Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Play problem from Monday's Swiss

The obvious 1nt-3nt auction gets you to a contract that is tenuous, to say the least:

Dummy: 94 Q94 AK764 T92
Declarer: Q763 AJ83 J53 AK

West leads the C4. Plan the play (at imps).


The Pretender said...

Well the opening leader probably has 5 clubs to have not led a major on this auction. My guess is I will try for 3 hearts, 4 diamonds, and 2 clubs.

I play low on the club from dummy because I want to encourage a club continuation in case the opening leader has 4 spades as well. If I played T and RHO covers and I win with an honor, he might be reluctant to continue.

So after club won in hand, I play a diamond to dummy and play the HQ planning to run it. If it wins or gets covered I plan to duck a diamond next then do some nice guessing in hearts.

Franco said...

Trick one seems irrelevant, but I'd play the T on general principals.

I'd also cross to dummy and play hearts, but I prefer a heart to the J. If it loses, I can hope to drop DQ and untangle 9 tricks.

If it wins, now you can play a low diamond and hope for the DQ to drop (combined with a heart guess for the reentry) or if the Q doesn't drop you still have the hope of Kx onside in hearts.

Possibly it's better to duck a diamond at this point and then guess hearts, I'll try to work it out later.

Franco said...

This hand is pretty complicated. I think CA, DA, run H9 is better than any other line so far (planning to try for 3 hearts and 4 diamonds if the hook wins, or 5 diamonds otherwise), though it depends in part on how often West will duck with HK after 9-T-J when the DQ would come down.

Jonathan Weinstein said...

At the table, I decided on Franco's play (in his second comment). This particular West was not all that likely to duck, so I figured I was succeeding with the heart dbl-hook and any 3-2 diamonds, or when the H9 runs to the K and the diamond is later dropping.

The other declarer ran the DJ at trick two. This actually looks about as good. It keeps the same main chance as ours (heart dbl-hook and 4 diamond tricks), and the added chance of the DJ winning is certainly not zero. If you assume West will not cover from Qxx (no T) the plays are within a percent or two of each other.

In practice the HK, HT were in West and East had Qxx diamonds -- I wound up down 4, vs. down 2 at the other table.

The Pretender said...

Wait, isn't it automatic to cover Qxx? With no other clear entry to dummy you gain against Jx, JT, and only lose to JTxx (which in itself is less likely because declarer is giving up a legitimate shot at Qxxx onside).

Anonymous said...

Holding KJx Kxx xx Qxxxx I hear 1NT-3NT and lead a fourth best club. Dummy hits with 9x Q9x AKxxx T9x. The lead goes to ten, jack, king. Declarer crosses to dummy's king and floats hq to my king. Clearly, he started with cak, Haj. Partner is marked with a spade honor, possibly both a and q.

Is club continuation safe? Definitely not. Declarer likely has akx.

If diamonds run I can count 9 tricks outside of spades: 2h, 5d, 2c, so it's vital to grab 4 spades. It's possible that diamonds don't run and declarer has just one spade stop, the ace, which needs to be dislodged before declarer ducks a diamond.

So SK it is, then jack to the ace and a spade back. Disaster! Declarer cashes his winners and endplays partner with the last spade.

What's the point of bringing up my typical misdefense? It seems to me that the line taken at "the other table" actually reduces the likelihood of misdefense quite a bit, because some of the time RHO will win a trick. He is unlikely to do anything helpful, because his black suit return rates to be fine for his side.

Thx for interesting hand Jon!


Jonathan Weinstein said...

That's a good point about the defense being harder on one line, Alex...unfortunately, at the table Wext had QJxxx clubs, so inevitably my holding was exposed when I won an honor at trick 1, making the misdefense a non-factor.

Pretender, I don't think it's automatic at all to cover with Qxx diamonds -- if you think so I'll always lead J from JTxx even when it gives up on the 4-0 case. It's fair to say that they will cover some of the time.

The Pretender said...

While I agree it's not automatic, I still think the chances lean towards covering.

On a side note, one of the holdings I mentioned was JT tight. Actually, with JT tight, declarer will always play the T to try to avoid a cover right?

So does that mean on this dummy one should cover the T?