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Defense! Defense! Matchpoints online

#1 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-February-28, 17:28

You are playing in a random (free) BBO matchpoint tourney. Your partner is a decent if slightly eccentric player (it's BunnyGo). Red vs White in third seat you hold:

A97, 62, K, AKT8742

The auction:

4-(P)-P-(X)
P-(4)-5-(5)
X-All Pass

You lead the Ace of Clubs. (if you have comments on the bidding and lead, please feel free to post that too, but the problem as presented requires it to this point).

Dummy hits with:

KQJ3, 53, AQ6, QJ63

Trick 1: A, 3, 9, 5 (UDCA, no other agreements)

Now what?
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#2 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-28, 17:41

Looks normal to play the diamond K.

Partner should work out what is going on, and give me a signal....low would deny the heart A.

If he plays a low diamond, I will win the trump and hope that he had 2 spades and I will underlead my club, to get a diamond ruff

If he plays a high diamond, I will cash a club and lead a heart (after winning the spade trick).

I hope partner plays smoothly on the spade...a hestitation might bar me from trying for the club ruff, since knowing he has 2 trump turns a risky play into a certainty and I can't then ake advantage.

For a change, I noted this was matchpoints...I'd never dare do this club underlead at imps, unless I really trusted partner.
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#3 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2012-February-28, 18:09

I would lead DK also. Not sure I'd have figured out the significance of a high diamond from pard on trick 2 until it was too late. Next time I will.
"If you lose all hope, you can always find it again." ― Richard Ford, The Sportswriter
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#4 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-28, 20:07

The high diamond means "I hate diamonds." They are playing UDCA.

This stinks because partner has a lot of diamonds. At least 4 and perhaps 6.

But still, I lead K now because partner is a heavy favorite to have A and an 8-card suit. I take A on the first round, lead a heart, trump the diamond return, lead another heart, and if it holds up (very doubtful), I get 3 black tricks and 2 diamond ruffs in addition to the 2 heart tricks. Down 5. But Down 3 is the most likely outcome. This stinks because when we can take them down 3, 5 almost certainly makes, and if a trump is not led in that scenario, 6 might make.

We have 3 tricks in the black suits that cannot go away. Partner has a 7 or 8-card heart suit, so you will have 0-2 heart tricks. Given that it's a vulnerable 4 bid I tend to place him with AKxxxxxx so we have exactly 4 tricks: 2, 1, 1. The diamond lead bumps that up to 5 tricks.

Partner's shape: void in clubs is known. Partner is also unlikely to have more than a singleton spade.

Therefore he is almost certainly 1-7-5-0, 0-7-6-0, 1-8-4-0, or 0-8-5-0.

Funny thing is, it is entirely possible that he has no entry to dummy and that therefore the black high cards are unusable. Trump leads render partner with no entry to the board whatsoever if he's got only red cards. Going down 2 in 5 is a distinct possibility. Thus, beating 5 doubled by 1 trick ought to be at least worth something. If partner happens to have 8 solid hearts and a spade, then there's no beating 5 and BunnyGo just got fixed!
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#5 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2012-February-28, 22:19

We need to do better than +620 (or 650 or 680). That means down four or more. We have two club, a spade, probably hopefully at least one heart. One heart and one diamond ruff is only down three, not good enough.

A couple of issues, what was the 9. My default agreement here is to give suit preference with the discard, and we can obviously expect partner to have good hearts. So does the 9 promise the ace, or does it just show us the he has good hearts (something we already know)? Some heart holdings partner would tell us his honors... for instance, with AKQJ or AKQ of hearts he would signal this with the discard of the heart Ace rather than signal for a heart. With KQJT or KQJ, he would discard the king to deny the ace. So we can assume partner has something like AQJ, KJT, AK, KQ, AQ, or similar where he can't afford to signal with a heart honor. <br class="Apple-interchange-newline">
Mikeh suggest on the K shift, partner will realize what is going on and show or deny the A. So let's ask what partner CAN show to the trick two diamond shift.

1.) High diamond to confirm s/p at trick one, showing the ace to give you your diamond ruff
2.) Low diamond to deny possession of the heart ace.
3.) Low or high diamond to give count in diamonds (marginally useful at best)
4.) Low or high diamond to give count in hearts (useful here, possibly).

Anyway, I agree with diamond king at trick two, and win the first spade, and think I follow mike's idea that if partner confirmed heart value with a 2nd high diamond I will try a heart at trick three. This does not solve all our problems, however. Say partner wins the king (showing AK) and south drops the queen, and gives us our diamond ruff. That is 2C, 1H, 1S, 1D ruff for down three. We need one more trick, that must be either another diamond ruff or another heart.

Do we return a low club for partner to ruff, or do we try to get partner's heart Ace? If partner had eight hearts, we need to hope he has another trump (2-8-3-0) and under lead the king of clubs. If partner had only 7 hearts (1-7-5-0) and declarer made a clever falsecard from Qx, we need to play another heart instead of underleading the club king (bonus, get another diamond ruff for down an unnecessary fifth trick which is about the same score no doubt as down four). So the key issue: low club or 2nd heart? The key might be the size of the third diamond partner returns for you to ruff, but he has used his two highest in signaling. He may have only one diamond remaining (2-8-3-0), or he may have two small ones and south is falsecarding (D9843). Eight card suits are rare, so I would probably try another heart, but it is guess and maybe I will be influenced by partner returning the diamond 2 and try for a club ruff after all.

Not that it was available on this hand, but there is an interesting agreement to consider. On trick one, what should the diamond 9 mean?


Since both partners know that opener likes hearts (he opened 4H vul), instead s/p, wouldn't it be nice if partner's discard signaled how many hearts opener had (odd or even based on size of the diamond or heart discarded). Then on diamonds, give strong heart attitude with the ace. Perhaps that 2nd step isn't really needed, since one might argue that discarding any diamond would should show heart ace, and the size of the diamond discard the number of hearts, while a heart discard denies the heart ace -- and gives count in hearts. This concept might not be as far out there as it sounds as I read what I wrote. It actually is pretty close to the rules for substitute count which one of my partners and I play (but never had anything close to this situation). Partner's first responsibility is to give attitude or count in suit played to trick one. Exception, is when obvious s/p or count is needed or third hand has a void, in which case s/p is given. After the s/p (with a void) is given, the next major signal is substitute count in dummy's shortest suit (with rules if two or more equally short suits). Since it turns out that s/p for hearts is not required seems like dropping to next required signal, which is substitute count in a short suit in dummy, would be useful.

Anyway, useful hand to discuss with your partner.
--Ben--

#6 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 03:44

Good points. I'd intended my diamond 9 as suit preference, but could have been clearer with the heart A (and knew I could afford it). Maybe this hand belonged in the B/I defensive series from both sides. Maybe the 9 should have been count in hearts...I'd considered that that was what it "should" mean with agreements, but that wasn't what partner would read it as.
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#7 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 04:51

Quote

My default agreement here is to give suit preference with the discard, and we can obviously expect partner to have good hearts.


I am not a fan of suit preference discards in suit contract It causes more mess than it's worth imo as against suit contracts you usually want to discard from your long suits (as opposed to NT contracts where suit preference is more useful).

Quote

Some heart holdings partner would tell us his honors... for instance, with AKQJ or AKQ of hearts he would signal this with the discard of the heart Ace rather than signal for a heart.


There is one very important message on this hand: "do I ruff clubs". You need some way to tell partner if you have a trump (or if you are ruffing in general, or if you have trump to promote in similar situation).
We play that discarding a high card says "yay" and low card (here in hearts) is just usual encouragement thus denying interest in ruffing.
If you just discard A partner is still in the dark as to ruffing potential. Imo discarding A or low hearts denies interest in ruff (partner doesn't know we have 7 clubs).

Quote

Maybe the 9 should have been count in hearts..


Why not use hearts to give count in hearts ?
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#8 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 08:16

BunnyGo said:

UDCA, no other agreements


BunnyGo a bit later said:

I'd intended my diamond 9 as suit preference

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why wouldn't you intend it as either upside-down count or upside-down attitude?
If future responses could be on topic, i.e. comparing the two suggested systems, rather than some alternative nutjob method, that'd be appreciated, thanks. - MickyB
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Posted 2012-February-29, 10:08

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-February-29, 04:51, said:

Quote

My default agreement here is to give suit preference with the discard, and we can obviously expect partner to have good hearts.

I am not a fan of suit preference discards in suit contract It causes more mess than it's worth imo as against suit contracts you usually want to discard from your long suits (as opposed to NT contracts where suit preference is more useful).


To each his own. In situations like this, where you are known to hold a very long suit (generally six or more), the standard agreement is a very low card (discard or follow suit) is s/p for lower suit, a very high spot card is s/p for a higher suit and a middle size card is request to continue (or s/p) for the long suit. This solves the supposed problem you are worried about should you have a long suit you fell the need to discard under all situations.


Quote

My default agreement here is to give suit preference with the discard, and we can obviously expect partner to have good hearts.

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-February-29, 04:51, said:

There is one very important message on this hand: "do I ruff clubs". You need some way to tell partner if you have a trump (or if you are ruffing in general, or if you have trump to promote in similar situation).

We play that discarding a high card says "yay" and low card (here in hearts) is just usual encouragement thus denying interest in ruffing.

If you just discard A partner is still in the dark as to ruffing potential. Imo discarding A or low hearts denies interest in ruff (partner doesn't know we have 7 clubs).


You make a good point. Partner may not even have one spade, much less two. So with the ability to ruff a club, a signal to indicate I can ruff a club would be a high a priority... but it would not speak to the question if the opener has a second trump. This probably screws up my concept that all discards on trick one speak to heart length. So at trick one, partner probably needs to signal he has a trump (assuming he has one) by playing an appropriate card (low heart). Then on diamond king lead tell us about either the heart ace or a 2nd trump. Since partner played the 9 (never can be a club signal), I didn't think about partner really being interested in ruffing clubs.

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-February-29, 04:51, said:

Why not use hearts to give count in hearts ?


I actually said you could use diamonds or hearts....

View Postinquiry, on 2012-February-28, 22:19, said:

Since both partners know that opener likes hearts (he opened 4H vul), instead s/p, wouldn't it be nice if partner's discard signaled how many hearts opener had (odd or even based on size of the diamond or heart discarded).


This is a good hand to discuss defensive logic with partner (as noted earlier). The question about the possibility of a club ruff -- or not -- changes things.
On the first club, what SHOULD partner signal?
If he has a trump, should he signal s/p for clubs (to show ability to ruff)?
If he has very strong heart sequence should he discard top card?
If he discards heart Jack or queen, is it alarm clock to suggest he can ruff two clubs, and is looking to underled his heart sequence to get back to your hand after the first ruff (say partner has AKQJ and wants to ruff a club and play back to your hypothetical ten.
Should discard be heart count?

I still think mike is right, diamond king and partner's next diamond speaks as to likely entry (hearts or clubs), but it makes no difference, partner has to have heart ace (at least) or you are not doing better than +500, and you are back to what to do if partner wins the heart king and returns a diamond. Another heart or underled the club king.
--Ben--

#10 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 10:16

View Postgnasher, on 2012-February-29, 08:16, said:

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why wouldn't you intend it as either upside-down count or upside-down attitude?


Not a stupid question, just a stupid player. :(
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#11 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 14:07

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-February-29, 10:16, said:

Not a stupid question, just a stupid player. :(

Just to be clear here, there is no such thing as a stupid question or player here. Bridge is a hard game and we are all bright thoughtful adults. It is a hard game and that is one of the reasons these forums exist.

The ONLY exception is the act of calling another person here stupid, or any other name. That's intolerable. Ben, I know you're referring to yourself here, but you're anything but a stupid player. Whether 9 was the best decision, is not yet obvious to me or anyone else, I don't think. But it's not a stupid player; it is, at the worst possible, a bad decision.

Much, much, much different.
There is a big difference between a good decision and a good result. Let's keep our posts about good decisions rather than "gotcha" results!
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#12 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 14:48

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-28, 17:41, said:

Looks normal to play the diamond K.

Partner should work out what is going on, and give me a signal....low would deny the heart A.

If he plays a low diamond, I will win the trump and hope that he had 2 spades and I will underlead my club, to get a diamond ruff

If he plays a high diamond, I will cash a club and lead a heart (after winning the spade trick).

I hope partner plays smoothly on the spade...a hestitation might bar me from trying for the club ruff, since knowing he has 2 trump turns a risky play into a certainty and I can't then ake advantage.

For a change, I noted this was matchpoints...I'd never dare do this club underlead at imps, unless I really trusted partner.


You can play a high club, partner will still ruff it to give you your diamond ruff if he has two trumps. Playing the Kd with ace visible and then flying the spade ace its pretty clear what is going on.

So I am suggesting, K d at trick two, fly spade ace, top club, if partner has two trumps I expect him to ruff and return a diamond for a ruff, since I might have three hearts and this could be his only chance to get on lead - he will know declarers diamond length, and his heart length, so I don't think this is totally unrealistic, course a low club is better if you can be sure of the layout, but I am sure he will read the diamond as singleton, ergo, I must have long clubs. He will probably think I am 2317 for my heart bid, but there you go. Of course he can be worried that have only 6 clubs and can cash one and give him a ruff, but a low club is so dangerous, and partner likely to take the certain defeat my ruffing and giving a diamond ruff.

If he ruffs the club gives you a diamond ruff now a heart gets you a second diamond ruff.
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#13 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 14:52

partner may not be able to reliably deduce that we have 7 clubs, rather than, say, 6.

On one level, the fact that we didn't cash the second club at trick 2 maybe should lead him to the correct inference, but I definitely wouldn't want to risk that unless partner was truly WC, and on his game, and even then, I'd be worried. Of course, if your point was that I should cash the second club at imps and hope he works it out, then I agree....that's why i said I would only do the underlead at mps.
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#14 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-February-29, 15:00

View Postmikeh, on 2012-February-29, 14:52, said:

partner may not be able to reliably deduce that we have 7 clubs, rather than, say, 6.

On one level, the fact that we didn't cash the second club at trick 2 maybe should lead him to the correct inference, but I definitely wouldn't want to risk that unless partner was truly WC, and on his game, and even then, I'd be worried. Of course, if your point was that I should cash the second club at imps and hope he works it out, then I agree....that's why i said I would only do the underlead at mps.


My point was that DD it doesnt matter which club you play, you should get 2c 1h 1s 2d whatever happens. Of course, harder for partner if you lead a top club, but even at MP surely many did not bid 5h and are defending 4s undoubled, or even 4s doubled. a Low club is a disaster if the room is in 4s as you may get only 1h 1s 1c, when others have 150 or 100 defending 4s.

An underlead is only warranted if you think the double of 4H is not going to be the room action - I think it looks fairly normal personally.
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