Sunday, April 8, 2012

Jennbridge: Slamming in the IMP Pairs

Double-digit scores in your column are highly coveted prizes in IMP pairs.  Everything went our way in the first qualifying session of the Lebhar IMP Pairs at the NABC in Memphis.  We had 5 scores in the double-digits and a huge session which lifted us to third in the field after the first day.  Here is a hand from that session: (Board 9--hand rotated for convenience.)

♦ Q7643

♦ A
♣ 7

I opened 1♠ and jump shifted in hearts.  After a heart raise, I bid Blackwood and settled in 6.  Both the play and bidding were unremarkable.  After a diamond lead I drew 2 rounds of trumps and ruffed a spade high.  Spades broke 3-2 and I scored up 1430.  What was remarkable was that we won 11 imps for our effort. Perhaps some pairs played in their 8-card spade fit instead of their (better) 8-card heart fit.  In spades, you have to lose a spade as well as a club.

Our fortunes were reversed the next afternoon, however, as few of our games made and our opponents couldn't do anything wrong.  We only had one double-digit gain from the session, but it was an interesting hand. (Bd. 5, 1st Final--hands rotated.)

IMP Pairs 1st Final

Board 5
East Deals
None Vul
♠ A 8
9 8 4 2
A J 7 6
♣ A 7 4
♠ 4
A 10 3
9 8 4 3 2
♣ Q 10 9 2
♠ 10 7 3 2
K Q J 6 5
Q 10
♣ J 3
♠ K Q J 9 6 5
K 5
♣ K 8 6 5
6 ♠ by South

After a 2 opening bid on my right, I overcalled 2♠ and we landed in 6♠.  I rufffed the second heart and pondered the play.  It looked like I had additional losers.  Even if the diamond finesse worked I still had a club loser.  I had to look for a squeeze.

As I ran off 5 spades, West couldn't stand the pressure.  Here were the last few cards:

Board 5
East Deals
None Vul

A J 7
♣ 7 

9 8 4
♣ Q 10

K Q 6
♣ J 
♠ 6

♣ K 8 6 

As I played the last spade, West apparently decided to keep diamond parity with dummy and pitched a club--game over.  It's true that West was squeezed, but she didn't know I had a guess to make.  If I play a diamond to the ace, dropping the queen, then my diamonds will run if she pitches one.  I'm sure glad the clubs ran instead and I wasn't faced with the diamond guess!

See you at the table!

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