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Bridge» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Toil and Trouble rss

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Brian Bankler
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I pick up S:Ax H:K987x D:AQJx C:xx and open 1 Heart in second seat.

Hank bids 3 Spades, which we play as a minimum game force (usually 4+ hearts) with an undisclosed singleton or void. Terry -- a very strong player bids 4 Clubs. He originally passed, so this may just be for the lead. It's clearly not to make, but can we get it enough?

I bid Four hearts. Unsurprisingly, I get a club lead.

Dummy S:KJ9xx H:Txxx D:x C:AJx

Club 7 led

Hand S:Ax H:K987x D:AQJx C:8x


Ugh. I have lots of ways I can play this. First of all, should I fly with the ace? If Terry had seven clubs, he probably would wouldn't have passed, so I should probably duck, playing for 6-2 club break.

But I fly with the ace. I now lead a small heart off the board and it goes Jack-King-Ace. Another club comes back and Terry plays Queen, then continues with the King. I ruff with the 9 and Carolyn thinks and the overruffs and leads the six of hearts. I win in hand with the seven and now have to decide what to do.

I get this wrong as well, leading the spade ace and then finessing the jack. Spades were 3-3 all along and I'm down in a cold contract. How would the play have gone in 4 Clubs doubled? Much better. Diamond ace, diamond queen (dummy would have the king). If ruffed it would be small spade to my ace, diamond jack, spade king, spade ruff and a small diamond nets two more club tricks. In any case, even getting 4C* off one or two is worth more than not making 4H.

It's like this all day. The opponent step out and I seem to have misplaced my axe.

I hold S:Ax H:ATxxx D:T C:Jxxxx.

I pass and LHO opens 1C in first seat. partner bids 2D (Preemptive, and at all white with me having passed this could be whisper thin, or heavy). RHO bids 2S and LHO jumps to 4S and it goes pass-pass.

Perhaps worrying over one of the many times I should have doubled (the prior hand happened later, but I'd already missed two), I think I have a matchpoint double. Everyone seems surprised, but just this once my luck is in. I lead a diamond, dummy shows up with KJ9 and play small. Hank wins the ace and, after staring at dummy's monster hand (J9x KQx KJ9 AKQx) he returns a diamond. I ruff and cash the heart ace (which holds). I try another heart, and another when I get in with my spade ace, but we've taken the limit.

I was worried that even at matchpoints my double was too aggressive, but I think it may have been correct. My double only matters against pairs in game, winning or losing half a matchpoint each time it's right (or wrong).

If Hank's bid would change my lead, then perhaps I shouldn't double, since I may be ahead of the field anyway. But I think I'd always lead a singleton with the ace of trumps. Right or wrong, that one double salvaged a few matchpoints out of a miserable game (turning an average-plus four into a top). If only I'd doubled more.
 
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David Goldfarb
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Bankler wrote:
If Terry had seven clubs, he probably would have passed


I think you mean "wouldn't"?
 
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Brian Bankler
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Fixed.
 
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