THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
MY FAVORITE CALL OF LAST YEAR
In yesterday’s column, I described how Peter Fredin from Sweden analyzed an auction to deduce the look of the other three hands, then drove into a laydown slam that was missed by his opponents in a team match.
Today, here is my favorite call of last year. It happened too late for the International Bridge Press Association awards, but is surely a front-runner for this year’s.
It was originally described by Marek Wojcicki, for many years the coach of the Polish open team. The deal arose during last October’s Cavendish Invitational Pairs in Monaco.
Look at only the West hand, which was held by Bartosz Chmurski. With neither side vulnerable, your partner opens three clubs (some 5-9 high-card points with six strong or seven respectable clubs) and South overcalls three hearts. What would you have done? What do you think Chmurski did?
At two tables at least, West psyched with three spades. However, one East could not take a joke. After North-South reached seven hearts, East sacrificed in seven spades. This was doubled and down 12 for minus 3,200!
Most players bid some number of clubs, but 17 of the 29 pairs reached a grand slam. (Seven no-trump was reached twice, seven hearts 13 times, and seven diamonds twice.)
Chmurski did best of all. He doubled three hearts for penalty! He planned to run to clubs if North redoubled, but North thoughtlessly passed. Three hearts doubled and made with four overtricks was worth only 930, not even as good as a small slam with an overtrick.