Saturday, September 12, 2009

Defensive problem from BB final

You're up about 80 with 42 boards to go in the Bermuda Bowl final, and your opponents aren't shy to begin with, so you'll be given some defensive opportunities. Here's a chance to pad your lead...or make things a little more interesting:

You: T7 K32 QT73 AK84 Dummy: A984 T876 A J653

You deal at both vul., and it goes 1D-P-1H-1S-X-3D-X-P-P-4S-AP. I'm pretty sure 3D was a 4-card limit raise and passing 3D-X showed interest.

You lead the CA (agree?) and get the CT from partner, right-side-up. Your move?


The Pretender said...

I agree with the club A lead. A close second choice is a trump I think. Given our 21HCPs, the most likely distributions are something like 6-7HCP for partner and 12-13HCP for declarer. Distribution looks to be a factor.

If partner can ruff the third club, you will still need partner to have a trump trick, as declarer has a pitch on the club for his heart loser. Is QJTxx A(x) KJx(x) Qxx a candidate for "showing interest for game"?

So let's say we have two club tricks coming and partner has the CQ. Could partner have the CQ and a trump trick? That would give declarer QJTxx(x) AQ KJx(x) xx. I'm not thrilled with this construction either.

One other construction I can come up with is KJTx AQx KJxxx x. But I think that's too much for declarer to handle either way as long as I don't switch to a heart.

The only construction where declarer doesn't have the DK is something like KQJTx AQ xxxx xx. Again, not sure if this hand is enough to show interest, but on this hand we need to draw trumps before setting up declarer's entries for crossruff.

I'm really just thinking out loud here, but since I dislike all of declarer's hands with KJ(xxx) of diamonds showing game interest, I'm going to switch to a trump. My second choice would be the club 8, and my third choice is a heart.

Jonathan Weinstein said...

I should be clear I'm guessing about the meaning of passing 3D-X. On any hand where you have a chance to beat it, he doesn't have all that much for his action. More later...

Jonathan Weinstein said...

I don't think partner would encourage from QTx with Jxxx in dummy. So let's assume for now he has a doubleton. If we give him a ruff, any heart loser will go away, so we need partner to have a trump trick, i.e. Kx, and we need declarer to guess wrong (not drop it). If he has that Kx and the HQ also, we can beat the contract for sure with a heart switch. But a trump looks even better. If declarer finesses, we don't need the HQ from partner, and if he somehow guesses to go up and attack clubs, we can still try a heart and hope to find that Q with partner. A trump is also superior on one of Pretender's constructions where declarer has 4 little diamonds.

At the table, Zia continued CK, ruff in a matter of seconds, and Sementa, with QJxxx Ax Jxx Qxx, had a guess for the contract. After long thought he hooked the trump, for down 2, and lose 9 rather than gain 10.

It occurs to me that Hamman might have wanted to discourage -- from his p.o.v. a heart switch looks very good. I assumed from Z's defense they play standard, but maybe they play upside-down, H discouraged with his doubleton, and Z chose to guess that partner had a singleton. Does anyone know?

The Pretender said...

I'm pretty sure Hamman plays standard. When I wrote about standard carding in one of my posts a while back I think we made a quick mention of it in the comments.

Is it clear from Hamman's side that declarer has HA and not HK?

Jonathan Weinstein said...

No, it is not clear from Hamman's side who has which heart honor, but it is very clear that a heart switch beats the contract either way. The club, of course, beats it 2 or 3 if partner has the HA. So I kind of think he should discourage, assuming they play primarily attitude. Textbooks are full of situations where you discourage with a doubleton, but it seems rare in real life...