Friday, August 21, 2009

Come on out -- you're surrounded

I played in a club Swiss teams game Wednesday night with Ed, a decent Flight B player. He missed his chance to make a nice play on this deal. You're Ed and you hold:
K Q 4 A J 9 5 2 K 10 8 7 4.

The auction went pass pass to him in third seat with both sides vulnerable, and he opened 1. It continued pass, I bid 1, pass back to him. He chose to pass. What do you think of that bid? I guess it's okay, but the downside is that we could still have game. Now his left-hand opponent balanced with double, I said redouble, and Ed's RHO bid 2. Ed competed with 2 and LHO tried 3. This passed back to Ed and he chose to double.

I understand double, although it's pushy. Just because our side has the balance of the high-card points doesn't mean we can set them if the distribution is crazy.

Ed led theK. I'm not sure I agree with that -- if you're making a double based on HCP, lead a trump. I'm just sayin'.

Here's the dummy that he saw:

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

Defend along with Ed. Declarer ducked the spade lead, so he continued with another. Declarer won and led the 3, 5, jack and Ed won his king. Now what?

Partner redoubled, showing a maximum passed hand, so let's try and figure out where his 10 or 11 HCP are. He has the J for 1 HCP, the A for 4 more. If he had the K Q (x), that would be 10, but with good diamonds, he might have doubled 3 instead of passing. Voila, East has the K (and if he doesn't, it's not likely to matter as a discard is available on the Q). If East (me) also has the 10, then a shift to either the ace or jack will work. But what if declarer had the 10?

Here are all four hands (low cards are approximate):

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

Notice that if Ed shifted to the A, declarer's 10 would set up. He could have shifted, however, to the J -- a classic surrounding play.

Now when (if) declarer covered, I could lead a heart back through the 10.

At the table, Ed exited with a club, declarer played the 9, and I won the ace. We eventually took two more hearts and a diamond for down two and plus 500. I don't remember what our teammates did, but we won 12 IMPs on the board which helped us win the match. I wish my mistakes were 12-IMP pickups.

Eddie Kantar gives an example of a surrounding play here (scroll down to practice hand #4). You can see another example at the Bridge Depot.

Here's the Handviewer presentation from Bridge Base Online:

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