Act 1. A Fool's Folly.

Playing on BBO with a pick-up partner, I picked up the following cards at red on white IMPs:

J5
J982
Q53
KJT9

The bidding proceeded as follows:

LHO

1
Pass
   Partner

Dbl
2NT
   RHO
Pass
1NT
All Pass
   Me
Pass
2


I made a foolish bid of 2, particularly at unfavorable IMPs. With so many soft values and only 4 clubs, I must have had my dunce cap on. Partner's 2NT, however, surprised me. What could he have? Not 15-18 otherwise he'd have overcalled 1NT. 19-20? He'd probably rebid 3NT, and the opponents' hands plus mine equate to roughly 27 HCP already, anyway, making that range impossible. 13-14? Then why wouldn't he just pass 2?

I was enlightened upon becoming dummy: (hands rotated for convenience)


Dlr: West       Me (dummy)      
Vul: E-WJ5
J982
WestQ53East
A62KJT9T843
7AQT43
98762Partner K
6432SKQ97AQ8
HK65
DAJT4
C75

Act 2. The Fool's Anguish.

Aaaaaaaagh! Partner doubled with only two clubs. He then tried to escape to no-trumps. I had thrown a 2 banana peel on the ground and he leapt at the chance to slip on it. Both 2 and 2NT have a chance, actually, but after seeing the way partner bid, a queasy sensation arose in my stomach.

Note also West's 4-HCP 1NT bid. The finals of the Reisinger Championships, this was not.


Act 3. To the Gallows.

West led the 9...low, king, ace. Very helpful! Obviously there are now 4 diamond tricks to be had.

Partner next led the 7 out of his hand. West played the two, partner put up the jack from dummy, and East contributed the 4.

Now, there are several ways of making the hand from here, including leading clubs out of dummy (!), but partner chose to lead the 5. East completed an echo with the 3, and partner put up the king. Here, he could have trusted East's echo and finessed for the T, given that East denied as many as four spades with his 1NT bid, and West denied five spades with his 1 bid. The finessing odds were likely to be 4:3.

Instead, West took the A and returned a diamond, which partner won with the Q in dummy. East discarded a heart. The hands were now:


Dlr: West        Me (dummy)      
Vul: E-W--
J982
West5East
6KJT9T8
7AQT3
762Partner --
6432SQ9AQ8
HK65
DJT
C75

Act 4. The Fools's Funeral.

OK, partner needs 6 more tricks. An analysis of endplays might be in order here, but what do you think you are reading, The Bridge World?

Partner led a heart toward the king, winning, followed by a low heart toward dummy. East gratefully took three heart tricks, the A, and exited with the 8. Partner, having reduced himself to his spade tenace and two diamonds, naturally took the Q and had to concede the T later for down 2.

Ah, Bridge...always good for a laugh, if you don't cry first instead.