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Matchpoint Decision

#1 User is offline   Trick13 

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Posted 2019-June-13, 16:48


3NT by South, opponents silent. Not Vul. Matchpoints. Signals UDCA.

Trick 1: J- 2-5-Q
Trick 2: 3-5-A-8
Trick 3: Q-K-A-5

How do you proceed?

ADDED:
The auction was 1!-2; 2*-3; 3NT * slow
No discernible pauses from the opponents
The event was a tournament, but not strong.
You would expect everyone to be in game (only one wasn't), and maybe half would be in a minor suit game.

The question is really about what to do with the clubs.
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#2 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2019-June-14, 00:23

Sir. if the opponents are well versed with UDCA ,I shall run the Six D and CAK.if the club Qx appears then concede the last trick.And NO I shall not play a heart anytime and go down.( unless the opponents block the spade suit.).I,personally, never underrate the opponents.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-June-14, 03:16

View Postmsjennifer, on 2019-June-14, 00:23, said:

Sir. if the opponents are well versed with UDCA ,I shall run the Six D and CAK.if the club Qx appears then concede the last trick.And NO I shall not play a heart anytime and go down.( unless the opponents block the spade suit.).I,personally, never underrate the opponents.


That wasn't the question, nobody ever plays a heart, the question is about the club finesse

The auction also helps here to have some idea what they know about your hand
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#4 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2019-June-14, 08:30

Knowing the field level could also help.

If half are languishing in a partscore (4m maybe), then take the money.

If half are in 6 something, then winning the finesse won’t help much (at least against them).

If lots are in 5m, a 4-1 club break could mean +400 only for them anyway (or minus something).

If lots are in 3NT, well...how will they think! Weaker players will take their tricks, because they overlook the MP/IMP difference.

So maybe overall, risking the C finesse is not worth it. Unless you need tops to qualify.
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#5 User is offline   WesleyC 

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Posted 2019-June-14, 11:35

If you want an informed opinion on a tactical MPs hand like this, you need to give the full auction - including the opponents style.

Every bid, pass or tempo change at MPs provides critical information!
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#6 User is offline   Trick13 

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Posted 2019-June-14, 22:42

The auction was 1-2; 2*-3; 3NT * slow
No discernible pauses from the opponents
The event was a tournament, but not strong.
You would expect everyone to be in game (only one wasn't), and maybe half would be in a minor suit game.

The question is really about what to do with the clubs.
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#7 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 01:13

Even at mps, take the money. Lose a club hook and you are down 2,at least, with 3N cold, after the diamond hook wins, when 5D will never make an overtrick, and you have a non-trivial chance of dropping the club Queen for a huge score, finessing the club Queen is a play you make only when desperate for a top.

Put another way, if you are a good pair, you will usually have enough good boards, and gifts, to have a chance of doing well, if you avoid bottoms. A minus score here is goin* to be tied for bottom at best. Swinging for tops is, generally, a tactic for bad players or good players needing to recover from a blah set.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#8 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 08:27

Defensive idea:


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#9 User is offline   Trick13 

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Posted 2019-June-15, 19:57

View Postmikeh, on 2019-June-15, 01:13, said:

Even at mps, take the money. Lose a club hook and you are down 2,at least, with 3N cold, after the diamond hook wins, when 5D will never make an overtrick, and you have a non-trivial chance of dropping the club Queen for a huge score, finessing the club Queen is a play you make only when desperate for a top.

Put another way, if you are a good pair, you will usually have enough good boards, and gifts, to have a chance of doing well, if you avoid bottoms. A minus score here is goin* to be tied for bottom at best. Swinging for tops is, generally, a tactic for bad players or good players needing to recover from a blah set.

Thanks. That makes a lot of sense.

At the table I judged that half the field would be in 5m (correct) and that I needed to beat 420 (correct as it turned out) and that 400 would be a poor score (correct - nobody scored that), so I took the finesse only to find Qx off-side.
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#10 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2019-June-16, 05:36

View PostTrick13, on 2019-June-14, 22:42, said:

No discernible pauses from the opponents

Then the lead is probably from AJTx(x), as East would need a good reason to play low at trick 1 from Axxx(x).

If it's from AJTx, then there doesn't seem to much else to go by at the moment, except that a small minority might have doubled 1 or overcalled 1 on

a)

AJTx
Axxx
xx
Qxx

but not on

b)

AJTx
Axxx
xx
xxx.

If it's from AJTxx, then how much more would West have needed to overcall 1? Would Qxx be enough? Or maybe

AJTxx
xxx
xx
xxx

but not

AJTxx
xxx
xx
Qxx

has high enough ODR in opps' opinion to qualify as a WJO?

In a perfect world you should be able to find out about these things by asking the right questions.

Anyway, it cannot cost to play two more rounds of diamonds first, ending in hand. Perhaps a small fraction of the time an opp will help you (or "help" you - see my previous post) by discarding a club.

An encouraging heart discard by West is interesting, because if taken at face value it means that West cannot have five spades. Depending on opps' style it might also mean that West cannot have a hand like a).
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#11 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-June-16, 07:57

Unless some very fortunate lie of the cards exists, the opponents should cash at least 5 tricks if they are let in.

I'm with mikeh and just cashing out. If +400 is below average, so be it. OTOH, there's about a 40% chance of dropping the Qx when break 3-2. If so, you are taking 12 tricks which will beat any minor contract. Cashing a honor will also ensure + 430 when the Q is singleton and that again beats any minor game.
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#12 User is offline   quiddity 

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Posted 2019-July-11, 17:24

It's probably right to cash the T first and see how they split.

Assume the diamonds split 2-2. IF you are correct that half the field is in 3NT and half in 5, then it looks right to finesse.
At the decision point, you have the possible club holdings (with normalized a priori probabilities):
Qxxx x (.171)
Qxx xx (.311)
xxx Qx (.207)
xx Qxx (.311)

In the first two cases you beat +420 if you finesse, and lose to it if you drop.
In the third case you lose to +400 if you finesse and beat it if you drop.
In the fourth case you lose to +400 if you finesse and only tie it if you drop.

There are other factors to consider, like how many of the 3NT declarers finesse vs drop, and the fact that Qx offside (drop wins) is a bit more likely than Qxxx onside (finesse wins), but I suspect if you crunch the numbers you will find that it is still a bit better to finesse.

But keep in mind that a finesse here is basically a bet that a lot of the field will be in 5. If more people are in 3NT, or if some pairs are in clubs when a 4-1 split cannot be handled, or if some if the diamond bidders are in slam, or if some pairs miss game entirely then it quickly becomes better to play for the drop. For that reason I agree with the others, I'd probably cash out at the table without giving much thought to finessing.
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