Monday, September 14, 2009

Strip squeeze

During a MP tournament I picked up the following collection:
K6
AQT42
KQT4
K6

The auction went (uncontested):
1 - 1
2! - 2!
3NT
(2 Gazzilli ; 2 shows 8+HCP any)

I decided to make the practical bid of 3NT, instead of 3 which would show my distribution.

LHO lead the 3 and dummy comes down with:
AQJ2
K7
8652
T93

K6
AQT42
KQT4
K6

Suppose RHO takes A and returns a small . What do you do?

Your best chance is to play the King. Whenever the Q or J is in West's hand, you're losing 4+ tricks if you play low. When you play the King you only lose 4+ tricks if LHO has A.

At the table however, RHO won A and returned 7 for my King (LHO playing the 9). I played a to the King and a small back only to find out that RHO shows out! s are 5-1. Now what?

We have 10 tricks on top. Suppose we give LHO a , what will he do? He may play a in which case we make 11 tricks unless they cash the Ace, but he could also play something else.
We can also take the , return to dummy and play a to our King. But that's dangerous.
Our 10 tricks and the 1 trick opps already have makes a total of 11, that's 2 tricks remaining, which is good for an endplay. We can clear the s and the s, keeping count of the , and eventually endplay LHO with a so he has to play in our QT. If LHO has A he won't be able to defend against our line of play, and we have an additional chance he has QJ (in which case RHO will win A but will have to play to dummy's T9). This is definitely a better and safer way of getting a second overtrick.

So I played A, 4 rounds of s discarding 4 and 6, followed by the rest of the s.

On the last LHO was squeezed:

Dealer:South
Vul:None
Scoring:MP
-
-
8
T93
-
J9
-
A5
-
-
-
QJ87
-
QT
T
K

If he discards a small I'd still lead my K just in case LHO has any honour (if it's the Jack or Queen, I'll still make my 10th trick in dummy). This would only lose if LHO had no honours. In reality, LHO would be endplayed and would have to play into my QT.
If he discards a , my s are high.
So his only chance was to discard A, which didn't help.

3NT+2 obviously was a great score.

This was the full hand:

Dealer:South
Vul:None
Scoring:MP
AQJ2
K7
8652
T93
T43
J9853
J93
A5
9875
6
A7
QJ8742
K6
AQT42
KQT4
K6

Notice that if RHO would've returned a small at trick 2, we would've gone down 3!

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