Author Topic: A multiple challenge  (Read 370 times)

kenberg

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
  • Karma: +5/-5
    • View Profile
A multiple challenge
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:51:39 PM »
Club game yesterday, I found this one too interesting to just let it slide by without comment. A bad result for us.


Mps, red against white, Lho deals and passes, partner bids 1NT (15-17), Rho passes,  you hold

654
A6
KJT9763
5

As 8 counts go, it's a pretty decent hand. Suppose that you are playing with your clone, meaning that you are playing whatever system you like best and partner is playing the same system, what's the plan? Depending on partner's holdings the right contract could be 3NT, 5D or 6D, or so it seems. Even 3D or 6Nt are possibilities I suppose, but I think most would want to be on a game here and 6NT seems like a serious stretch.   It seems possible that the opponents could run five club tricks in NT while 5D or even 6D is on ice.

So what's the plan, Stan?

I presented just the one hand first. Now here are both of them.


Partner:
AK8
KT93
A42
QJ9

You:
654
A6
KJT9763
5



Where do you want to be and how do you get there?


Suppose that you reach 6D with you as declarer. Our opponents did reach 6D on these cards, mostly they just blasted. Suppose that the opening lead is the !C A (neither promising nor denying the K, an unsupported A is often led against a slam, especially at mps) and then Lho switches to the !S J. Rho played the !C 8 at trick 1 and the !S 2 at trick 2. Standard carding, whatever that means.

How do you play, Ray?

At the table, T1 went as mentioned, at T2 Lho laid down the !C K and now, after trumps come in, you are home.The !C 8, my play at trick 1,  was intended as a count card to warn partner off of trying to cash the second club (if he held it) but alas, this did not come across. Maybe the T would have worked.


Double dummy analysis, provided with the hand records, notes that 6D always makes regardless of the lead at trick 1.  Seeing how is still another challenge. Here are the hands:

                        Partner:
                        AK8
                        KT93
                        A42
                        QJ9

Lho:                                   Rho:
JT973                                 Q2
Q842                                  J75
Q                                        85
AK4                                    T87632


                       You:
                       654
                       A6
                       KJT9763
                       5


Suppose the opening lead is a spade and you can see all of the cards. How do you bring in the slam, Sam?

Despite the miserable score for 6 !D, by them,  making,  I found the hand interesting.  Declarer had bid 6 !D with three small spades and one small club without showing the club singleton or learning of the !S A. Thus she could just as well have had three small clubs and one small spade.  So if my club holding was four cards instead of six, giving declarer three small clubs, presumably she would still have blasted to 6 !D, and now partner's !C K would have cashed. Oh well.

Added: Partner and I were playing that 1NT-3 !D is strong and natural, so if the hand came up with us we could make an effort to get to 6 but even then I am not so sure we want to. Since clubs are stopped we probably want to get to 3NT at matchpoints. Once we get past that, if we do,  we would probably go to 6 !D simply because there will be few mps for 5 !D whether it makes 5 or 6.









« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 02:00:10 PM by kenberg »
Ken

OliverC

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
    • OCP Super-Precision
Re: A multiple challenge
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 03:58:15 PM »
I always say, don't strive for subtle signals. Smash Partner over the head with them, if at all possible. Definitely the !C 10 at trick 1 LOL, especially with the !C QJ9 visible on table.


The squeeze against West still works even on a Spade switch (there's really no defence if Declarer plays for that, if West starts with a top Club).


On a Spade lead the only winning route I can see is to draw trumps, cash 2 rounds of Hearts and ruff a !H . Now you have a squeeze against West. the !H 10 and !C Q are threats against West as well as the !S 8 and later in the play, on the run of the Diamonds, West is forced to discard either their last remaining !C honour, or the !H Queen or come down to one Spade in order to keep the others.


The end position is


!S K8
!H 10
!D -
!C Q


!S 65
!H -
!D 3
!C 5

On the last Diamond West cannot keep 4 cards without conceding an extra trick to North. It's a nice squeeze, but I think at the table, I would probably opt for the double Squeeze, concede a Club early, and come down to


 !S -
 !H K109
 !D -
 !C Q


 !S 6
 !H A6
 !S 3
 !C -


On the last !D I'm hoping to squeeze East in the Majors and West in Hearts and Clubs - unlucky but it seems to me more reasonable than playing for West to have exactly !Sxxxxx, !H Qxxx, !D x, !C AKx. :)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 04:07:10 PM by OliverC »
Oliver (OliverC)
IAC Website Obergruppenfuhrer

kenberg

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
  • Karma: +5/-5
    • View Profile
Re: A multiple challenge
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 11:05:45 PM »
Yes, the club T would have been better. As partner noted, even if he understood that I was showing count he would not know whether it was 4 or 6, and then he might well reason that it must be 4 since with 6 I could afford to play the T.  So yes, the T is right. Partner thought I was encouraging clubs, although I can't think of how I could.  He can see that AKQ and J, and I cannot really have a short club suit.  The auction was a bit odd, but not so odd that declarer could be holding five clubs.

The lead of the spade J at trick 1 I think is mostly of theoretical interest since I cannot imagine someone doing it. But if it is done, and if declarer can see all the cards. I think winning the spade and playing 4 rounds of diamonds will do the job.  On the first 3 diamonds W follows once and then discards 2 spades. But on the next?  Maybe not obvious at first, but he cannot shed a club since then declarer can pitch a heart from dummy and lead a club. Declarer now leads a club, W takes his K and leads something. Declarer wins on the board and leads another club, establishing a club, and dummy still has an entry.  So W cannot discard a club on the fourth diamond. He clearly cannot discard another spade. But if he discards a heart then declarer pitches a club from dummy, plays A, K and another hear ruffing, and the long heart on the board is established.

It's all pretty theoretical I think, but it is interesting in that it is a 3 suited squeeze where the ability to ruff plays a role in 2 of the 3 suits.  You don't see that every day!

We will never know what might have happened if partner, after taking the club A at T1, shifted to a spade.  Declarer has the option of figuring the club A was an unsupported A, often unsupported Aces are led against slams, especially at matchpoints, so she might well have figured her best shot was to place the k on her right and run a (losing) ruffing finesse. But if she goes for the club-spade simple squeeze, indeed it is there.

I feel the slam was pretty lucky. E found her partner with Axx in her suit, a maximum NT, and still the hand requires a squeeze to bring it in. I think it is ok to miss getting to such slams.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 11:07:57 PM by kenberg »
Ken

kenberg

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
  • Karma: +5/-5
    • View Profile
Re: A multiple challenge
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 08:18:02 PM »
The case of split club honors.

Setting:
We are in 6 !D. The !S J is led.

Dummy:
AK8
KT93
A42
QJ9

Declarer:
654
A6
KJT9763
5

Let's assume that we do not know the EW hands. What should we do?
On this lead it is unlikely that the !C A and K are both on our left. A priori there is only a 1 in 4 chance of that anyway, and surely the lead of the !S J makes it even less likely.

Will it work to duck a club? Perhapsbut the timing could matter a lot.

First assume that E hold both the !C A and the !K K.  E will win and return a spade.

we can then proceed to the ending envisioned by Oliver:
 !S -
 !H K109
 !D -
 !C Q


 !S 6
 !H A6
 !S 3
 !C -

Assuming E started with at least 3 hearts. there is no effective squeeze. W can save spades, abandoning hearts, , and E will  choose his discard on the last diamond after declarer pitches from dummy.

Now suppose the !C A and K lie in opposite hands. And suppose that when declarer plays the small club, W plays low. If declarer is known to have a stiff club, this is not hard to do. Again E takes the club Q and continues a spade. This take the remaining spade entry off the table so that it is now safe for W to pitch hearts. Declarer can then play A, K and ruff a heart, but he has no way to get back to the established heart. Declarer can run all of his trump, keeping the small spade in hand as a threat, but W just pitches hearts leaving E to guard that suit. Whether the top hearts are cashed before or after the diamonds, neither black suit threat has an entry in its own suit and it just won't work.

Can it be done? I think so. Assume W has 5 spades, 4 hearts, and one of the club honors.

Declarer wins the spade and cashes four rounds of diamonds, throwing a spade.

Dummy:
!S K
!H KT93
!D void
!C QJ9

Declarer:
!S 65
!H A6
!D 763
!C 5

Everyone is down to 8 cards. W must hold 2 spades, else playing 5 to the K will establish the 6. And W must hold four hearts, else A, then K then ruff in hearts will establish the long heart.  So W is down to Hx in clubs.  E has it easy, he holds on to his three hearts and three clubs, and he still has an extra spade and club.

Declarer leads another diamond. W must still hold onto his spades and hearts, so he tosses a club. But this does it. Declarer can toss a heart from dummy and now duck a club. W no longer has a small club to duck with, and so the ruffing finesse is set up, and dummy still has the needed entries.

Note that this line also works with the holding as it actually is, given the lead of a spade (unlikely with AK in clubs). On the fifth diamond W will still have to come down to one club for the same reasons as before, except now that means he has tossed the A or K and we just lead a club.

For this to work we need W to hold 4+ hearts. 5+ spades and at least one of the two club tops. It's asking a lot, but it's not hopeless. I have not yet thought through whether this can be modified to also take care of the AK both being with E.

The hand belongs in 3NT!

Ken