Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A few more hands from Boston

For the first Friday and Saturday of the Boston NABC, I played pairs with a student. Michael is very easy and fun to teach. He's always interested in learning something new, and he retains what he's learned very well.

Here's a few tough hands we faced:

(A) Red vs. white

AKQ53 9 J64 KQ75

Over your 1S opening, partner forces to game with 2H. You rebid 3C, and pard bids 3H. What's your call?

(B) All white

KQT97642 4 none T954

Partner passes and RHO opens a weak 2H. Do you bid here?

We had a nice auction with these hands:

[South] QJ543 42 AQ4 AQ5
[North] AK T JT65 KJT942

South first to bid:

1NT[1] – 2S[2]
2NT[3] – 3H[4]
4C[5] – 4NT [6]
5S[7] – 6C

1.15-17, often holds a five-card major
2.Either a balanced invitational hand or clubs
3.Minimum – with the invitational hand I would've passed
4.Shows a slam try with long clubs and short hearts
5.Natural and slam-positive [in the context of already having showed a minimum]
6.Keycard ask
7.Two keycards [two aces or one ace and the king of clubs] plus the queen of clubs

They led a heart to East's queen, and shot a diamond back through AQx. Michael took the percentage line by rejecting the finesse. He hopped up with the ace and drew two round of trumps, unblocked the ace and king of spades from the board, came back to hand with a high club drawing the last trump, and pitched three diamonds on his good spades. Well done!

There was a cute play position on this board:

[North] AT2 AK9542 J6 AQ
[South] Q84 J86 A8 T7532
I opened 1H as North. LHO stuck in a 2D bid. Partner raised to 2H, and that's all I needed – I jumped to 4H. LHO led the king of diamonds. I won on the table and tried to split the trumps 2-2, to no avail. RHO had a trump trick. So I exited with a diamond, putting LHO in a fix. Another diamond would give me a ruff-sluff, and she didn't want to lead away from the king of clubs, so she led a low spade. I played low from the table, and the king popped up on my right. I won the ace and decided it was a good time to try to endplay my right-hand opponent. I led out a heart, and he put a club back through my AQ. I finessed, losing to the king. LHO returned a diamond. I ruffed in hand, laid down the ace of clubs, and played out all of my trumps. Here's the position I saw when I led my last trump:



I knew my LHO had the jack of spades, and hoped she had the jack of clubs. When she parted with a spade, I pitched the club from the table, and led to the queen of spades. The jack duly dropped on my left! I lost only a heart, a diamond, and a club. Making four!

(C) White vs. red

K42 A75 Q2 AKJ53

LHO opens 3D, partner doubles, and RHO passes. What's your call?


McKenzie said...

(A) I tried 3NT with only Jxx of the unbid suit. This was unsuccessful.

(B) I decided to go all out and jump to 4S! This was a bad bid, and got what it deserved. LHO bid a doomed 5H, but partner competed to 5S, down one.

(C) I passed the double. I knew we had a sure game somewhere, maybe a slam, but thought we had +500 or more against 3D. Sadly, opener had eight diamonds to the AK and we got only 200. Ken Horwedel, one of the ACBL's best directors and an expert player, suggested that playing 4C as forcing in this auction [at matchpoints only] has some merit. I agree. I'm not sure it has enough merit to play, but it certainly deserves some thought.

warren said...

Your first example hand, North only has 12 cards. I couldn't figure out why I saw 11 winners but only 1 loser....

Again, as an intermediate player, here are my answers:

A) 4 hearts. The diamonds worry me.

B) 4 spades. I have no defense, and they probably have 4 hearts.

C) 5 clubs, with no particular optimism. I wonder what 4 diamonds would mean...

Noble said...

(A) 3s, showing where my values are

(B) 2s, pulling any penalty doubles later to N spades

(C) pass, I expect +500 and we might not even have a makeable game

Memphis MOJO said...

(a) 4H. I owe pard a heart, sorry.

(b) Pass. I'll get another chance.

(c) 3NT. Even when it's wrong, it often works in practice. (and you thought I was old and stodgy, ha!!)

McKenzie said...

Great set of responses, guys--- it's nice to get lots of different answers. It means they're good problems!

[Missing club from slam hand fixed. Thanks, Warren.]