That was the question Thursday, Sept. 4, at the Airport Bridge Club after I brought home what looked like what seemed like an impossible 4 Spade contract against Eleanor Whelan and Harry Cheung. It turned out to be nearly a top board, 6 out of 7 game points.
Board 16. East-west vulnerable. West, partner Flo Boyd, is dealer and, if I remember correctly, she opens 1 Heart. Eleanor’s North and probably passes. I’m East with this hand:
Spades: Q-J-9-8-3; Hearts: J-10-8; Diamonds: 10; Clubs: A-10-9-7.
Do I respond 1 Spade? I do. Somewhere along the line, Flo supports my suit and before we know it, we’re at 4 Spades, although by rights we should be in Hearts. Here’s the dummy:
Spades: K-7; Hearts: K-Q-6-5-4; Diamonds: A-8-5; Clubs: K-3-2.
Yes, we really, really should be in Hearts. Nevertheless, we only lose the Ace of Spades, Ace of Hearts and a Club. Here are the other hands:
Spades: A-4; Hearts: A-3-2; Diamonds, Q-J-7-6; Clubs: J-8-6-4.
Spades: 10-6-5-2; Hearts: 9-7; Diamonds: K-9-4-3-2; Clubs: Q-5.
What’s peculiar about this hand is not the play, but the bidding and the results. I’m the only one at 4 Spades. Two pairs play it at 4 Hearts, one making 5 for top board, one falling a trick short to tie for the bottom. The other five tables are in No Trump, which also seems more reasonable than Spades, but isn’t. Those at 3 NT go down one. Of the three at 2 NT, two make it, the other one doesn’t.