossible, a 17-point absolute top hand. In fact, we had two of them.
One was a 2 Spades contract, doubled by a couple from Toronto who didn’t give us their names. Even the hand records acknowledged that 2 Spades was cold and Celine brought it home for a plus 470. The other was one of my little miracles, a 3 NT contract bid and made on a hand that the hand record says is good for only 2 Hearts, 2 Diamonds or 2 Clubs. Well, think again.
Board 12, West is dealer, North-South vulnerable. I’m sitting East with this hand:
Spades: A-9-3; Hearts, A-Q-9-7-3; Diamonds: K-2; Clubs: A-9-7.
My recollection of the bidding is fuzzy, but one of two things could have happened. Either Celine opened a weak 2 Diamonds or I opened a Heart or a No Trump. If she opened 2 Diamonds, I probably jumped directly to 3 NT. It’s likely that the opening lead is a Club. Here’s the dummy:
Spades: 10-8-5; Hearts: 8-5; Diamonds, A-10-9-6-5-4; Clubs: J-8.
Looking at it now, I can’t see how I possibly made 3 NT, but it might have gone like this. I put up the Jack of Clubs on the opening Club lead and win it. Then I probably start in on the Diamonds, taking the King, watching the singleton Jack fall, taking the Ace, then losing a Diamond to North. So the Diamonds are set up, but how do I get to the dummy to cash them? It makes no sense. I guess I set up the Hearts while I still have stoppers. Four Hearts, a Spade, two Diamonds and two Clubs. The other hands:
Spades: K-Q-4; Hearts: J-6-2; Diamonds: Q-8-7-3; Clubs: 10-5-2.
Spades: J-7-6-2; Hearts: K-10-4; Diamonds: J; Clubs: K-Q-6-4-3.