Posted 2017-March-20, 08:05
It's unfortunate that partner has a maximum and their fits are in the minors (and South's spades are Jxxxx). 4♥ makes on the lie of the cards (and while Gold may have made it, mere mortals like me would guess something wrong and go down), and they have a loser in each suit.
It's very easy for the cards to be slightly different and they can make any game they bid. 4♥ goes down 2, maybe 3, maybe doubled. Great. Or it could be that a game makes, but it's 3NT. Or it's not the one they guess to play. Or maybe they sit for it, and -100 beats -140. Or maybe they have this 800, but they just can't sit for it.
Preempts work - especially after a weak NT. Double especially in an American tournament, where the opening NT at the other table is 14-16 or 15-17, and you're reasonably certain that your teammates are going to catch 1m-p-1♥ or some weak jump shift (I doubt that with the Nickell pairs, though).
I agree with Tyler. Six pieces and a stiff, at this vulnerability, is a 4-level transfer. The ace is, almost, a minus card (I'd much rather have KJ or KQ, for instance).
I would also suggest that while the #20 seed in this event (with one of my former partners of a *long* time ago, back when he was only obviously, rather than ludicrously, better than me) is no pushover, they're playing the team that's only the #2 seed because #1 goes to the holders, and they can't win it every year. You don't beat that team by playing passive.