Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Textbook Problem

Yesterday I was fortunate to get dealt a cute textbook defensive problem. To see the hand record, click here.

After trick 1, you can tell partner has 5 clubs, so there are no pitches coming there. Time to go passive? Well, you know declarer has the 7 missing spades. He will discover the break, then, if possible, cross to dummy to finesse. But you can make that impossible by shifting to diamonds and taking out the entry now, which I did. Because we had 2 heart tricks coming this was only a 2-imp undertrick, but it was fun anyway. Even more fun if you swap the HJ and HQ though…

My play now doesn’t seem perfectly precise to me; if declarer had AKJxxxx Jx Q Jxx I would need to cash the CA and then play a low diamond so there is no endplay later. Always room for improvement! The DK felt sexy and worked on this layout, but with the J in dummy a low diamond is better. I also must point out my play would be a disaster if declarer had AKJxxxx J Qx Jxx. (We can infer from partner's non-heart lead he doesn't have QJxx(x) there, making the danger layouts less likely.) Perhaps I should cash the CA and hope partner gives a suit-preference signal. In any case, I enjoyed this hand. Usually declarer knows the most about the key issues of the hand; it's nice when you know the most as a defender and can take advantage.

No comments: