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Another 3N This one is far worse

#1 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-January-25, 19:30



You choose to upgrade out of your 15-17 1N, forcing you to overbid slightly on the next round. Partner uses 3C as checkback for spades and 3N showed a doubleton.

The lead is the lowest outstanding club, the opps play 4th best, udca and reverse smith. You cannot trust them to give count in spades since they know you have only 2.

This is very far from a good contract and you’ll need to play well and guess at least as well as you play.

So: do you feel lucky?
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#2 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-January-27, 05:30


I would count South for 17 and open 1NT and probably end up in 2S.
If I did end up in 3NT I'm pretty sure I would mess it up but imagining this layout I would collect the 3 in hand then play the K.
Taking the return in hand I would next attack the spades (starting with the Q).
West will then have to be the gift that keeps on giving.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-January-27, 13:01

1. Low from dummy, ace in hand (to preserve the entry in clubs to dummy's spades)
2. Q

seems routine. So probably wrong, but I can't think of anything better.
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#4 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2022-January-27, 14:13

I'm ok with the bidding. I wouldn't take the club hook at trick 1 and win with the ace. Then play a LOW spade to the ten. A good east holding either the A or the J will probably duck it. Only if they have AJx(x) will they snap it off. That gives me an entry to take a red suit finesse, probably the heart to begin with.

Anyway, that's the way I'd start. It would take some reevaluation dependent upon what I see after that.
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#5 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-January-27, 14:33

View PostHardVector, on 2022-January-27, 14:13, said:

I'm ok with the bidding. I wouldn't take the club hook at trick 1 and win with the ace. Then play a LOW spade to the ten. A good east holding either the A or the J will probably duck it. Only if they have AJx(x) will they snap it off. That gives me an entry to take a red suit finesse, probably the heart to begin with.

Anyway, that's the way I'd start. It would take some reevaluation dependent upon what I see after that.

A good east will win with Jx or Jxx or Jxxx and play a club so that his partner can win the king and return the suit, forcing you to use your club entry before spades are established.
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#6 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 09:05

I think it’s a fascinating hand

The first hurdle, cleared by everyone, is to duck the club around to the Ace. We need to establish spades and get to dummy after doing so, and playing the Queen prevents us from doing so unless east has the King, and covers or it is doubleton. The lead of a low club strongly suggests west has the King.

Then we need the spade suit.

Low to the 10 won’t work if east holds the Jack, since he’ll win and the defence will drive out the club entry before spades are established.

Low to the 10 never gains, compared to leading the queen and then finessing on the second round, if west has the Jack.

So we lead the queen.

Say it holds the trick.the opps, who know your spade length and also likely the club situation won’t be signalling.

You lead low and a spot appears on your left. What now?

Hooking the 10 caters only to precisely Jxx on your left. Jxxx does you no good…you still can’t run the suit after east takes his Ax.

Playing the K wins if east has Jx but also if west has Axx and east Jxx

So it appears that the best line is to win the club in hand, lead the spade Queen, and then low to the king.

But wait a second. Low to the King gains against west holding Axx or Axxx.

But only if we assume west will duck the queen from those holdings. Should he?

He knows, when you lead the queen, that you have either Qx or QJ. If you hold QJ, there’s no hope…you’ll overtake the Jack next round and drive out the Ace.

So he assumes you have Qx and partner Jxx or Jx if he has 4.

Now he must win the Ace and play two rounds of clubs, and you’re dead if spades are 3=3 and you’re on a guess if east has Jx….west had to win the ace from an initial holding of AJx since ducking means his Jack appears on the next round (or drops later)

Thus, if an expert west plays low on the first two spades, either he’s made a mistake from Axx or east has the Ace….in which case you’re back to hoping west as dealt Jxx in spades.

I think it’s an easy mistake for a defender to make, especially since one generally doesn’t want to take a lot of time analyzing the site when doing so risks giving away too much information.

At the table, declarer erred by playing the club queen at trick one, after which he has no real play. When the Queen held, he led a spade to his queen and my partner could duck safely from Axx because declarer couldn’t make even if he then played a spade to the King. As it was, declarer hooked the 10 at the next trick and I won to retuned a club.

If you play it correctly, you need to later guess whether west may have made a subtle error or that the cards sit perfectly for you…3=3 with the Jack onside.

Btw, if east wins the first spade with the Ace, you probably play him for AJ tight.
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#7 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted Yesterday, 18:51

Just out of interest for us non-experts, what is it about this hand that would lead you to upgrade it out of the 15-17 range?
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#8 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted Today, 00:11

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-30, 18:51, said:

Just out of interest for us non-experts, what is it about this hand that would lead you to upgrade it out of the 15-17 range?

Nothing, lol

I’d open 1N if playing 15-17.

My opponent, in an international invitational seniors event, chose to upgrade…a decision with which I disagree

However, when my partner and I discussed this we had to admit that we’d have got to 3N

We play 14-16 vulnerable so would bid 1H 1S 2N 3H 3S 3N, where 3H was a transfer and 3Na choice of games.

Being vulnerable at imps does cause some overbidding on occasion but I like to think we’d have made 3N

Spades were Axx onside so if LHO ducked, as apparently happened at all tables that reached 3N, it should be made.

Ducking seems automatic but is,I think, an error.
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