Contract Gateway: Auction Coup Backfires Costly Effect

Playing with a brand new partner is an art. As a teenager, I learned the hard way, playing in Chicago at the famous St James’s Bridge Club. You change partners every four hands: some are internationals or grizzled experts; others were simply wealthy, wanting to bid slams or play every hand. . .

Dealership: North
Game All

My partner opened a 15-17pt 1NT. Worried that my opponents might make 4S – they have at least eight spades and 23-25pts between them – to deter them from bidding, I avoided a weak 2H exit and jumped to 4H, a bid my partner had no choice but to pass. . . I learned that partners retain the right to make whatever choice they want. North offer 6H; Is doubled in principle. I lost three points, for a high stakes loss of 800 points.

Obviously, 4H only makes one down and our opponents could make 4S. West would know that North held Q♦ and could either play for the drop or lead J♦ from the hand, covered by Q♦, then finesse South for 10♦. I try to explain, but everyone tells me I’m wrong.

Mercurial Scottish international Irving Rose later told me, “Good offer, boy: wrong club, wrong table, wrong partner.” The moral is simple: the less you know your partner well, the simpler you have to keep everything

Laura J. Boyer