December 27, 2011
On Sunday night, Dec 18, Jourdan’s ran a benefit game for ALS research, Lou Gehrig’s disease. The game was in honor of Jonathan and Patricia Stein. Jonathan suffers bravely from this dreaded disease and Jonathan and Patricia hosted the event. We raised some $23,000 on a night that was, at least so far, the highlight of the young century at the club.
There is an old sport’s cliché that certainly applies to bridge: ‘It’s better to be lucky than good.’ We were very lucky on board 21:
I opened 1H as North and partner bid 3H, showing a limit raise with 4 card support. I was off to the races with Blackwood. Partner and I had agreed to play a version of Blackwood known as ‘1430’, where we invert the 5C and 5D responses. There is a theoretical reason for doing this which is not very compelling, in my opinion, but that was our agreement. Partner responded 5C showing one Ace and I bid 6H counting on partner for a third round spade control. She could have the Queen, a doubleton or I could take a finesse if necessary. This was a reasonable gamble.
East had to decide what to lead and chose the ‘safe’ JC. He had no reason to find the winning diamond lead, and the slam came home. I was able to discard my diamond on the KC and then take the losing Spade finesse.
Why was this such a lucky result? If we had not been playing ‘1430’, partner would have responded 5D to my 4NT bid. West would have doubled this to get a diamond lead and the unlucky Spade position would have wrecked our slam. As I said, it’s better to be lucky than good.