Thursday, September 24, 2009

Board 8

Board 8
Opponents vulnerable
♠ A A 10 8 5 4 5 ♣ Q 10 8 6 5 3

LHO opens one spade, partner passes, RHO bids one notrump. Jack has no way to show clubs and hearts, so I bid two clubs and hope the auction stays low. LHO rebids two spades, partner passes, and RHO raises to four. I don't have much choice but to pass. I have too much defense to bid unilaterally, and I don't think this is the hand partner would play me for if I were to double. I must admit, passing is pretty scary. Give partner king fifth of hearts and king doubleton of clubs, and both four spades and five hearts are probably making. If that happens, I'll just be thankful I'm playing IMPs instead of total points.

Partner keeps my worst fears alive by leading the king of clubs:



NORTH
♠ 8 7 3
J 2
K Q 9 8 7
♣A J 9




EAST
♠ A
A 10 8 5 4
5
♣ Q 10 8 6 5 3






West

North

East

South







1♠

Pass

1 NT

2♣

2♠

Pass

4♠

(All Pass)




Declarer wins dummy's ace. I play the eight; declarer, the four. If declarer has ace doubleton of diamonds, he will probably try to cash diamonds to pitch a club. If he doesn't play diamonds next, what conclusions might you draw?

----

You should assume that one of the following is true: (1) He doesn't have ace doubleton of diamonds. (2) He doesn't need the pitch; i.e., he has only three losers and doesn't need to risk playing diamonds early. (3) Whichever suit he leads at trick two must be attacked from dummy, and that consideration takes precedence over a potential quick pitch.

Declarer plays the three of spades. Under your ace, declarer plays the deuce; partner, the six. You cash the queen of clubs--deuce-seven-nine. Now what?

----

If partner has the ace of diamonds or a trump trick, declarer is down. If not, you must either cash two hearts or cash one heart and play a club for a trump promotion. To cater to both possibilities, you should cash the ace of hearts and get a signal. If partner encourages, play another heart. If he discourages, play a club. I play the ace of hearts--queen--three--deuce. On the six of clubs, declarer pitches the king of hearts. Instead of ruffing, partner pitches the six of hearts. I guess this is partner's warped way of telling me he has a natural trump trick. He does. Down one:




NORTH
♠ 8 7 3
J 2
K Q 9 8 7
♣A J 9


WEST
♠ Q J 6
9 7 6 3
J 6 4 2
♣ K 7


EAST
♠ A
A 10 8 5 4
5
♣ Q 10 8 6 5 3


SOUTH
♠ K 10 9 5 4 2
K Q
A 10 3
♣ 4 2


If I had played a club right away instead of cashing the heart ace, we could have beat it two. I don't feel too bad about that, though. I'm just happy we went plus and that we can't make five hearts.

In the replay, the auction is the same. The play to the first three tricks is the same. But East doesn't cash the heart ace. He goes for the throat and plays another club. Declarer pitches the three of diamonds. If West ruffs and plays a heart, declarer is down two. But he doesn't ruff! He pitches the three of hearts. Declarer would be making this now if diamonds weren't blocked. But they are, so he is down one for a push.

Out of curiosity, I back the play up and force South to discard the ten of diamonds instead of the three. This time, West ruffs. I back it up again and have South discard a heart. West ruffs again. I back it up once more and have South discard the three of diamonds to see if the previous play was a fluke. No. If South discards a low diamond, West doesn't ruff. Nice play, the three of diamonds! South knows his opponent. He found the only discard that allows him to get out for down one.

It's true that when declarer pitches the three of diamonds, West knows the diamond suit is no longer a threat. But what does he have to gain by not ruffing? Is there really some layout where ruffing lets declarer score four spades but pitching defeats him? I tried, but I can't find one.

Me +100
Jack +100

Score on Board 8: 0 IMPs
Total: +31 IMPs

4 comments:

  1. This is why I will never be as good as Hamman. Instead of focusing on the defense my first thought would have been : Damn! I shoulda bid.

    Of course then I would focus on the defense :)

    So we now have proven the computer cheats. After all how could it know that declarer had A10x and not Axx ?

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  2. Oh BTW. How come the vulnerbilities are skewed? They seemed to be correct for boards 1-6 . But as of board 7 they are wrong.

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  3. I don't think Jack is cheating. If it were, it would beat it two. I think there's something we're not seeing that makes pitching the right play a priori (but probably not the right play if you draw inferences from declarer's play and partner's defense). I wish Jack had a debug mode where it logged what it was thinking. As for the vulnerability, it was just a misprint on my part. I've fixed it.

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  4. Well it's weird cause Jack " knows " that pitching won't let the contract make. How can he know about the Diamond 10 ?

    ReplyDelete