Mark Blumenthal

Tales of the Giant Crab – 4

When he was the opening leader Walt had a streak of underleading an ace on the right occasion. The first time he did it he was playing with Izzie, and it was against a slam. Dummy came down with KJx. Declarer went into a five minute huddle and played the jack. Izzie thought about it for a long time and ducked with the queen! The next time Walt he did it against a slam. He was playing with his regular partner, Don Smolen. Walt had chosen the only lead that would beat it three. Any other lead would have beaten the slam two, but being a much better player than Izzie, Don ducked it smoothly, and the slam made. The next time Walt tried it   it dummy had the Kx and declarer had xxx. The contract was  six no trump. For some reason declarer ducked at trick one. Walt’s partner, Mike Garner, who also was a good player, had QJ10xx. Mike won his ten, thought about it and  shifted to break up the supposed squeeze. Declarer then claimed.

Once when Walt was playing with me, he held KQJ9 of spades and a side ace. We were defending against six hearts doubled. I had preempted in diamonds, and declarer had bid hearts independently up to the six level. Walt had three hearts as did dummy which also had six spades, 1087652. Walt’s opening lead had been the king of spades won by declarer  with the ace  to which I had played the four,. Declarer now played the three of spades. Instead of winning it Walt, who was sure I was out of spades, played the nine. Declarer called for dummy’s ten, and I, obviously having no trumps, sluffed. The dummy, who knew Walt fell off his chair because he was laughing so much. As innocents are protected by some great force, we still managed to defeat the hand.

1 Comment

Keith ZennerDecember 25th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I have correctly underled an ace several times and have never been rewarded with normal play by my partner.

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