More than 20 years ago!


Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 03/03/2001
Level: Intermediate

Some deals you never forget. I held this hand in 1980, and I'd say it "launched my career:"

?Q J 10 9 8 5 4 2
?--
?A K Q 7 5
?--

In the Vanderbilt teams, I dealt and had to make the first bid. My partner was Ron Gerard, and I hoped he had read what I had read. What had I read? That an opening bid of 5? or 5? shows this type of hand -- 11 winners missing only the ace and king of trump. So, I opened 5?, a bid that took everyone by surprise. My LHO passed, and my partner, with a sly look on his face, jumped to 7?. Hopefully he knew that he should raise to 6 with one high trump, and to 7 with both high trumps.

This was the full deal:

Vul: Both
Dlr: South
?A K
?K Q 7 5 2
?10 2
?Q 9 4 2
 
?7 6
?A 9 8 6 4
?6 4
?A K J 3
  ?3
?J 10 3
?J 9 8 3
?10 8 7 6 5
  ?Q J 10 9 8 5 4 2
?--
?A K Q 7 5
?--
 
WestNorthEastSouth
  Ron Gerard   Larry
-- -- -- 5?!
Pass 7?! All Pass  

 

West trusted our bidding enough not to double, and he also trusted it enough to lead a trump (and not try one of his aces). Still, I was able to ruff one diamond in dummy and easily claim 13 tricks for 2210. At the other table, my counterpart opened 2 ? and reached only 6?. Our team went on to win the match, and this deal was written up in the New York Times bridge column; my first claim to fame!