Friday, July 17, 2009

They might discard wrong

Playing at the club last night, the opponents bid to 6 on this deal:

8 4 2
A Q J 8 2
Q 7 3
Q J 9 7 5 3 K
6 5 4 10 9 7 3
8 4 2 K J 9 6 5
J 9 4 3
A 10 6
A 10
A 10 8 7 6 5 2

North bid 1 and South responded 2. North raised to 3, and South bid 6.

What do you think of North's 3 bid? Even though he only had two, the K-Q are better for slam (or game, for that matter) than J-x-x or even Q-x-x.

I led the J (Rusinow leads), and declarer won the ace. She played a club to dummy, cashed a second club, and returned to her hand with the A. She drew the last trump and led the K, overtaking in dummy. She played two more hearts, discarding two losing spades. When the 10 9 didn't fall in three rounds, she conceded a trick and claimed six.

What's wrong with this picture?

Even if you don't know how to execute a squeeze, what does it hurt to play some more clubs? If nothing else, the opponents might discard wrong. Just sayin'.

As it happens, East had the heart length and both missing diamond honors. Here's the position with one trump to cash:

A Q J 8 2
Q J 9 ---
6 5 10 9 7 3
--- K
--- ---
10 6

When declarer cashes her last club, East can't protect diamonds and hearts -- making seven.

Here's the same deal in BBO's Handviewer:


  1. The 3C is horrible in that it is too big a distortion. It might be fine if you play that 2/1 always promises 5, but it becomes impossible for partner to count your losers.

    How about just unblocking the HK and playing two trumps. Makes 7when clubs 2-2 or 3-1 with the length holding H length as well. Only need 4 H tricks.

    Goes back to my old bridge saying, "They usually play about as well as they bid"

  2. thx for your comments.

    It might be better to play one high club before unblocking the heart king. Now, when the jack falls, it's a good bet that clubs are not splitting.

  3. Yes you are right. It's actually very interesting after LHO shows up with the CJ on the first round.

    The question is whether we're supposed to take the SK at face value. It's unclear to me why RHO would play the SK unless he has a singleton, or maybe a doubleton?

    So if you credit LHO with 6 spades, the stiff CJ, then if he has 4 hearts as well (unless the T9x scenario happens), you need him to have DK with the diamonds 2-5.

    I'm not sure if that is better than playing RHO for heart length (diamonds 3-4 or better). I'm curious to see how others would play after two tricks with all that possible information.

  4. I guess the most important point is that the lady played mindlessly and gave herself almost no chance (other than 10-9-x you mentioned).