Sunday, July 1, 2012

Event 3 - Match 6 - Board 8

Neither vulnerable

We're down five imps going into the last board of the match. I pick up:

♠ A Q J 3 Q 9 7 6 5 4 7 5 ♣ 3

This hand, with ten cards in the majors and six losers, is a one heart opening in my opinion. I suspect my counterpart at the other table will not agree, so we would have an opportunity for a swing if I were in first seat. Unfortunately, I'm in fourth seat. LHO opens one diamond, partner passes, and RHO bids two clubs (not game-forcing).

My choices are two hearts or double. Double brings spades into the picture. But that's not probably not important unless partner has five spades. A six-two heart fit rates to play better than a four-four spade fit, especially given that my hearts are weak. I bid two hearts.

LHO raises to three clubs, and partner bids three hearts. RHO bids four clubs.

Partner should have at most two cover cards for his single raise. So four hearts seems like a poor proposition. I pass. LHO and partner pass also. I lead the seven of hearts (third best from an even number).


NORTH
Thomas
♠ 9 8
J 10
K Q 10 6 4 2
♣ A K 7


WEST
Phillip
♠ A Q J 3
Q 9 7 6 5 4
7 5
♣ 3




West North East South
Phillip Thomas Jack Adrian
1 Pass 2 ♣
2 3 ♣ 3 4 ♣
(All pass)

Partner plays the king, and declarer wins with the ace. Does this mean declarer has another heart? Partner knows I have six hearts. He might duck with king fourth to advise me we don't have any heart tricks. Then again, perhaps he can't afford to do that. I might underlead the heart ace if I needed a quick spade shift, especially since I wouldn't expect declarer to have the heart king after he gave up on three notrump.

Partner can have at most one more cover card for his raise. If he has the spade king, we aren't beating this. I must hope partner has the diamond ace, in which case we can take a diamond, two spades, and possibly a heart. Make that probably a heart. With king fourth of hearts and an ace, partner might have raised to four hearts rather than to three.

Declarer plays the deuce of clubs to the ace; partner plays the five. Declarer leads a low club from dummy to his queen, partner following with the nine. I doubt declarer would have bid four clubs with a five-card suit. But I can't be sure whether he has six or seven. Since I want partner to switch to a spade when he gets in with the diamond ace, I pitch a heart (the six). A spade discard would suggest I want to cash my heart queen.

Declarer plays the three of diamonds; I play the seven. Partner captures dummy's queen with the ace and shifts to the jack of clubs. Partner must have the jack of diamonds to be doing this. I'm glad he overrode my request for a spade shift. This will work out better. With dummy's diamonds out of the picture, we will hold declarer to six clubs, one heart, and one diamond: down two.

What should I discard? A spade pitch might enable declarer to establish a long spade trick if he has four spades. Not that that's likely. He would probably have bid three spades rather than four clubs if he did. But I'd rather not make any assumptions I don't have to.

The danger in keeping all my spades is that I may get endplayed if declarer is 3-2-2-6. Will that happen? Declarer can cash a diamond, ruff a diamond, and play trumps. His last five cards will be three spades, a heart, and a club. If I keep three spades and two hearts, declarer can play a heart. I win and tap him. Now a low spade endplays me. To prevent that, I must keep three hearts and two spades. If declarer cashes the last trump, I can simply pitch the spade queen and claim the balance.

So I must keep three hearts, but I don't need four. I can pitch a heart on this trick. After that, I must pitch spades.

I pitch the heart five. Declarer cashes the queen of diamonds--nine--eight--five. Instead of ruffing a diamond to his hand and hoping I sleepily pitch another heart, he leads the eight of spades--deuce--seven. Apparently he has king-ten of spades and is hoping partner has queen-jack. I win with the jack and lead the queen of hearts. Declarer follows. I tap declarer with a heart and score two more spade tricks. Down two.


NORTH
Thomas
♠ 9 8
J 10
K Q 10 6 4 2
♣ A K 7


WEST
Phillip
♠ A Q J 3
Q 9 7 6 5 4
7 5
♣ 3


EAST
Jack
♠ 6 5 4 2
K 3 2
A J 9
♣ J 9 5


SOUTH
Adrian
♠ K 10 7
A 8
8 3
♣ Q 10 8 6 4 2


We can actually make four hearts! Partner covers two of my six losers, and the spade finesse covers a third. This is an exceedingly lucky lie of the cards, so I don't regret not bidding game. I needed RHO to have the spade king to have a chance. If LHO had it or even if partner had it (leaving him with at most one more cover card), I would have four losers. So game was something less than 33% on the information I had.

I assume we've lost the match. It's hard to see how we're going to pick up five imps. Our teammates need a plus score, and there aren't many plus scores available to them on this board. But surprise! Our teammates come through. They score plus 400 in three notrump. I'm not sure how that happened. Perhaps West was on lead and tried the queen of spades? In any event, we pick up 11 imps to win the match by 6, giving us 17 out 30 victory points.

Table 1: +100
Table 2: +400

Score on Board 8: +11 imps
Result on Match 6: +6 imps (17 VP)
Current Total: 109 VP (out of 180)

3 comments:

  1. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
    that

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trick? Have a great day!
    read more

    ReplyDelete
  3. nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this!
    online

    ReplyDelete