Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nicely defended

Here's one from competition this weekend (rotated for convenience):

Dealer:East
Vul:None
Scoring:imps
QTx
Axxx
Txxx
xx
Kx
KQTx
Jxxx
Jxx
Jxxxxx
Jx
AQ
ATx
Ax
xxx
Kxx
KQxxx

The bidding is quick and simple: - all pass. 2 shows 12-14HCP with 5+.

I thought my best chances for defeating this contract were in leading a and either set up an extra trick or give partner a ruff. So I lead K, partner shows an even number of s and RHO takes the Ace. Declarer probably was afraid of a bad split or K behind him, and decided to try to set up some s first... I show an odd number of s and partner takes the second with the Ace. He now returns to my Queen and I give partner a ruff, obviously showing prefference. Partner nicely returns and it's all over for declarer. He takes the Ace and plays a low to the K. I now know that he held 5-6 s, exactly 2 s (why else would partner take the A the 2nd and not the first or 3rd time), exactly 3 s, so 2-3 s. I close the screen and ask declarer more information about his opening: can it be balanced? He says they usually open 1NT with balanced hands, so now I know his exact distribution unless he gave false info: 6-2-2-3. The only chance of defeating this contract is by giving partner trump promotion by playing in a triple void. Before doing this however, I need to cash K first, otherwise declarer just ruffs in dummy and can discard his losing from his hand.

2-1 is the result.

Declarer made the biggest error by being too pessimistic about trumps. Thanks to the K lead he only has 1 loser, 1, 1 and shouldn't be that afraid of a ruff (it's probably the 3 card trump that will ruff), so he'll have maximum 2 losers for the contract.

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