Author Topic: Did I err? (A technical question)  (Read 250 times)


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Did I err? (A technical question)
« on: January 14, 2020, 09:39:06 PM »
This hand came up in yesterday's Survivor tourney (Dlr: N, Vul: N-S):

 !S K864
 !H A4
 !D Q94
 !C QJ93

 !S A3
 !H K62
 !D AJ32
 !C T764

1 !C   P      1 !D   1 !H
X       P       3NT     P
P       P                      (where X is a support double showing 3  !D's

The defense started the  !S 5.  Normally I would duck, but with a known five-card suit on my left, I was not anxious to let them start what they failed to begin. 

So I won the lead in hand (to give me a chance to duck later if the suit was continued).  At this point I have five sure tricks and neither diamonds or clubs will give me everything I need.  If LHO has two outside entries, the opening lead was a serious mistake.

I do not want to burn an entry to dummy to take the diamond finesse, so I decided to lead a club.  RHO won and returned the !H T, and when that was allowed to hold, continued the suit.  I won, perforce, and now took the diamond finesse, which lost.

LHO now led the  !H Q, again won perforce, and I shifted back to the club.  RHO won and shifted back to the spade.  When LHO's T was winning, I took my K, cashed a top club (LHO pitched a diamond), so now I could claim the rest.

My partner congratulated me, but then said that playing on diamonds at trick two seemed more correct to him.  I would agree if the defense started hearts, but they attacked spades first.  My line worked, but this is a partner I value the opinion of; is he correct?

BTW the only other declarer to make this hand did get a heart lead, winning the second trick in dummy to take the diamond finesse.  WD on his part.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 09:41:31 PM by jcreech »


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Re: Did I err? (A technical question)
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 04:52:36 PM »
I made 13.9%  on this hand and you made 97.2%.  So take my view with a pinch of salt.

At match points I suggest that 2NT better describes your hand. You have a balanced 12 and sitting under a 1 !H overcall you K  !H may not be worth points. Bearing in mind that you almost certainly need RHO to have the K !D I would say that there was nothing wrong with lead in a club to table first.  When you lost the diamond finesse, West can defeat you by continuing spades (perhaps not easy to see) Happily for you, West continued with hearts but could not get the lead back to make the long hearts as East had the K !C.

At my table there was no intervention and the bidding went 1 !C - 1 !D -1 !S - 2NT- pass   I got the 5 !S lead and seeing the danger in hearts decided it was not right to duck. So I took rhos 9 with my ace and led a club. RHO took with ace and returned the 2 !S  to 3 and queen. Now do I duck  or take? With unknown opponents who announced nothing, what can I make of the spade position?  Actually it was:

Q105                                         J972
Curious lead! And curious play of the 9 by RHO.

Be that as it may, I took the wrong decision and ducked.  The oops then switched to hearts and when the diamond finesse failed I went 2 off.


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Re: Did I err? (A technical question)
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 09:56:49 PM »
On the auction/play at Jim's table:
I agree that we take the spade at T1. I don't want to give a spade and then cope with a heart switch. So now what?
If spades are 4-3 then it seems very likely that they can establish two spade tricks, and they already have  the two top clubs. So if I take a !D finesse and it loses, they continue a spade, I will be losing two spades, two top clubs and one diamond.

Ok, looking at Jack's display of how the spades are arranged, we see that after a small spade by Lho and the J by Rho the sades are blocked. And maybe we can work that out. Lho would not lead a small spade w/o the Q, Rho would play the T from JTxx, the spades are probably 4-3, maybe maybe maybe.  It's a tough contract, so we need some maybes to be right.


If I give them their top clubs, at least I establish a couple of tricks for myself.
Of course I still do not have 9 tricks after establishing the clubs, but I will need those clubs so might as well get started. So: Club toward the board, losing to Rho. A heart comes back.
I am not so sure I would duck. After a heart duck, a switch back to spades might well net them two eventual spades, two clubs, and the ducked heart.

My plan would be two lose a couple of clubs and hope that after that, playing my club winners, would cause someone, or both someones, discarding problems.

So: Unless we assume that the spades are blocked, it seems to me that a losing !D finesse leads to them establishing five tricks: two spades, two clubs, one diamond. So I start on clubs. If the !D finesse is working, it will still be working later. But if Rho shows up with !C AK, I will assume the !D finesse is not working. I might be able to engineer a throw in. I still need to drop the T. Unlikely.

Not a great contract. I think I agree with Jack that the 3NT call was optimistic. The !H K is not a great card with the A probably on the left, and when partner helpfully has the A that means, when he has a minimum,  he has fewer high cards in the other suits. If he does not have a minimum he will raise 2NT to 3NT.