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Lead-directing Doubles Clarifying my thinking

#1 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-January-24, 06:51

I have been thinking about lead-directing doubles and have a few questions for you:

Question 1:



You pick up zero points as usual and there doesn't seem much to go on. Unless partner can maybe ruff a spade? ...

(a) What do you lead?
(b) Is your choice influenced by the fact that partner did not make a lead-directing double?

Questions 2:



Opponents bid to slam. Do you make a lead-directing double?

(a) Do you double 5 to ask for a spade lead? [Is it safe to make a lead-directing double with a void?]
(b) Do you double 6 as a Lightner double, expecting partner to select a spade lead?
© Or do you not double - because you expect (hope?/prey?) that partner will find a spade lead anyway and/or you don't want the opponents to pull to 6NT?

Question 3:



The opponents unexpectedly double your Blackwood response. Should you choose to play in 6NT?
(a) West should bid 6NT.
(b) East should convert 6 to 6NT.
© You should play in 6 anyway.
(d) You have the mechanism to stop at 5NT

Question 4:



The opponents unexpectedly double 6. Should you choose to play in 6NT?
(a) West should bid 6NT.
(b) East should bid 6NT.
© You should play in 6 anyway.

Question 5:

I believe that Zia has been known to psych a lead-directing double. Have you ever done this or encountered this?
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-January-24, 07:32

5: the time to do this is when you think dummy will have the high cards in the suit and you have a singleton J or Q.
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#3 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2018-January-24, 08:02

I'm more worried that your partner South didn't pre-empt with 3 even 4 on the first round of bidding. That would have clarified things somewhat as to how to interpret a lead-directing double.
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-January-24, 08:13

View PostFelicityR, on 2018-January-24, 08:02, said:

I'm more worried that your partner South didn't pre-empt with 3 even 4 on the first round of bidding. That would have clarified things somewhat as to how to interpret a lead-directing double.


3 would have been Ghestem for us - showing both majors. 4 would have been possible. We were ahead in the match, so maybe she didn't want to risk the bid?
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#5 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 01:33

Nice questions:

In my experience LDD applies only where defenders hope to knock a contract, and not just to save an overtrick

It shows a certain trick in one suit and the need to develop a trick in another, typically either by ruffing a void or uncovering a K

So in my experience the prerequisite condition for a LDD is that declarer is missing an Ace. Before only declarer and one defender knew that, but after the LDD everyone around the table now “knows” that an Ace is out

Applying those “principles” to your examples:

Q1: a spade lead for partner to ruff and cash her Ace.
Q2: yes, I double the 5S, and if I don’t and then double only after the 6H I expect partner to lead a useless Diamond, first suit bid by dummy and not rebid.
Q3: as declarer I “see” a S ruff and cashing minor Ace. I assess South as best I can, but if the LDD is truthful and sane I move to NT. If I am wrong I make an excuse to leave early after paying for the first round of drinks
My rule for playing in (the very rare) 5NT is to make an “impossible” bid, here xx is the only way and my angel partner will dutifully bid 5NT for me to pass
Q4: there is plenty of space for North to hold 5 diamonds so I follow Q3
Q5: no
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#6 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 01:51

Q1)My partner would always double if he was void in Spade and has a cashable Ace outside..So I will not lead a spade.
Q2) Yes It will.In the present hand ,since trump AQ are already known to be with( or at least the Q) LHO, I shall lead the Trump.
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#7 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 05:25

I think the hand very interesting.
Clearly 6N makes but it is risky to bid it. Will a double of 6 persuade opps to plunge into 6N?
There is a school of thought that says don't lead a spade because partner has not asked for one, but partner may not have an ace and the spade lead will save the over trick. Also it is very dangerous to double as opps may have a club void.
I think South is correct to pass and North should still choose to lead a spade

Playing Ghestem, I would bid 4 and my partner may well make the excellent, if unfortuate, 7 save.

This sort of hand is just a lottery
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#8 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 08:27

Q1. Either a spade or a club could be right. As I would expect partner to make a lead-directing double with a spade void and a side A, I probably would choose the club.

Q2. I would not double 5S with a void for two reasons. First, it looks like 6H may not make. If I X 5S, I may end up defending 5SXX or 6NT, each with disastrous results.

I would double 6H for a lead. Partner ought to be able to work out what to do. It's a lot harder for the opponents to bid 6NT now, because West can't know I don't have AQd and East can't know I don't have AKc.

Q3. West should XX to show that he has spades taken care of and that South's X is based on a void. It's still hard to get to 6NT, however, as neither E nor W has a club stop.

Q4. If the opponents X 6H for a lead, you pretty much have to sit for it. Neither E nor W has a club stop, and if you bid 6NT, you could find yourself going for a phone numnber as against a push board.

Q5. Well, if you're sure that the opponents have their slam and are way behind in a match, you can pysch a lead-directing X (especially with a stiff in a side suit) to try to get them to leave their making spot and end up in a worse one. I've never done it or had it done against me, but it's been known to happen.

Cheers,
Mike
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#9 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 10:26

Thank you Mike. This reply is indeed helpful.

I sat north and had been considering my options, since it seemed likely that I would be on lead. I had "selected" a spade as the most likely to succeed, even better - partner did double the 5 bid. It was only later that I was thinking about other implications such as a negative inference from a failure to double and whether it is always right to double (helping opps into a safer 6NT contract).

The board was a push - team-mates bid 6, through a different route and their opponents made a Lightner double.
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#10 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 11:04

View PostTramticket, on 2018-January-24, 06:51, said:

Question 5:

I believe that Zia has been known to psych a lead-directing double. Have you ever done this or encountered this?

I have tried a State-of-the-match psychic Lightner double, trying to push them to 6N. (We were down quite a bit in KO match before the last set of 12 boards, and this was the last board.)
My hopes went up when declarer started thinking over my double. Turned out he was only considering redoubling...
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 15:14

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-January-24, 07:32, said:

5: the time to do this is when you think dummy will have the high cards in the suit and you have a singleton J or Q.

This would be an astute bid, but I don't see it as a psyche... you directed the lead with a genuine interest in receiving it. Surely a psyche would be something more like that described by cherdano.

Of course the use of the term psyche begs the intriguing question of whether such a bid might be disallowed under some circumstances, but that's probably a more appropriate discussion for another section of the forum.
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#12 User is offline   Joe_Old 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 17:28

Mike pretty much nailed it. However...

1) Spade or club lead is a guess, but since you probably need a ruff and an Ace to beat the contract, a spade is a better guess since the auction denies length in clubs for East-West (and the opps aren't bidding RKC on a useless doubleton, so two club tricks aren't happening).

2) per Mike, if I'm playing with an expert defender. Average defenders will automatically lead a club because you didn't double 5 spades.

3) clear XX. It unambiguously promises the Ace, and implies no clear action (like one unstopped suit for NT).

4) per Mike.
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#13 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2018-January-25, 18:38

This thread reminds me of an interesting treatment that Chip Martel recommended to one of my partners one time. If (i) the opponents make a key-card inquiry; (ii) your partner lies over the responder to the inquiry; (iii) your partner, not you, will be on lead; and (iv) your partner has the Ace of the suit bid in response to the key-card inquiry, your partner should still double, even though he, not you, will be on lead. The idea then is that if you have a singleton, you can double the final contract to indicate to partner that he should lead Ace and give you a ruff. If you don't double, it suggests to partner not to lead the Ace.

Cheers,
mike
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#14 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-January-26, 02:37

View Post0deary, on 2018-January-25, 01:33, said:

In my experience LDD applies only where defenders hope to knock a contract, and not just to save an overtrick


I agree with this. But can you really know that obtaining a ruff is only saving an over-trick?


View Post0deary, on 2018-January-25, 01:33, said:

It shows a certain trick in one suit and the need to develop a trick in another, typically either by ruffing a void or uncovering a K


Does it need to show a certain trick as well as the chance to develop a trick - e.g. by ruffing? Isn't it useful to get the ruff, even if you are not quite sure where the second trick will come from? The rewards for beating a slam are very significant, whereas the cost of conceding a doubled slam instead of an un-doubled slam are relatively smaller. So can't we afford to speculate a bit? [the assumption is IMPs of course].

You might reason that the opponents have not looked for a grand slam and they therefore have a missing key-card or are missing the overall strength to suggest 13 tricks. If you take my example hand, East has not bid 5NT asking for kings and he might bid 5NT to confirm to partner that all key-cards are present in case partner has a source of tricks and wants to bid 7. It is possible of course that he didn't bid 5NT, because the slam bid was already a pushy bid and he thought that 12 tricks was the limit of the hand. In any case, it seems reasonable to double and collect the ruff and hope there is another trick?


View Post0deary, on 2018-January-25, 01:33, said:

So in my experience the prerequisite condition for a LDD is that declarer is missing an Ace.


Yes ... but do you need to hold it?

Supplementary Question:

Do you double with:


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#15 User is offline   0deary 

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Posted 2018-January-26, 05:26

Yes, fair points, thank you :)

Q4: I doubt if south knows for sure that north can have the trump Ace (for the “my singleton/her trump Ace” combination), so focusing on south and “my void/our Ace combination, (*) then the double now makes sense, but only provided south just doesn’t push declarer from the losing 6H into a making 6N

Even Nostradamus in south can’t possibly be sure that 6N alone makes or not, so the LDD X (after 6H-P-P-X) must be something of a punt..declarer knows that south can’t know what she said she knows but south knows that west knows that...Epimenides (almost!) comes to mind!

So its late Sunday afternoon and you are on top table, you've had a fair tussle and its the last hand, and its just gone ....6H-P-P-X-?

Why should south potentially lose by taking a risky position? The more I think about the more Alice in Wonderland it sounds....

*(North cashes an Ace and then gives the ruff. Or South has the trump so waits for one ruff on the lead and then hopes for a second ruff. Or north gives the ruff with clear suit preference for the Ace entry for the second ruff)

Best wishes

David

PS: I wouldn't X in the last example because partner will give me the spade ruff anyway and I can't guarantee another trick elsewhere....
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