Toby makes a Defensive Error in the Gold Cup
I guess this is another poor bridge article, but it also gives me a chance to congratulate Teymur on his excellent defence, and apologise for not thanking him properly at the table (by defeating the contract). I managed to violate two fundamental defensive principles:
i) Partner Is Stupid So Help Eliminate Any Decisions (PISSHEAD)
in this case partner "stupidity" is simply not knowing what's in my hand, and he played correctly...
ii) Declarer Is Clueless: Keep Him Entertaining Awkward Decisions (DICKHEAD)
Since a 2 overcall would have been Astro (spades and another), we ended up defending 2, and I had had no opportunity to show my diamond suit.
The defence got off to a good start with the Q lead. Teymur played the 2 (encouraging—playing reverse attitude). Declarer won with the K, then played a spade to the 10 and partner's ace (I played high, McKenney for diamonds, but playing low (for clubs) would have shown better foresight). Teymur now found the excellent play of the T (McKenney for diamonds), and I ruffed declarer's ace. Now I was reasonably sure that Teymur had the K, and that the way to beat the contract was with two diamond tricks, the J and a spade ruff, so all I needed to do was cross to Teymur's hand in diamonds, pitch my last spade on the J, and ruff a spade. So I underled my A.
Alas, Teymur's psychic powers were switched off today, and although he won his K and J, he didn't know I'd just pitched my last spade, so he then led a diamond, expecting to get a ruff. I should have anticipated Partner's Decision, and Eliminated it by cashing my A before crossing to his king, leaving him without a diamond exit, and forcing him to give me my spade ruff. I was instead forced to violate the second principle too by giving him a diamond ruff, which was overruffed. Now, when declarer cashed the K, Teymur showed out, and even the most clueless declarer would have guessed trumps right. Er, sorry! At least it wasn't quite enough to cost the match; it gave away 6 IMPs in a match we lost by 8. I don't know what methods were being played by NS at the other table (unequal level conversion?), but 2 made +110. Jonathan should probably bid 1 over the double.