Ross Taylor

Fame seeker humbled

Playing in a KO match of unfathomable importance[1] , I held   J1065  872  Void   AKJ754.

I was white on red. My RHO opened the bidding 1 club, silencing me immediately. (Keith and I play 2 clubs is natural here, but that particular arrow was not in my quiver this night)

LHO responded 1 heart, and partner ventured 2 diamonds, my void suit. RHO said, 2 hearts, and everyone passed. Partner led the Queen of diamonds, and this is the layout I saw :




I ruffed the opening lead with the 8 of hearts, planning a blatant trump echo. Instincts kicked in at this point. I knew I wanted three diamond ruffs in my hand, and I knew I needed partner to get in twice to achieve this.

So without much thought, I underled all my club honours. Declarer played the ten, and partner won the queen. There’s a good partner !

Partner led a diamond back of course – the deuce. I ruffed with the deuce or hearts, thus alerting partner to my ability to score another ruff.

So having come this far, and with visions of the New York Times dancing in my head, I continued my master plan. I led another low club back to partner.


I did not take an extra few seconds to think a little deeper into the hand. Partner had led back an emphatic deuce of diamonds, ergo a club play by me now was a screamer. OK, but for what reason?

Did partner work out his club 9 (from an original holding of Q9 doubleton) was an entry and hence the violent signal?

I don’t think so.

Therefore partner was either void in clubs now, or (god forbid you ever have partners like this) was simply operating at half speed on this hand – not in touch with your quest for glory, and played back the diamond nearest his thumb.

Does that happen in the real world? Um, duh ! Like, all the time, as our teens are wont to say.

Anyway, whether partner is void in clubs or void in forethought, it can never be wrong for me to first cash a high club. Never.

What a hand! Look at the actual layout


Dealer: East

Vul: East West

West   Dummy
743 AQ8
J954 AQ103
AK74 983
109 863


Being your basic attention seeker, I led back another low club. A surprised and grateful declarer won his now stiff 9 of clubs, and scampered home with nine tricks.

As I have demonstrated, a more responsible south would have resisted his shot at fame, and simply cashed a high club – regardless of what he thought was going on.

When everyone follows to this high club, another club can be led for partner to over ruff declarer.

And then, the piece de resistance with the final diamond ruff for down 1.

Oh well, tomorrow I’ll be perfect.


[1] (credit to EOK from many years ago)

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