Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Unlucky? Yes!

The new competition season has started 4 weeks ago. At this moment we're not scoring the way we would like to. Most of the time we all play well, but "luck" is not on our side! Many imps are lost because of extremely bad splits (5-0 trump splits for example), or opponents playing 1 with 24HCP while our teammates go -2 in 3NT. The following hand is a perfect example.

Opponents blasted blind to slam as follows (we were silent):
2NT! - 3!
4 - 6

2NT = either weak with both minors, or strong with one Major
3 = to play when opener has the minors
4 = GF with long and solid s

The hands were:
T8
AKTxx
9xxxxx
-

AKQ9xxx
x
-
KQTxx

North can't know they won't lose a single trick in , but still bid slam because he had "2 tricks".

The contract may not be as easy as it looks. A trump lead for example is annoying, but not fatal. Can you construct possible holdings in for EW?

At the table, my partner lead A so declarer made +1. However, even if he leads a trump the contract is still laydown thanks to amazing splits. Look at the full hand:

Dealer:South
Vul:None
Scoring:imps
T8
AKTxx
9xxxxx
-
Jxx
J9xxx
KTx
Ax
x
Qx
AQJx
J9xxxx
AKQ9xxx
x
-
KQTxx

After a trump lead, declarer can ruff a low and later on let the A come down on another low . His T can be discarded on K. This line only makes when one of the EW players has a doubleton with the Ace, and guess what: that's exactly the way the suit split in our hands... What are the chances?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Triple squeeze

I encountered the following hand this weekend:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
T876
J
K82
Q9752
J543
A82
AT63
JT
92
T97654
95
843
AKQ
KQ3
QJ74
AK6

The auction was pretty standard, ending in 3NT played by South. LHO started with a small . 11 tricks were easy, but perhaps 12 were possible by means of a squeeze. So I took K and played a low to the K. LHO hesitated, so we know where A is. Next was the J, which is necessary to rectify the count for a squeeze. With normal layouts and if the J holds, we have 3s, 1, 3s and 5s = 11 tricks, perfect for a squeeze.

J held, so I played a to my Q and LHO took the Ace (mistake). He returned a . After cashing all my s, I ran the s. This is the position in the end:

Dealer:West
Vul:Both
Scoring:imps
T
-
2
52
J
A
T6
-
-
T976
-
-
-
KQ
Q7
-

On 5 I discarded K, and LHO was squeezed in 3 suits. 3NT+3 won us a full imp, it's not much, but in MP it would've been a top.

I have no idea why LHO didn't take his Aces. From the auction he should've known his partner had nothing, and creating a third trick was impossible.

Note that if you don't play J, the squeeze doesn't work. When LHO holds up his Ace one more round the squeeze also doesn't work, because the communication to my hand is broken.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

2007 World Championships Shanghai

The 2007 World Championships started a few days ago. Australia's captain David Stern uses the following blog to give daily news:
http://worldbridge.blogspot.com/