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...

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