Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who says politicians can't play bridge?

Last week I found myself playing against the current ACBL President, Jerry Fleming, and a former ACBL President, Sharon Fairchild. Sharon and I had a game together two years ago, right after she started her one-year term, so I knew she was a sharp cookie. I hadn't played against Jerry enough to know much about his game.

My partner and I picked up these hands:

AT874
AK987
J6
8
Q2
Q4
KT974
KT32

Here's the auction:

WestNorthEastSouth



p
11p1NT
p2p2NT
ppp

Jerry, on my left, led a fourth-best five of diamonds. I played the six of diamonds off the board, and was pleased to see it hold. I played off three rounds of hearts to see if my luck was in there too-- and it was! They split 3-3. Rather than figure out what to pitch on the next two hearts, I decided to leave them on the table with the spade ace to get to them later. Since anything that LHO led would be good for me, I led the jack of diamonds off the table (Sharon, East, pitching a discouraging club). West won and led the jack of spades, which ran around to my queen (Sharon playing the three smoothly). I pounded out the last diamond honor and West put another spade on the table. I could stick in the ten and take a whole lot of tricks if LHO had led from KJx or KJxx, as it appeared... would Sharon have made the good play of ducking from Kxx or Kxxx?

I said, "I'm making this play out of respect for you, Sharon," and hopped up with the ace of spades. I made exactly two.



Here's the whole hand:

AT874
AK987
J6
8

J6
J62
AQ853
A74
K953
T53
2
QJ965

Q2
Q4
KT974
KT32



A great smooth duck from Sharon. When did we let expert players go into bridge politics, anyway?

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