Monday, May 28, 2007

Safety play?

I haven't had much time lately to post new messages, but I've finally found a moment to write something. It's about a hand I played yesterday:

Dealer:South
Vul:EW
Scoring:imps
8
KQ94
T7
QJ9873
K762
T753
KJ2
T4
QT5
AJ862
A93
K6
AJ943
-
Q8654
A52

Playing with my fantunes-partner against a pair who plays a very similar system, the auction went:
2! - pass - pass - Dbl
pass - 2NT! - pass - 3!
pass - 3 - pass - pass
pass

2 shows 10-13HCP with 5+, unbalanced.
2NT was Lebensohl.

My partner lead Q to dummy's King and my Ace. After some thought I returned to my partner's Jack, who switched to 8. Dummy played low and so did I, LHO taking with his K. Now it was his turn to make the best out of it. There's no way he can make the contract (thanks to the auction he knows that s don't behave), so it's damage control: Q better be onside, and there's a sure loser. Better not make that 2!

It basically comes to this: what is the safest line of play for 1 loser with following holding:
AJ862
T753

You think you know it? Ok, read on then.

At the table, LHO played A, completely ruining his chances for one down. I checked with "suitplay" to figure out if there isn't a better way here, because the J, T, 8, 7 and 6 are all great cards. Suitplay proved me right: it says that you should start with 5 and just cover anything LHO (North here) plays! If it loses, you should finesse again.

This is a remarkable different line from when you have AJxxx and Kxxx, so these middle cards are really worth something.

On the current layout, this line of play would've succeeded. There's a clue however that finessing twice is probably better: with my opening bid of 2, I told everyone I have 10-13HCP. West knew about AJ and A, it's impossible for me to hold KQ. It is possible however that I have a void, in which case you better finesse.

If you want Q to be onside, I can only have Q as well. This implies that if West would lose his finesse to the King, he knows the location of Q as well.

1 comment:

Ron said...

just came across this hand. The superior play I believe is to lead the 10, to take care of the stiff 9 in openers hand, then a second round finesse as suggested.