In honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s awe-inspiring Platinum Jubilee, I have not one but two hands, illustrating the power of pre-empts – even when they are psyches!
Did I mention we got knocked out of the Schapiro Spring Foursomes by one IMP? Playing the last eight boards of 32 we went in 36 IMPs ahead and emerged having lost 37! Richard Plackett, playing with Espen Erichsen for team Orca, picked up the following hand on the very last board: ♠x/♥Q 10 9 x/◆ xxx/♣Q J 10 9 5 and opened… 3♣! David Bakhshi, with his flat 20 count and double stopper in Clubs, overcalled game in NTs which, very sadly, went 2 off.
At the other table they passed the Plackett hand, leaving the next player to open 2NT, which got passed out and went one down. And there you have the one IMP! Well done, Richard, but it’s not quite as brilliant as the opening psyche by a young Norwegian playing in a prestigious tournament against Norway’s highest ranked pair at the time.
There is absolutely nothing in the play, it is all in the bidding. West took the momentous decision to open third in hand 3◆, doubled by North for takeout. East jumped to 5◆, further pre-empting at favourable vulnerability. Thinking his partner couldn’t have more than one Diamond, North bid 5♠ which South, looking at his three Diamonds, and also thinking his partner couldn’t have more than one diamond, raised to 6 and the ops cashed the first three Diamonds!