The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part XI: A Porcupine Coup
By Ray Adams
Team Porcupine’s Porczouk Nograwowicz found himself in yet another tight spot in an important team match recently when he was once again victimized by the optimistic bidding of his partner, Stanislaus Kowalski.
It did not take Kowalski long to put Nograwowicz in the spade game once he heard his partner bid that suit. Kowakski did not bother trying to explore for a 3NT game, thinking that having his partner play in a 4-3 fit had to be better than the possibility that he might end up in a tough NT contract.
West led the four of hearts. Dummy’s ace took the trick and a club went to declarer’s jack and West’s ace. West continued the heart attack, taken in dummy with the king. Declarer now led a low spade from dummy and East feared playing the king would give up the entire spade suit. Thus, this player ducked and declarer’s queen won the trick.
Nograwowicz now cashed the ace and king of diamonds, then ruffed a diamond in dummy. He cashed the king of clubs, tossing a diamond. When he led the queen of clubs to throw another diamond, West ruffed. West had no trumps to lead and decided to get out with the jack of hearts, although a diamond might have been a better choice. East now had the problem of whether to ruff or throw a club. East finally chose to toss a club and declarer ruffed low.
Nograwowicz now ruffed his last diamond with dummy’s ace. This was his ninth trick and the lead was in a dummy with one heart and one club remaining. East, who had been forced to underruff the ace of trumps, remained with the king and nine of spades, while Nograwowicz sat behind him with the jack and six. Nograwowicz had done it again. He had executed a pretty coup en passant to make this shaky spade game.
This Porcupine Coup had earned Team Porcupine a well deserved 13 imp swing when 3NT went two down in the other room. The Porcupines ended up winning this tight match by a mere 6 imps.