Problems from Various Places: Answers
Which places, you
might ask? 1-3 are from Phoenix and were problem
that became the basis of appeals. 4 was an appeal
from Montreal, supplied by David Weiss. 5-6 were
from the Reno regional, the latter from the money
Robb Gordon, Barry Rigal,
David Caprera, Mike Shuster, John Jones, Jeff Goldsmith,
Dan Hugh-Jones, Mark Bartusek, Bobby Bodenheimer,
JoAnna Stansby, Michael Schreiber, Dan Molochko, Ed Davis
- Favorable, MP, you hold
AKQ1072 103 762 J3
RHO|| You|| LHO|| CHO|
1|| 2|| 3|| 3|
- I have to admit I would not be in this position.
[Neither would I, but so it goes. --Jeff]
Why on earth would I make a favorable pre-empt with
This hand? Now I get to bid 4 spades and completely
- Pass; I absolutely have no say here; my 2 bid
(not my choice by the way) defined my hand.
If you play double as actionextras I'd like you to bid/pass
depending on the nature of the 3 call that would be fine.
[Looby doubles by a preemptor??? --Jeff] I don't. Should I?
I think not. This is a very dangerous style without lots of
agreement and we don't have it.
- I lead K. Never cared much for A from AK(Q).
Playing honor leads showing count may have merit but
I do not have experience with using them.
- Pass, assuming 2 is consistant with the partnership
methods (i.e. you were playing in the individual, because
I couldn't imagine your bidding that in any other context).
I do believe that partner's 3 bid is encouraging for you to
bid again with an appropriate holding, but this ain't it.
Holding KQJxx x xx J10xxx, maybe.
- 4 seems right, although much depends on my preemptive style. My
personal style is frequently to have a whole lot less than this (this
hand is a little above my maximum playing strength). [A little?
Surely you mean "by far!" --Jeff]
- Pass. I'm not happy about it as I would have bid 3 the first time, but
having done so, I must live with it. Partner did not save and he knows more
about my hand than I do about his.
- PASS, it is absolutely silly to bid again on this auction. The opponents
might be going down in 4, in the wrong denomination, or cold for a slam.
You are giving them a "fielder's choice" by bidding again. Personally I
would always bid 3 with this hand favorable at MPs. Words fail me in
describing how bad the initial 2 bid was at these conditions of contest.
- I may be a member of the old school, but I pass. The decision on this
hand is how many spades to bid at the first opportunity. Having
decided on 2, I live with my decision.
- Pass seems easy. Partner didn't bid 4 either because she
wants to defend 4 (I have an ace and 2 trump to contribute) or
because 4 is in danger of -800 (and I have no stiff so every
last one of the opp's aces and kings are cashing).
- Pass. What else do I have to say about this hand?
- Pass. This is a discipline issue with me. I hate the 2 bid, but I
must have had a good reason when I bid it, so I'm not going to cross up
partner (or the auction) now. This hand is either a 1 or a 3 overcall.
2 is what I bid if you make the A the 3.
- Make the A a x and 2 would be the normal bid. As it is, I am much too strong for 2. Partner
cannot judge the offensive or defensive potential if I bid 2 on this hand as well as bidding it
on the same hand without the A. So much for the free-lance 2 bid.
I don't even have to know if partner's 3 bid was suggesting a sacrifice since it is clear to
defend with a possible two defensive tricks when I have not promised any defensive tricks.
- I'd bid 4 in an instant. Let's see...competitive rule #1:
"If the bad guys bid 4, and it's reasonable for us to bid 4,
do it." I don't think I ought to be dissuaded by the vulnerability,
white vs. red. Or the conditions: matchpoints. (There's much more
upside at MPs than IMPs. At IMPs, if you go down 2, it's 3-4 IMPs.
At MPs, it's a half board.) I also play that partner's 3 bid here
(which has no chance to buy the contract, given the opponents are
in a force) authorizes me to bid 4 if I think it's right. My
hand is all spades...how can it not be right? Let's see...for
4 to be right, three things have to be true:
The latter two are slam-dunks, 100%. Only the first one is in doubt;
if partner has only three spades and they are 2-2, we may
be able to beat 4. That's 40% at best, because partner may
have four spades and they may make despite 2-2 spades.
Sacrificing is clearly the right action.
- they make 4
- 4 takes at least seven tricks
- the field is reaching game
- WINNING ACTION
- 4. Partner had 865 Q8 104 KQ9542.
4 was making six; 4 was down 2. (They shift to
trumps, which are 3-1, after cashing two hearts.
- This hand was an appeal problem from
Phoenix. Partner's pass over 4 was very slow.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- Since I wasn't at the table,
my thoughts about the problem are upon reflection.
What becomes interesting, though only mildly, is
the appeal. Did partner's pause over 4 demonstrably
suggest bidding 4? I think so. He wasn't thinking
of doubling or he'd've not bid 3 the last time. You
might bid 4 in front of him, crossing him up.
Therefore, he must be thinking of bidding 4, although
I don't see why on his actual hand. Is passing 4 a
logical alternative? Given that much of the panel here
actually did pass, obviously it must be. Therefore, 4
cannot be allowed.
- None vul, BAM, you hold
QJ8 6 J9 QJ109864
RHO|| You|| LHO|| CHO|
2*|| Pass||2|| Pass|
Pass||3?|| 3|| Dbl|
a) would you have bid 3?
- ROBB, DAVIDC, JOANNA, MICHAEL
- No I would not bid 3 my view is that it may be our
best spot but if so partner will remove.
- No. Its very dangerous to balance against Flannery and
here I have only 7 losers, but no hand at all. If partner
bids 3NT, he is highly unlikely to make it. If we're making
3 we may well have enough to defeat 2H... unless we have
a big club fit, in which case they can make 9 or 10 tricks anyway.
- 3 clear I have a good suit and not enough to bid 3 directly,
seems right for a balance.
- Yes, I think so. I could be convinced it was wrong though. At the table,
I might well have been swayed either way by knowledge of who my opponents
- Yes, 3 seems clear with a 7-bagger. You can't just give away a part-score
- 3 is fine.
- Yes, of course. Partner has some high cards, and you have a trump
suit. Going minus at the two-level loses the board.
- Yes. I have six more clubs than hearts.
- Pass. Balancing against Flannery is mega-dangerous.
They probably stopped short of game because they have a
misfit or only a mild fit and both partners are near max.
(Partner didn't act with a known good hand.) One good way
to win the board is to defend 2 -110 when teammates are
+120 on a normal auction like 1-1NT; 2-2NT; pass. If
you think your hand will bid 3 over 1 at the other table,
bidding 3 now is getting the worst of it; they know whether
to sell or not and they have a penalty double available where
your teammates did not. Still, there are ways to win. They
may have 8 tricks in hearts and you push them to 3 or they
may sell to 3 +110 instead of -110 or +50. Unless partner hangs you.
b) what now?
- Pass. Partner was hoping I would re-open
With a double. He has seen me balance before.
- I'll pass at BAM. It is only a bottom/0.
[How much worse can it be? --Jeff]
- Hope we beat it. This was the real risk I took in
bidding 3 and now I have to live with my decision. I shouldn't
be making 4 and who knows, partner may be killing them.
Much harder at IMPs than at BAM.
- Pass and pray. My hand will be a disappointment, but
4 seems like giving up on the board. At IMPs I would probably run.
- Pass! There is a special place in Hades for those who pull
partner's penalty doubles when their partner knows more about the hand
than they do. In this case pard knows more about the hand than any of
the other 3 players. [Baloney. LHO knows more about the hand
than anyone else. The Flannery opener's partner is usually very
well-placed in competitive auctions. Not to mention, do you
really think partner has a good idea of your hand? --Jeff] Yes, I
would like to have an ace or king, but I would pull this double only with
a real twist, and this hand isn't close. All I did was balance
with both sides NV, and pard (who wants me to balance agressively)
won't play me for much defense. Also, the QJ8 and the J9 are better
cards on defense. If pard has made a close double because we're playing
BAM and they make it, too bad, we've been there before, it's only one
board, and our partnership confidence won't be damaged near as much as it
would be if I pulled a juicy penalty double. Thus, this is an opening
lead problem. I lead my trump (the Q is 2nd choice). If the K appears
in dummy, I will probably split my honors on the first round (what's
my parnership agreement about spliting?) and look for a suit preference
signal (maybe in trumps) as to how to get back to pard for a 3rd trump play
- Pass. If 3 was a reasonable action, then pard should be aware that I can
hold this hand. Sure, they will make it once in a while, but if I was not
prepared to sit for pard's double then I should have passed the hand out.
Pard will be (and rightly) a lot more pissed off when I pull and they double
me off and beat me in 4 than he will when 3 makes.
- 4, I have practically no defense. Partner is not
expecting this type of hand. [That's true! --Jeff]
- JOANNA, MICHEAL
- I look at my hand, decide they are too likely to make 3
and bid 4. Partner may be trap passing, but will expect more from my
- Pass, of course. Partner has played BAM before, and she's seen people
balance before. +100 stands a good chance of winning the board. If I
were taking out here, I should have bid a preemptive 4 directly over 2.
- My guess is to pull to 4. I have some extra playing strength and very little defense. I know
this but partner doesn't. Although partner could have this beat in his own hand, I think the
percentages favor partner counting on me to contribute more to the defense.
- 4, but I don't think it matters. They are making 3 and I'm
going for a number in 4. I think the natural choice is
to pull; they may fail to double and forget to bid their
game because partner sawed them off at the 3-level.
- WINNING ACTION
- None. Partner held Axx Axx Kxxxx xx. I have
no idea why she doubled. 3 makes and 4 is down two.
- This was another appeal from Phoenix. Partner doubled
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
I included this hand because I thought the competitive
tactics vs. Flannery were particularly interesting. I'm strongly
against the 3 balance, even though it seems completely obvious.
The problem is that your teammates are going to be in a worse
position (unless they play Flannery, in which case I'd bid 3)
than your opponents. If the bad guys bid 3 directly over 1
at the other table, they are not playing it there. Unless they
are doubled, in which case, you want out of this auction pronto.
LHO knows whether or not to compete over 3 (or double for
penalties), so your best hope is that the opponents can
make 140 and you get out while the gettin' out's good. Winning
the board by going -110 and +120 can happen if your hand
doesn't bid 3. Overall, I don't see how 3 can put you
in a better position or even equal position to the other table,
so why take any risk?
Passing the double I guess has to be right, but you know they
are making it. 4x is probably booked for -300 anyway, so you
can no longer win the board. So it goes.
The appeal issue is easy. This hand pulled. That can't
be allowed after the slow double.
- Unfav, IMPs, you hold
Q10432 QJ73 A752
You|| LHO|| CHO|| RHO|
3|| Dbl|| 3|| Pass|
3|| Pass||4|| Pass|
- 5. 4 was not suggestion of a final
contract. Partner likes his hand. I like
his hand too.
- I'd have thought we play Smolen here so I'd have bid 3
and avoided my problems. What did 3 show? [I assume 5 + 4. --Jeff]
Unless I know I can't answer but I'll assume 5 and maybe 4?
Pass. Partner has AJ AKx AKJxx xxx and did not want to bid 3NT.
He might be right. Can't be a cue bidhe can't have four hearts
and he does not know I do.
- To begin with, I would have wanted to be playing Smolen
if not some form of puppet. And how big is 2N? But assuming
"standard", I don't think my monkey is 2=4=5=2 and I don't
think he is looking for a Moysian. No, I think my monkey
should have a good three card fit and control. Could we
have a grand? Possibly. I am bidding 5 on route to at
least 6. If we aren't on the same wavelength, I may find
out quickly. (Should be unanimous - not!)
- 4. Another hand I wasn't there for. I would have bid a quiet
3NT over 3. I have no idea how he intends this 4 call, but
I don't see much reason to play this in a 4-3 fit... and if
this is some exotic cuebid or if he thinks 3 was Smolen then
passing would be bad. Of course, if he thinks 3 was Smolen,
I have a host of other problems to deal with, don't I?
- This round is easy. 4 is a cue in support of , and pard might have
something like AKJ AKx Qxxxx KJ. 5 is clear, the next round may be
- Pass. What else? 4 should be an okay spot. I assume pard will be 2=3=5=3
with good diamonds and decent hearts, ace or king third at worst.
- 5... 4 should be a cuebid accepting spades as trumps. Partner's first
obligation is to bid 3NT without spade support unless the auction indicates
that club stoppers are a problem. Partner's 3 bid implied concern about
stopping clubs; thus, he would have bid a natural 4 over 3 without spade
support or a club stopper (or possibly 3NT expecting you to pull without a
club stopper). The only way to get to a Moysian 4 contract is to bid it
over partner's 3NT or 4 bid.
- I assume partner is 2353 or 2362. I don't mind playing the 4-3, so I
pass. The 5-2 may usually be preferable, but I shouldn't get tapped on
this hand, so that's not a problem, and I suppose there's a marginal
chance pard has opened 2NT with A ATx AKQxx KJxx. [He'd bid 3NT with
- 4: happy that LHO's double has warned me that RHO will
overruff when I attempt to ruff a club with dummy's low trump.
- The question is, "is this a cue bid in support of spades
or an attempt to play the 3-4 fit?" I think this is to play.
I don't think you can take a cue bid in partner's suit. I
think I'll bid 4 anyway as a safety play to avoid playing in
a cue bid.
- Pass. 4 is surely natural, but I'm not certain it's four cards.
AJ AKx KQJxxx Qx (not my cup of tea for 2NT, but many would) or
something similar is what I'm afraid of. Difficult, because slam isn't
too far away even with that hand. I'm not very far from bidding 5 (and
leaving the rest up to partner) but I've made a resolution to be less
aggressive at the slam level in competitive auctions, so at least this
week, I'm passing.
- Ideally, this wouild be a 2=3=6=2 with no stopper and good hearts. In practice, I suspect this
auction involved some hesitations with the possibility of one hand thinking along the lines of
Smolen transfers being on (they should be on if you play them). I'd duke it out here in 4.
- Pass. When I learned Stayman, I'd never heard of Smolen.
This auction shows five spades and four hearts, forcing. So
partner chose the heart game. Perhaps he has a singleton spade
honor and three good hearts. Or weakness in clubs and good
hearts and is afraid of notrump. He probably has something like
K AKx AKQxxx Jxx. Yes, I play with twisted partners. Considering
a stiff spade is something I need to do.
- WINNING ACTION
- Pass. Partner has AKx A108 AKJ8x J9.
See below for the explanation of partner's strange 4 call.
- This is yet another appeal from Phoenix.
At the table, partner alerted 3 as Smolen. Oops.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- It's 50-50 whether folks think
4 is to play or is a cue in support of spades. How can it
be a cue bid? If partner doesn't have a club or diamond
control, he's not cueing hearts; he's bidding 4. And to
make a cuebid you might pass is crazy dangerous. No, 4
has to be to play.
If the vote had been very strong that 4 was to play (as I
thought it would be, but was mistaken) then passing 4 is
allowed despite the unauthorized information from the
alert and explanation. But an expert panel isn't sure if 4 is
a cue bid or not. Since the offenders didn't know what 3 meant,
I won't let them know what 4 is here, so the problem hand
has to bid. Any bid will get them to 6 of a major, down 2.
- None vul, MPs, you hold
872 A106 QJ108 J92
You|| LHO|| CHO|| RHO|
1NT was 14-17, double was an unspecified 1-suiter,
redouble was strength-showing, and 2 asked which
suit the doubler had.
- Pass. My redouble was marginal, and pass over 3 cannot
be forcing. WTP?
- BARRY, MIKE, DAVIDC, JOANNA
- Double and lead 6
- Pass, but its close to a double.
- Double. Pard had a chance to bid his suit over 2 if he
was operating with a 6-bagger. [7. --Jeff] I am curious as to
what pass by LHO would have shown in place of his 2.
- 6 of hearts....I assume this is a lead problem
since the final contract assuredly will be 3 doubled.
[No, it most assuredly won't be. --Jeff]
We have to cut down dummy's ruffing values.
- Double. My back-of-envelope calculation of expected values says this
is the right thing to do. -140 rates to be a bad score anyway, so
allowing them to make changes a probable 3 to a 0. Setting it one
loses only to those players who can make 2NT but if we can make 2NT
we can probably set it more than one.
- I smell a rat. I pass. This hand doesn't make
any sense. If I just don't create a catastrophe for my
side, I'll do OK. I think partner has full values, but
something's going on.
- Pass. Let's see: I have a trick and a half; should I play
partner for 3+ tricks? I don't think so...
- Pass. I showed high-card strength and my LHO invited game in spite of it. I smell a rat... the
opponents either don't know what they are doing or they are deaf or CHO is muddying up the
waters... in honor of our website, I'm betting it is CHO.
- Pass. It's not close. My redouble forced us at the
two-level, but at the three-level, we are on our own. I
have fairly little defense and no place to go, and partner
doesn't think 3 is going down, so what can I do?
- WINNING ACTION
- Pass. See below.
- Partner psyched 1NT with J103 4 93 AKQ8432.
If you double here, he'll run to 4, of course, but
passing is better. This was an appeal in Montreal.
Hampson passed 3 and was upheld in committee. I think
the commitee got it right.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- No one has convinced me that double
makes any sense.
- Both vul, IMPs, you hold
KJ Axx Kx K109xxx
Partner opens 1NT (15-17). What's your plan?
Assume you have 2 as a transfer to clubs available.
- Transfer to clubs and bid 4NT? I wish I could play from my
side without distorting my shape. [Particularly if 2 gets
- 2 and 6 over the accept, 4NT over the reject.
If partner has denied Axx by the reject, I could be
persuaded not to try for slam. If I had keycard available
over 3, I might do that instead.
- I transfer. If partner shows a good hand for Clubs
(my agreement is 2NT=bad, 3=good; "good" typically honor
third but could be Ax), I bid keycard 4 (if partner responds
2 without, I am going and hoping it isn't Ax). My second
choice was transfer and 4NT quant. My dream hand is
Qxx Kxx Kxxx AQx which is why I went for keycard instead
of quantitative. If partner shows a bad hand for Clubs, I
just bid 3NT (expecting we have two losers).
- I think 2...3NT is about right. If partner shows he likes
clubs, I can't cuebid (aieee...!) since new suits will show a
singleton, so it is a problematic hand for those methods, still
if he likes clubs, 5 ought to be safe at IMPs, so I will psych
a diamond stiff (I almost have it). [You can bid 4 forcing,
making him cuebid, though. --Jeff]
- Pard might be as good as AQxx xx Axx AQxx (7NT is cold) or as bad as
Qx KQJx AQJxx xx (anything above 4NT is in danger). I must make some sort
of slam try. With my normal methods (Walsh relays), I would bid:
and cuebid thereafter.
1NT|| 2 (cancelable transfer to )|
2|| 2 (cancels the transfer)|
2NT|| 3 (slam try in clubs with 0 or 1 top honors)|
With 4 suit transfer methods, I bid 2. If pard shows a good hand for
clubs by bidding 2NT, I will continue with 4NT (quantitative a
balanced hand with clubs). If pard shows a poor hand for clubs by
bidding 3, then I will settle for 3NT (clubs and a balanced 15 HCP).
Yes, my actual hand is a 14 HCP, but the 6 card suit, the 10/9 of ,
and the good controls are all plus factors.
(The methods I described are Washinton Standard (by Steve Robinson),
- Tough to be specific without knowing more about the system. I guess I would
transfer to clubs and (assuming pard can show by his choice of 2NT and 3
whether he likes clubs or not) then make a move or moves towards slam. If I
had a slammish way to bid clubs myself to protect my pointed suit holdings,
I would use it.
- If partner makes the weak response to my 2 transfer then I just bid 3NT.
If partner super-accepts clubs then I either bid 4 setting the trump
suit or 4 Kickback (if available)
- I think 2 transfer to clubs, then 4 as RKC for clubs to find out how
many keys plus the Q partner has, eventually trying to end up in a NT
slam. The perfect kind of hand partner could have is Axxx Kxx Axx AQx
whereas a bad sort of hand would be ATxx KQJ QJx Qxx and this sequence
seems to find that out. I don't easily find a hand for partner where
our combined hands play better at clubs than NT.
- Presumably over 2 partner can accept or reject.
If partner accepts, I bid keycard in clubs. If partner rejects we play 3NT.
- If partner rejects, I give it up and bid 3NT. If he
likes clubs, I bid Blackwood.
- Transfer and bid 3NT. This should be a mild slam try if partner
"declines" the invitation (are we playing that?) If I had the old "Power
Relay" sequence available (showing a broken-suit slam try) I'd do that,
but seeing as I don't have sharp tools, I'll go quietly. Slam is
actually pretty far off, so I'm not too worried. (Are the opponents
playing strong club at the other table? If so, I'd worry more.)
- Transfer to clubs and make a cooperative keycard bid (partner can relay to show no interest... I
could relay to ask again). If partner rejects, I'll bid 4NT to play. If those methods are not
available, I'd transfer to and bid keycard (4) trusting partner to show the Q holding any
four or five clubs. Third choice would be transfer to and then invite in NT.
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- 3NT. I was afraid 2 would get doubled and
I'd find the only way to get a minus score. That's pretty
unlikely, though. I was unduly conservative.
If partner accepts after 2:
If partner rejects after 2:
|try for slam||4|
|drive to slam||7|
|try for slam||3|
|drive to slam||1|
- WINNING ACTION
- anything not too conservative. Partner has
a 17-count with AQ tight. 6NT or 6 rolls.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I like the consensus action: bid 2,
then if partner rejects, bid 3NT. If he shows interest,
drive to slam.
- No one vul, MPs for $$$
West|| North|| You|| South|
|| 1|| 1|| 1NT|
| All Pass|
OK, so you don't overcall 1. It's not the
worst bid in the world. Maybe you doubled
1NT. Fine. Partner still led the 9.
Declarer, a capable player, covers the 9
with the Q. Plan your defense. Only about
$4,000 is riding on it.
- It seems clear to duck the spade, but less clear how to follow up.
I would guess declarer is 4-2-2-5. Partner has some values and did not double
or compete, so he shouldn’t have more than 5 clubs and they probably aren’t
that great. If declarer guesses to play a second spade from dummy, I will
win and shift to a heart, which will hold him to the 6 or 7
tricks he is entitled to, depending on whether he has a heart holding that
combines for 2 or 3 tricks. If he misguesses to try to establish his presumed
5 card club suit he will probably be down 2 or 3 if partner finds the
hopefully obvious diamond shift.
- I win the first spade and shift to the 2. If I play clubs
something bad will happen. Maybe partner can work out I have to
be very short in the suit else I'd play one.
- (MP's takes on a new meaning with cash on the line.)
I play the 7, partner ducks the first
round of clubs and I discourage hearts on the second club.
Partner switches to 9. I can provide you wiring instructions
so that you may credit my account. [Dreamer. Partner wins the
first round of clubs in a hurry to continue the spades after
you "encourage!" --Jeff]
- MIKE, MICHAEL
- Win and shift to a heart.
- I will assume that pard is good enough to know
to lead low in this situation with 3 small, or you would have
mentioned pard's defensive ability. I'm not willing to bank on 98 dub,
so I need to shift. For $4,000, I shift to the 4 (yes
Regis, that's my final answer). I'm trying the 4 (not the 2)
because pard may be able to read it if he has QJx not play a 2nd
from his side. He may be able to infer that I have four hearts (declarer
didn't make a negative double).
- I will play to keep declarer out of his hand. Duck the
first spade and later lead hearts, hoping pard has something
like KJ8 and the one club card necessary to keep
declarer from running clubs in his hand.
- I win the K and return the 9. Partner will realize that
I have diamond strength with this return but also 4 hearts since there was
no negative double by LHO. Partner will be able to figure out the right
defense thereafter. This return might also mess up declarer's entries. I
admit that I might have been bamboozled by a competent declarer holding Jxxx
with partner holding 98 doubleton.
- Avoid leading red cards and pitch hearts on clubs. I assume declarer
has J8xx of spades for his NT bid and the play. He has nothing in
diamonds, so let's say two small. Reasonable hands for him to have are
J8xx KQx xx Axxx [Partner would have led a club from KQJ9xx. --Jeff]
in which case 1NT is cold. Declarer might have
J8xx KJx xx AJxx in which case I can't lead a heart without giving him his
contract. I don't see that I'm in danger of a throw-in since I should
always have clubs and spades to exit with (and declarer can't lead a
spade from his own hand). I win this trick in case partner has 98
doubleton, and exit with a club.
- K, then 4. do I collect the check? [Nope. --Jeff]
- I'm winning the A and leading a low heart. I'm booking declarer
for something like J8xx Kx xx AQxxx. Partner would have led small from
9xx of spades, so declarer has four of them. If Partner had six clubs
they might have been bid or led so they are likely to be 5-5. I don't
think I can stop declarer from scoring 2 spade tricks, but I want to get
some communication going in the heart suit. Because I'm not leading a
club at trick two, Partner will know to lead diamonds. [Winning the
A ends the hand. Partner will not duck his club trick "knowing" that
declarer has spade entries to hand. --Jeff]
- Let's give declarer J?xx H? xx HH?xx since partner may well have bid 2 with a six-card suit. My
best chance on defense is to prevent partner or myself from giving declarer any tricks that he
couldn't get for himself, i.e., don't get endplayed. To make this clear and to keep declarer
from setting up the fifth diamond, I think I should shift to hearts at T2. Specifically, it
should be the 9 to keep partner from returning a heart from an original holding of QJx(x) if he
gets in with a at T3. It seems like our side will probably have to lead hearts at some point
in the defense anyway so we might as well do it now while we can set up the fourth heart.
Switching to a heart from my side has the added benefit that partner won't shift to a heart and
give up a trick later on. If I were to instead switch to a
at T2, partner might be inclined to
continue clubs playing me for the 9.
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- I won the first spade and shifted.
That was the end of the hand. -150.
Most said they'd bid 1 in varying degrees
of emphasis. No one complained.
|Win & Shift to ||9|
|Win & Shift to ||1|
|Win & Continue ||0|
- WINNING ACTION
- Declarer had J8xx Jx x AQJ9xx. You need to kill
the spade entry now. Three ways work: duck, win and continue
a low spade, or play three rounds of spades.
- This was from the money individual in Reno.
I was 3rd and got a zero on this board. A top would
win the event.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I think the best play is to win and
continue a low spade. There's a big reason for it. You need
your partner to duck the first club. How can you make that
happen? The best way is to take all the spades out of his
hand, so that he's in no rush to grab a trick and fire back
a spade. Yes, partner is an idiot. This was an individual event.
You get some vigorish: if partner has 98 tight, you will set
up some spade tricks. Also, declarer is stuck in his hand
at trick 2 if he wins. That's not good for him. If he plays
the Q, partner's natural play is to duck, which is good. If
he takes a diamond hook, you are in very good shape. Declarer
has a very serious problem. Perhaps he'll cross to one of
dummy's red aces and take a club hook. If that holds and
he crosses to the other red ace to repeat the finesse, a
reasonable plan at matchpoints, the roof will cave in on him.
He's now booked for down two. And I win the event. Too bad
I didn't find that defense.
Jan. 8, 2003