Stuck 29 IMPs at the half and time was running out. Jean Barry and I needed some good
scores to advance to the round of 8 in the Wagar. We were playing a
good team (Moss, Glasson, Mancuso, Gwozdzinsky, Michielsen and Dekkers)
and the two young women from the Netherlands had been brought in for the
second half and were at our table. Their job was to finish us off, and
they clearly thought it would be no problem. We were using screens so I
could only see one of them for most of the match.
1. As they were settling in for the first board of the second half, non-vul. vs. vul., I opened 1♦ in 3rd seat with this raggedy collection: (Bd. 25, table 3)
This had the desired effect. LHO overcalled 1♥, my partner bid 1♠, RHO jumped to 3♥, a mixed raise, and all passed. They made 5 for a score of 200.
2. With 3 boards remaining I opened 1♥ with this nice collection: (Board 22)
Pard responded 1♠ and I jumped to 3♥. Pard rebid 3♠
and I bid 3NT. She now bid 4NT and I paused to try to figure out what
was going on. Her bid could be Blackwood or could be invitational, but I
liked my hand and was willing to carry on. I hedged my bets by
responding 5♥, showing 2 keycards, and was pleased when she jumped to 6NT. A club was led.
I only counted 11 tricks. I counted
again. It looked like I would need something good to happen in the
heart suit, but the odds favored honor doubleton in hearts to drop
which would give me 12 tricks.
I played a low club and RHO played
the queen. Eureka! I could now see 12 tricks. I wasted no time
driving out the jack of clubs and scoring the 10 for my 12th trick.
Plus 990 felt like a good score.
RHO held: 108/J2/QJ10432/Q86 so the hearts would have come in as expected.
3. Then, the last board of the session. (Board 24) Partner opened 1♣ and I responded 1♠ with:
Partner now surprised me by reversing into 2♥!
If there's one thing I know how to do, it's count my losers, and I saw
that I held a powerful 6-loser hand opposite partner's reverse. I bid a
temporizing, forcing 3♥. Partner bid 4♥, but I wasn't finished.
I bid 4NT, Blackwood and when partner showed 3 aces, bid 6♥.
A heart was led and the opponents took their ace, but with normal breaks, the contract came home easily.
We headed out of the room to
compare. It was wild and woolly. There were 5 double-digit swings--4
going our way. We won 10 IMPs on board 25 where I psyched an opening
bid, as our teammates got to the game missed by the opponents at our
table. We won 11 for bidding and making 6NT on board 22 and another 11
for bidding and making 6♥ on board 24. This big second half lifted us to a double-digit victory and we survived!
The next day our win was described
in the Daily Bulletin as a "mild upset" and our reward was the
opportunity to play the #1 seed.
See you at the table!