Sunday, November 11, 2012

Event 3 - Match 9 - Board 3

Board 3
Opponents vulnerable

♠ J 5 A J 9 6 4 K J 9 8 ♣ 7 5

I pass, LHO passes, and partner opens three clubs. RHO bids three hearts.

We're probably beating this, possibly several tricks. But doubling would be premature. For all I know, the opponents aren't through bidding yet. In addition, they almost surely have a fit in spades, and a double might help them locate it. I pass. Everyone else does also. I lead the seven of clubs.


NORTH
Daniel
♠ 10 9 7 6 4
7 2
A 6 2
♣ A 10 3


WEST
Phillip
♠ J 5
A J 9 6 4
K J 9 8
♣ 7 5




West North East South
Phillip Daniel Jack Marcin
Pass Pass 3 ♣ 3
(All pass)

Declarer plays the ace from dummy. Partner plays the nine; declarer, the jack. Declarer would probably duck with jack doubleton, so I suspect the jack was a singleton. I suppose declarer might have queen-jack doubleton. But we will have no trouble beating this if we have a club trick, so I might as well assume that's not the case.

Declarer plays the deuce of hearts from dummy--five--ten--jack. Declarer overcalled three hearts with five hearts and a singleton club? Why didn't he make a take-out double? One possibility is that he is 2-5-5-1, although that means partner bid three clubs with a four-card spade suit. Declarer might also be 3-5-4-1. Some would double with that pattern; others would bid three hearts. I'm not sure what school Marcin belongs to.

I have three natural trump tricks unless I get endplayed. If I tap declarer with a club, I will establish another trump trick. We need only one more trick to beat it, which we should be able to manage. I play the five of clubs--ten--queen--three of hearts.

Declarer plays the spade king. I play low, and partner follows with the three. If partner is giving accurate count, he has only three spades, making declarer 3-5-4-1. I'm not quite sure why declarer is cashing the spade king. That seems to serve no purpose other than clarifying the layout for me.

Declarer plays the queen of hearts. If I win this, I have a minor tenace (nine-six behind declarer's king-eight). If I duck, a have a major tenace (ace-nine over his king-eight). Major tenaces are often tactically superior to minor tenaces. So, since I have nothing compelling to do with this entry, I might as well duck. Partner pitches the deuce of clubs.

Declarer plays the three of diamonds--nine--ace--five, then the spade six--queen--ace--jack. Declarer is 4-5-3-1 and chose to overcall rather than make a takeout double? That comes as a surprise. Though, in retrospect, perhaps it shouldn't. I thought at the time that cashing the spade king with ace-king third was strange. Somehow, I failed to reach the obvious conclusion that declarer didn't have ace-king third. Cashing the spade king with ace-king fourth (so that he has the option of finessing on the next round if I drop an honor) makes more sense.

Declarer plays the deuce of spades. I ruff with the six, and partner pitches the club four. If declarer has the diamond queen, he's down one. I can cash the diamond king, exit, and wait for my two heart tricks. If partner has the diamond queen, we have the rest. Partner can play clubs through declarer, picking up his trumps.

I cash the diamond king--deuce--seven--four, then exit a diamond. Declarer wins it, so he is down only one.


NORTH
Daniel
♠ 10 9 7 6 4
7 2
A 6 2
♣ A 10 3


WEST
Phillip
♠ J 5
A J 9 6 4
K J 9 8
♣ 7 5


EAST
Jack
♠ Q 3
5
10 7 5
♣ K Q 9 8 6 4 2


SOUTH
Marcin
♠ A K 8 2
K Q 10 8 3
Q 4 3
♣ J


Was my decision to duck the heart ace correct? In this particular layout, it makes no difference. But it might in a different layout. Suppose, for example, that declarer is 3-5-4-1, as I thought at the time:


NORTH
Daniel
♠ 10 9 7 6
7
A 6 2
♣ 3


WEST
Phillip
♠ J
A 9 6 4
K J 9 8
♣ --


EAST
Jack
♠ Q 8
--
7 5
♣ K 8 6 4 2


SOUTH
Marcin
♠ A 2
K Q 8
Q 10 4 3
♣ --


If I win and play the spade jack, declarer ducks it. Now what? I've taken three tricks so far. Since I must give away a trick in a red suit, I might as well play the diamond king to kill dummy's entry. Declarer wins with the diamond ace and plays a spade to his ace. I ruff (trick number four). Now I get endplayed twice. I must lead into the queen-ten of diamonds or into the queen-eight of hearts. Either way, I get tossed back in with a  diamond and endplayed again. We wind up taking five tricks for down one.

What happens if I duck the queen of hearts? Declarer must either play a red suit himself or must play spades, giving partner an entry. Say he plays ace and a spade. Partner wins with the queen. That's two tricks for us. Partners plays a club. Declarer ruffs. I overruff and cash the trump ace drawing declarer's last trump. That's four tricks. I now exit with a low diamond to declarer's ten. Declarer plays a diamond to dummy's ace, and my hand is high. Down two. I get endplayed once instead of twice.

The reason ducking is superior is that I avoid having to break spades, thus depriving declarer of his avoidance play. I didn't see this at the time, but I didn't need to. As a general rule, when you have nothing useful to do, you are better off winning tricks late rather than early.

This looks like a pretty good result, since North-South are cold for a spade game and will presumably get there if South chooses to make a take-out double. We do pick up imps, but not as many as I had hoped. Somehow our opponents manage to reach three diamonds, down three. I can't even imagine how their auction went.


Table 1: +100
Table 2: +150

Result on Board 3: 6 imps
Total: +8 imps

1 comment:

  1. This looks like an exciting and interesting game play. The players seem to give a tough time to eachother. The tricks used are also mature and professional.

    ReplyDelete