Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Interesting DD hand

First I'll pose this as a single dummy problem, since it's quite interesting as well. A bit further down I'll show it as double dummy, but I suggest you try to solve it single dummy first.

You hold:
KQJ762
6
QT6
QT4

Nobody vulnerable, you open 2 and the auction continues:
2 - pass - pass - 4
pass - 5 - pass - 6
all pass

You obviously start with K and you get the following in dummy:
AT854
JT5
A54
J9

Declarer ducks, your partner and declarer both following. Now it's up to you: how will you try to defeat this contract? (you can count on declarer's playing skills)

Hint: your first thought should be WHY declarer ducked the first trick.

I won't give you the solution just yet, but I'll point you into the right direction. Declarer is probably rectifying the count for a squeeze. Having done this, he's now on schedule to perform a squeeze if there is one. This leaves out a or a switch.

Another option may also be that both you and declarer are quite smart, so he's trying to fool you into a minor suit switch. This is not the case here however.

Ok, so you know you have to switch to a minor. Which one?

If you think you know it, have a look at the entire hand:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
AT854
JT5
A54
J9
KQJ762
6
QT6
QT4
3
Q7
J972
K87632
9
AK98432
K83
A5

Are you still sure about what you have to play at trick 2?

I asked on the Bridgebase Forums what people would play, and most said they think a is necessary. Lets consider all options:

- we continue with Q:
declarer will ruff, draw trumps (unblocking), ruff a if necessary and come to the following ending:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
AT
A5
J9
J7
QT
QT
J97
K87
98
83
A5

On the play of the last 2 s West will have to abandon a minor suit while dummy discards a and a . Now A is played and West has to leave with his other minor, while on the play of A East is squeezed in both minors.

- we continue with a or a :
The same ending can be reached as above.

- we continue with Q:
This will get us to a double squeeze: West has to guard , East has to guard , and both opponents need to guard s:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
AT
A5
J
QJ
QT6
J97
K8
2
K83
5


- we continue with a small :
This is the only way to defeat the slam! There is no way declarer can make West discard something he doesn't want to. East just needs to keep his s:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
AT
A5
J
QJ
QT
Q
J972
8
2
K83
5


The funny part of this hand is that if you swap 9 and 8, the squeeze will function again, because you'll be able to finesse on the way back to your hand. In that case, you better lead a minor instead of K, otherwise you gave away the slam...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bridge Documentary

A while ago there was a documentary "In the cards" about professional bridge, following Gavin Wolpert around at tournaments. It has been put online on YouTube, but was removed because of copyright problems. I've found a new link, but I don't know if they respect the copyright of the contents...

To watch it, use following link (sometimes not synchronized!):
http://video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=2849318575072074556

You can download the entire documentary here (175MB):
In the cards

To watch the downloaded file, you can use the "Total Video Player". You can easily find a link using Google.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Worldclass" on BBO

At BBO you can set your own skill level in your profile. Many people just put "expert" or even "world class" while they can't play a single card right. Yesterday I encountered a "world class" on this hand:

Dealer:East
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
AK86
AJT8
T63
Q2
92
974
9875
AJ74
Q43
KQ3
KQJ42
63
JT75
652
A
KT985


We were bidding quite agressively:
1 - pass - pass - Dbl
pass - 2 - pass - 3
pass - 4 - pass - pass
pass

Our WC needed a long time before he passed this out. I think he wanted to double... GIB says the contract can only make after a lead (which is very unlikely), otherwise it's always -1.

So LHO starts with a small which immediately takes away an entry to set up s. Still they are our source of tricks, so after taking A I immediately play a low to the Queen. LHO hesitates a moment but plays low. Now I cash AK and play a small to my T which loses to the Jack. LHO correctly continues , but a would also have worked. I ruff, and play K, covered by the Ace which I ruff in dummy. Now we get our world class action: RHO overruffs without a thought! 4= and 12 imps for the good guys.

All our WC player had to do is count some HCP and some trumps, which is the biggest step from beginner to intermediate. If he would've done that, he'd know that I can only have J in my hand, without another trump. So that's the entry to my hand. If you think for a second you'll realise that you need to discard and ruff the next , just in case I have 5 of them (why would I accept the invitation with 8HCP?). There's no way to my hand anymore, I can only discard 1 in dummy, and you still have for exit cards. I'm going down -1 for sure.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

2 grand slams in 5 deals

This afternoon I was playing a bit online and we had some pretty interesting deals. It's not at all common that you get dealt 2 grand slams in a short period of time, especially at the same suit. I once bid and made 2 grand slams right after each other (7NT and a 7), so my record still stands.

These were played today:

Dealer:West
Vul:EW
Scoring:imps
84
KQJ52
AQJ5
A6
QT93
87
84
KQ752
75
43
9732
JT984
AKJ62
AT96
KT6
3


The auction (playing 2/1 GF, opponents silent):
1 - 1
2NT - 7

Who needs science? I think playing relays I'd make like 10 rounds of bidding to end up in the same contract with a bit more accuracy. The contract is almost 100%.

I'm not always sure what's best with such hands: either 1 or 2NT (GF with fit). I would never splinter immediately since the hand is too strong, but I'm almost sure that the contract will end up in some number of s... Does anyone have some good ideas why one approach would be better than the other?

The other slam was not as good:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
KQ642
AK642
AQ
6
JT
97
KJ953
J843
987
QJ
T862
K975
A53
T853
74
AQT2


The auction (still 2/1 GF, opponents again silent):
1 - 2 (constructive raise)
3 - 4
4NT - 5
7

The auction was better, but s have to split 2-2 so it was a poor slam. Partner knew we had a double fit and all the Aces, so WITH Q it would've been a great grand slam. On the current layout we were lucky enough to bring it home.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Funny one from friday

I've had a lot of work lately and I didn't get any really interesting hands as well, so I skipped a week to post...

Friday we had a funny one again. The auction went:
1! - pass - 1! - 1
2 - 2 - Dbl - pass*
3 - pass - 3** - Dbl
5 - all pass
(1 is 15+HCP any hand, 1 is negative)
(*) This pass is a poor choice imo, at the ** moment LHO clearly showed she was ready to bid 3, so she better did it right away.

Now we get following hands:
Tx
x
AJT9xxx
AKQ

AJxx
xx
Qxx
Txxx

LHO starts with A, gets a high from partner, so switches to Q. This is really annoying since I don't have a safety play anymore (J will probably fall somewhere on AKQ, so cashing A would be the best play if LHO continued ).

So here we are, at the crossroads. Our communications have just been destroyed, and you need to play for no losers. 2 lines of play possible, only 1 will work, one of them is percentage (let Q run) while the other one is not (cash A). However you get the feeling that K is stiff offside, and I trust my intuition pretty much since I know I'm more right than wrong in such situations (I once read - I guess from Fred Gitelman - that you should test if you can trust your feeling, and never trust it if it fails you too much, or trust it when it's right most of the time). If this is one of those few times that I'm wrong, I better have some argument to play like this...

While I'm thinking about what I'm going to do, I hear my RHO sighing cause she's bored. So imo she knows that the contract will either go down anyway, or that it doesn't matter, or she just hopes that I start to play and take a poor decision. I know both my opponents pretty well, so I guess she has the K. Not good enough for an argument obviously, so I decide to let LHO help me out a bit. I play Q and LHO hesitates a bit before playing a low . I still know my opponents, so I'm quite sure she would never hesitate with Kx. So I took my A dropping the King! :-) The rest was easy: 3-3 and I still had a entry to discard the on T. 5+1.

Afterwards we had lots of fun at the bar because of the fact that I based my decision on RHO sighing. In Dutch we call a stiff King a "naked gentleman", so the dual interpretation caused a lot of laughter.
I think next week everyone will start sighing against me. :-)