The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LIII: Looking Over Nograwowicz’s Shoulder
By Ray Adams
This week readers have an opportunity to look over Porczouk Nograwowicz’s shoulder as he plays a hand:
When Team Porcupine recently won a big knockout event at the 2017 San Diego Nationals, Porczouk Nograwowicz was interviewed about the key swing board which allowed his team to come from behind and win the match. Readers now have the opportunity to follow Nograwowicz’s over the shoulder comments on how he played the hand.
“With his 20 points and 4 diamonds, I can hardly blame my partner, Stanislaus Kowalski, for getting excited when I opened 1♥ and rebid 2♦. My 5♠ answer to his 4NT query showed two aces and the queen of diamonds. This was all he needed to hear to push us to the grand slam.”
“West led the king of hearts and I quickly counted my tricks: 4 spades, probably 4 diamonds, 3 clubs, and the ace of hearts. I needed one more, but I also knew I had to be very careful because one of the opponents might have four trumps to the jack. If East, I would surely go down, but if West, I could guard against this distribution.”
“My thirteenth trick would have to come by either ruffing a heart in the dummy or trumping a club in my hand. But the fact that I had to guard against West possibly holding four trumps to the jack made it clear to me that the ruff had to come in my own hand. This was my analysis and that is how I played it.”
I won the lead with the ace, played the queen of clubs and led a small club to dummy’s ace. I then ruffed a small club in hand, holding my breath until both opponents followed. I then led a diamond to the ace and a diamond back to the queen. This revealed that West had indeed started life with four diamonds to the jack. I was glad I had been so careful. I now took the marked finesse in diamonds and cashed the king of diamonds to draw the last trump. Next came a spade to my ace and a spade back to the good dummy.”
Making 7♦ on this hand was worth 13 imps to Team Porcupine. Nograwowicz said he hopes his analysis proves useful to anyone who reads this blog and he wishes bridge buffs everywhere the best of luck.