Mark Horton

Absolute Zero

Unless you post a really dreadful result you can usually expect to collect the odd matchpoint, but from time to time the dreaded zero is bound to appear on the card. If you have to donate one there may be no more deserving recipient than the hard working CEO of the ACBL, Jay Baum, as witness this deal from the Silodor Open Pairs:

Dealer: West

Vul: None

A 2
10 4
K 10 9 8 5 2
West East
8 7 6 5 4 Q 10
9 7 5 2 8 4 3
6 A Q 9 7 5
Q 7 6 3
K J 9 3
Q 10 6
K J 8
A J 4
West: Reiman

North: Horton

East: Baum

South: Helman

Pass 1NT Dbl Redbl
Pass Pass 2 Dbl
All Pass

When East came into the auction with a double that promised a single suited hand his side looked booked for a poor result, as the Rabbi had more than enough to redouble, and when East retreated to his suit he doubled and led the three of spades. North won with the ace and cashed the king of hearts, putting the defenders on the way to collecting the maximum penalty, before switching back to the two of spades. The Rabbi took East’s queen with the king – at least he would have done had he known that card was in his hand!

Alas, it was not on view and when East’s queen held the trick declarer escaped for -300 and a complete top.

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