The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part VI: Team Porcupine Takes to the Trenches
By Ray Adams
If duplicate bridge is a war, then bidding and playing partials surely corresponds to trench warfare. The toughest battles are frequently fought to see who will come out plus 110 or who will be minus 110, 100, or 50. Team Porcupine took to the trenches in a recent tournament
Pas led the jack of clubs against the two heart contract. This was ducked in dummy and won by declarer’s king. Another club went to Konejwicz’s ace, and he returned the king of diamonds, taken by dummy’s ace. Declarer led a small heart, inserting the queen. Pas won his king and returned a trump to dummy’s jack. Another diamond was taken by East’s queen and the trump return went to declarer’s ace, as Pas threw a club. Declarer led a spade to dummy’s queen. When this held, he ruffed a diamond, then led his last trump. The hand had reached the moment of truth.
Pas had carefully counted the hand and realized declarer remained with two spades, undoubtedly to the king, plus a club. Pas saw he would be endplayed and forced to give declarer a spade trick. He therefore jettisoned his club ten on this trick, hoping his partnercould win the subsequent club lead. Konejwicz’s seven did take the trick as Pasnowtossed his low spade. Konejwicz cashed his high diamond and Pas’s ace of spades took the last trick. This was down one and plus 100 to Team Porcupine.
Events at the other table found Nograwowicz also declaring a two heart contract. However, Nograwowicz decided not to take the immediate heart finesse, instead arranging to ruff a club in dummy. This allowed him to bring home the contract by scoring five trump tricks and one each in the other suits. Plus 100 and plus 110 added up to five imps for Team Porcupine. Since they won the match by only three imps, this deal proved crucial.
The opponents had made one small error, Pas and Konejwicz had capitalized on it, and Team Porcupine emerged victorious from the trenches.