1 IMP Away

Moses returned home in a bad mood.

“What happened?”, asked his wife.

“Did it ever happen to you, that you did an absolutely perfect thing, and you were so proud of yourself… only to find out someone else did better?”

“Too many times: When I scored 99 at Math in high school but Norma got 100; When I followed a killer diet but Silvia still had slimmer waist; When I baked a huge birthday cake for our Georgie’s birthday, but Jamie’s mother baked a bigger one; or when I brought you home to meet my Mom for the first time , but my sister brought Oliver home the same day..”, she added with a wink, trying to cheer him up.

But Moses was not really listening , still absorbed in his thoughts.

“So… What happened? “, she asked again.
“At the teams contest today, I played a slam in Club in a most brilliant way, and yet, at the other table our opponents got a better score and didn’t even make a big effort for it…”

Dealer South, none Vulnerable

“At the KO stage we got knocked out, losing the match by 1 IMP. This was the final board.

West led the ♦K against 6♣. I played the ♦A but East ruffed and played a Spade.

Now I have a dilemma: There are still two more Clubs out, including the ♣K. So… Should I try to finesse West, or should I play the Ace to drop a stiff King?

After some thoughts, I managed to solve this issue in a most scientific brilliant way: I won trick 2 with the ♠A, dropping the ♠K from dummy, and continued with the ♠QJ, discarding the ♥AQ from dummy! Note that this play carries no risk whatsoever, as if West ruffs – I overruff in dummy, while East is marked with plenty of Spades after showing a Diamond void. West followed to on the first 2 rounds of Spades and discarded a Diamond on the 3rd round of Spades.

Now I played my ♥KJ10 from hand, and again this move is completely safe as if West ruffs – I overruff in dummy.

West followed to 2 Hearts and discarded another Diamond on the 3rd round of Hearts. At this point West’s hand is fully counted! He had 8 Diamonds, 2 Spades, 2 Hearts and therefore 1 Club.

And so I played my ♣A next, dropping East’s remaining bare ♣K, and got 920 points for making my contract”.

“Well done to you, my dear husband! I’m so proud of you. Next time we go to my Mom – I’ll tell her about your brilliant play and will also say that, in my opinion, Oliver would never have found such a solution.

So… What happened at the other table?”, asked his wife, amused at her last remark and at her husband’s overreaction.

But Moses couldn’t see the humor: “At the other table North bid 6NT, making his contract with no pain, he just gave the ♣K. Score 990 for making and 2 IMPs away for this hand for the 70 points gap.

You see? – Without this board we would have won the match by 1 IMP and qualify for the next stage”…

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