Momentum part two
Two boards later we beat a delicate two spades one trick for another four imps, and three boards after that was another dynamite board for Team Korbel.
Keith was on a roll at this point – bidding very aggressively and successfully. He picked up void J8754 KQ743 K107, and heard me open a weak NT in third chair, not vul versus vulnerable opponents. Campbell overcalled two spades, and Keith bid three hearts, forcing. Klimo next jumped to four spades, which was passed around to Keith.
He promptly bid five diamonds. This was converted by me to five hearts; Campbell doubled and all passed.
Vul: east west
Actually, as soon as I placed the five heart bid on the table, I regretted it. So often in situations where your side has two fits, it is best (safer) to play in the weaker fit, to avoid enemy ruffs in that suit. Damn, I hoped it would not cost.
But it did. Klimo led his singelton diamond and scored two ruffs for down two, minus 300. As you can see, had they chosen to defend five diamonds doubled, we could have made that! Still we don’t know if Klimo would have sat for a double of five diamonds.
In fact, at the other table, Korbel holding Klimo’s cards bid onto five spades over their five hearts, and scored up plus 650 for a nice eight imp gain. Team Korbel up by 35 imps.
Three boards later, Campbell went down (not unreasonably) in a vulnerable four hearts, made by Korbel at the other table. Played from the other side, the hand was all about the location of the jack of spades. The spade side suit was KQ62 opposite A109. At Korbel’s table, the opening lead was the spade jack, a singleton, so the card was located immediately.
At our table, Campbell played the hand methodically and found out quite late in the hand that spades were likely 5-1. He therefore backed up his card reading by taking a first round hook of the spade ten, losing unluckily to the singleton jack, losing eleven imps more. Team Korbel up by 46 imps now.
I could tell it was going very well at our table, but these guys had played incredibly tough all week, and had been there before. I did not expect them to roll over. Momentum was clearly with us, but they were determined to turn the tide. I could not see him, but if someone told me Klimo was chewing nails on the other side of the screen, I would have believed them. (I found out later it was ice, not nails)
It might have been much more but for two great results for Campbell and Klimowicz on two late boards. Campbell held AJ5 K8 10964 AJ93 and heard two spades (weak) on his right; four spades on his left. He had to lead a club specifically to beat the contract for a ten imp pick up. The hands were:
The ace of clubs followed by another club ensured down one – well done !
And the two Westerners had a most unusual auction to bid up to 7NT on the preceding hand. Klimo opened one diamond and redbid 1NT over Campbell’s one spade response. Klimo held Q7 KQ93 AQ1054 QJ, and his rebid showed 14 to 16 HCP. Campbell next bid two diamonds, game forcing check back stayman. Klimo bid 2H, Campbell bid 2NT. Klimo bid 3 diamonds, and Campbell now bid 3 hearts.
Klimo now reached into his bidding box and placed the 6 NT card on the table ! Assuming he had not totally lost his mind, I deduced he must be thinking along these lines…. Partner is sniffing around with a big hand, yet he cannot find an eight card fit, but he does not want to place the contract in (only) 3NT. I have a maximum for the auction. I will accept any and all slam invitations – so why don’t I just bid 6NT – the most likely final contract.
Furthermore, it would be serendipitous to do to his partner what Campbell had done to him earlier when he eschewed science and blasted to six spades over Klimo’s one spade opener.
Anyway, Campbell was also not expecting this bid, and was staring at a full twenty count! AK32 AJ5 J3 AK73. Finally he decided, where there’s twelve there is a hope for thirteen, and he bid the seventh and final no trump.
|Dealer: westVul : both||Campbell|
These back to back hands were the bridge equivalent of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass into the end zone. Had they worked out badly, I doubt Team Gartaganis could have regrouped. But of course, the diamond king was onside (and showed up on a pop up squeeze against east) and twelve imps won for Team Gartaganis instead of losing seventeen had the finesse lost. Wolpert and Korbel had stopped scientifically in 6NT at the other table.
Still, even with winning 23 imps on these two boards, Team Gartaganis had relinquished their 13 imp lead, and were now down by 23 imps with 32 boards remaining.
Momentum had clearly run Korbel’s way for most of this stanza, but Gartaganis had caught hold of themselves just in time.