My worst individual hand, in terms of the match point score, was a minus 2,200 on sacrifice bid that went sour. Mike Kisiel, who never let me forget about it, doubled me. I redoubled. Down four, vulnerable.
Yes, that was the worst. Until today. Now I have a new all-time low on another sacrifice bid that went sour, spectacularly sour. Here’s what happened.
It was the morning session at the Airport Bridge Club, the first game of STaC (Sectional Tournament at the Clubs) Week. Second round. Board six. Tova Reinhorn, sitting East and vulnerable, opens 2 No Trump. I’m sitting South with this hand:
Spades: Q-10-8-7-6-2; Hearts: J-9-4-2; Diamonds: 9; Clubs: Q-9.
So my devious mind starts thinking that a sacrifice in Spades could derail Tova and Dottie Soong. Something like 3 Spades, down three doubled. Minus 500 instead of a minus 600 or more.
I check my convention card to assure myself that we are using Cappelletti and plunk down a bid of 3 Clubs, intending to indicate that I had one big suit. Dottie bids 3 Hearts. Tova says, “Transfer,” meaning Spades and I stifle a smile. My partner, however, who wants to remain nameless, decides to bid. 5 Clubs. Tova doubles. Does partner have a killer hand in Clubs? Or at least a partial killer? We’ll see.
Spades: 9-5-3; Hearts: 8-6; Diamonds: Q-10-8-6; Clubs: 7-6-3-2.
Nothing to do but take my punishment. Down nine. Minus 2,300. Had I trumped higher from the dummy on one of the last tricks, it would have been only down eight, minus 2,000, but then I wouldn’t be writing about it.
Here are the other two hands:
Spades: A-K-4; Hearts: K-5; Diamonds: A-J-5-4; Clubs: A-K-5-4.
Spades: J; Hearts: A-Q-10-7-3; Diamonds: K-7-3-2; Clubs: J-10-8.
According to the hand record, East-West can make a grand slam in Hearts or No Trump, a small slam in the minor suits. In Spades, they take nine tricks. Three Spades doubled would have been awful, but minus 1,400 would be better than a Heart or No Trump slam. Nevertheless, I was wrong, wrong, wrong not to bid 3 Spades directly. Partner informed me of something about Cappelletti that I did not fully realize, i.e., you don’t use it after an opponent’s opening bid of 2 NT.