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A tough 3NT

#21 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2018-January-02, 19:18

View Postparsonsdav, on 2018-January-02, 16:27, said:

The only possibility here is if diamonds split 3-3. You can play diamonds three times, and as long as they don't get two clubs first, you'll make nine tricks. If diamonds don't split 3-3, you won't make it on the club J lead, even if clubs are ideally placed.

Considering the suit in isolation, declarer doesn't depend on 3-3 s:
  • If you lead J for dummy, then you improve your chances slightly.
  • If you lead s from hand, then you improve your chances substantially.
  • If defenders attack s, then your chances are even better. And if you start with J, defenders might well switch to s.

If declarer leads a small from dummy and they do break 3-3, there are still psychological complications to consider. e.g. Suppose RHO wins a trick and switches to a . Declarer sometimes has to guess the distribution e.g.
  • If RHO led from Kxx or Qxx, declarer might succeed by rising A to block the suit.
  • If RHO led from Kx Qx or KQx, then declarer might fare better by finessing.

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#22 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2018-January-03, 19:49

Defense is TOUGH. The backs of the cards manage to confound the best efforts by the defense to divine declarer's intent. There is no way the defense will picture you with precisely AQJx in spades. At least one defender will probably wonder why you are not playing on clubs (your obvious long suit) and that opp might all too easily err thinking you are trying to steal a fast dia trick before leading clubs. From a purely psychological point of view playing a low dia toward hand (at trick 2) gives the best impression of trying to steal a dia trick. There is no successful LOP period if the opps are due 4+ dia tricks and playing on clubs would seem to be the surest way to get the opps to make a deadly switch if it is available. Playing on dia yourself gives you quite an edge under a lot of circumstances. dia can break 33 or they might block and a suspicious opp (looking at Hxx in clubs might even suspect that their p has top club honors as the reason you did not play the suit yourself and lead it.

IMHO lead a low dia at trick 2 and insert the 9 if rho plays low. This should keep things as confusing as ever for the defense and who knows what they will do:)
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