This thread reminds me why I have started the beginner/intermediate avoidable mistake thread focusing on (primarily) the importance of signaling agreements. Spot cards played along the way should have some meaning, that helps guide us through the hand. In a way, perhaps this hand shouldn't remind me of the importance of signalling, because you should get this one "right" at the point the problem is presented without input from your partner (and it looks like you got very little to none from him, since none of his carding other than club six discard and club 3 return is given). Either you can force a club trick, or declarer will make, so a club return at the point of the problem is absolutely clear. But lets examine the problem as stated, and how it would be approached in the real world by a partnership with some fundamental defensive agreements.
Trick one: 4♦ was lead to the queen
. ---- No mention of which diamond partner played! Here, even if you play attitude at trick one, most people would have switched to "count" with those cards in dummy. So we would have a clue as to rather partner has and even or odd number of diamonds. If partner shows an odd number of cards, it has to be three (or possibly singleton) when south follows suit (not five). If even, it is two or four. The easy to deal with for the hand is if partner shows an odd number of diamonds (either by low playing standard, or high playing udca), then partner will have precisely three and declarer two diamonds.
Trick two-four: 3 rounds of trump(qjk) were pulled ending in declarer's hand (south followed twice and pitched 6♣ on 3rd).
Partner had two low trump spots, no mention if he played them high or low, and/or if playing them in one order or the other would have any significance. In the old days, one use to signal trump length, or use a trump signal to indicate the ability to ruff. Now days, many people use trump suit spot cards to signal suit preference. You also played three spades, could you have conveyed info with your sequence of spade play? On sequence for your heart 8-9-10, you might have been able to play the 8 first (s/p showing club value), then ♥
9 (begin high-low with two remaining hearts) to signal original holding of 4♦
or perhaps -- depending upon your agreement, the ♥
T then 9, to signal an odd number of clubs (if your agreement it to signal length in dummy's short suit by opening leader).
PARTNER also discarded the ♣
6 on the 3rd round of trumps. What kind of discards are you playing? With the 2. 3 and 5 of clubs are missing, so this is probably not partner's lowest club, which was confirmed on trick six. If you are playing Roman discards, this odd discard shows club value. If you are playing standard, the six is probably high, encouraging clubs. If udca it is probably discouraging clubs. IF you are playing lavinthal it is probably high showing the obvious spade values that partner ended up holding. If he had already signaled spade values in trumps (high then low with his two trump spots), then this discard would have some other meaning. Probably best is a substitute count in another suit. Since partner clearly should have given count in diamonds at trick one (either odd or even, depending on what he held), the substitute count would have been in clubs. The fact he discarded a club to show it is just a coincidence.
You could have any of these agreements, or others not mentioned. The point is, there was room to communicate about each of your holdings.
Trick Five: 8♠ was lead to south's king.
We assume you signaled your spade length. One concern here for your is can partner have a doubleton ♠
AK, in which you had better not pop up with the ♠
Q on the 2nd round. If partner signaled diamond length at trick one, and gave a substitute count in clubs along the way, then you will be well placed to get this right. Also, if your partner had ♠
AK doubleton, would he win the ♠
A or ♠
K at trick five?
Trick Six: South returned the 3♣ taken by declarer's ace.
Here south confirmed the ♣
6 was indeed not low. Perhaps it was suit preference, since we see parnter holds the ♠
AK later in the hand. But a few observations and a real good question to be sure you understand. Do you play attitude leads here, where a low club by partner would show value? Do you play count type leads, where the ♣
3 is original 4th best, or 3rd/4th best from remaining cards in clubs.
If the return is attitude, play your partner for the ♣
Q. Partner can not have QJ9, btw, and probably not J9 or QJ, as he would try to pin the ten in dummy with those holdings. And partner will know we hold 3♠
as with Qx we would have gone up on the first round, and with Qxx we would have given count. So partner will know one heart trick is all we need if the third spade is cashing.
Trick 4♠: taken my north's queen, this brings up this position, How do you proceed and why.
How would you have felt if declarer's hand was ♠
AJxx and your jumping up with the ♠
Q handed him his contract after his blunder of a play? If you know partner has the spade Ace, and you signaled for clubs, it might be safe to duck this spade, and on some hands (4=4=1=4 or 4=4=2=3) absolutely necessary to do so. This is quite a problem here, so much so, that I would have probably ducked this spade to "be on the safe side." If partner signaled an odd number of diamonds at trick one, and gave substitute count in clubs later (say on his club discard) that showed an even number, I surely would have played low because partner will be either 2-2-3-6 in which case I have to duck, or 4=2=3=4 in which case declarer can make on ruffing finesse in spades if I go up, or on dropping my queen of spades if I play low.
However, after winning the spade queen, and not crashing partners ace on top of it, we know declarer started with 4♥
, and we hope 3♠
's. His diamond and club length might should be clear to us. For instance, if partner showed odd diamonds, we can be certain declarer's shape is 3=4=2=4, if partner showed even diamonds, we think declarer shape is either 3=4=4=2, in which case declarer will make (1♠
ruff) or 3=4=1=5. In the two cases where declarer has 4 or 5 clubs, partner will need the club queen, and we exit with the ♣
King, or a low ♣
. I am not the least worried about this....
wyman, on 2012-February-14, 10:57, said:
at this point I know I have to lead a club. I'll lead the K because otherwise he might ruff the low club in dummy, pitch a spade from hand on a diamond if necessary, ruff a spade back to hand and I'd be endplayed. But we can still look further to see if this is hopeful at all or if we need to rethink and swindle declarer somehow...
If declarer has 3=4=2-4 there is no endplay if he discards his spade on the third round of diamonds and ruffs a spade (setting the Jack up), I will not endplayed when I win the king clubs, because my last card, the diamond 9, will be a winner when I get in. If declarer is 3=4=1=5 with the club jack, there is a killer endplay against both you and your partner, if you return the club king, it is your partner who is endplayed. The only way an effect endplay occurs on you is if declarer is 3=4=1=5 and partner has the ♣
QJxx, but here, partner has already blown the defense by discarding a club (he needs to keep all four clubs to avoid being enplayed himself. So practically speaking, I don't think an endplay is still in the cards, and the low club still has a very small chance of declarer with the ♣
Q ruffing in dummy. i would probably just return the club king, but I don't see a lot wrong with a low club either... sure on a low club, we might well lose our spade trick, but we end up taking a diamond (when partner showed odd number of diamonds) if declarer plays as wank proposed (assuming I understood his position).
phil_20686, on 2012-February-14, 15:38, said:
Oh, good spot, I forgot partner pitched a club. But why would he pitch a club from 4 with useless diamonds.
Your partner does not know on the third round of trumps that you have four diamonds, and he can see four diamonds in dummy. If you had two or three diamonds, and partner throws a diamond from a four card suit, he is setting up the long diamond in dummy. Since you played the ♦
T at trick one, if partner had four small diamond, without the jack, he would know his diamonds are useless, and of course could throw one then.