Simon Gillis coined a term to describe his disappointment when he sits himself out to allow four of his professionals to go in and do the job — and they fail! Simon calls it ‘Sponsor’s Nightmare’ and I had a hefty dose of it playing the Schapiro Spring Foursomes in Stratford last weekend. We made the quarter finals and drew Sandra Penfold’s strong squad. After three sets, we were 24 IMPs up with eight boards to go. I happily put my two prof pairs in and benched my partner and myself. BIG MISTAKE. A couple of iffy decisions saw us three down with four boards to go, and with absolutely nothing in the last four boards that’s where we stayed. Sponsor’s nightmare.
It wasn’t my turn to sit out but I was tired and this hand had come up the set before and caught me napping.
I was South and West led a small Club to my Jack. I laid down the ♠Ace and felt sick when West discarded a red card. Time for plan B: East had a King but did not respond — surely he can’t have another card? West opened 1♣, so he must either have 6 Clubs or be exactly 0–4–4–5. I cashed the Jack and 10 of spades, East ducking and West discarding a Diamond and a Club. Next I tried the ♥K, which West grabbed and played the ♣K to my Ace, East following. Now I knew West was 0–4–4–5. He had two good Clubs left, together with… eh… oh hell! What did West throw on the first Spade?
Eventually I decided (prayed) that West probably hadn’t unguarded the ♦Q. I exited with Queen and a small Heart to West who, after taking his two Clubs, had to play a Diamond into my K, J. A near fatal lapse of concentration. Sponsor’s ultimate nightmare.