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Play this Slam

#1 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-November-08, 02:56



East leads the Q, west contributes the 9 (probably standard carding, but E/W formed a partnership on the night and hadn't discussed!).

The bidding won't win any beauty contests, but if you can make this 20 HCP slam you won't have to apologise to partner!

Things are easy if trumps are 1-1, since you can draw trumps, give up a heart and cross ruff. But you are one trump short to do this if they break 2-0.

What is the best plan?
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#2 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 17:10

Crossruff s and s before giving up the and/or drawing trumps, but that feels and looks a losing line, except if the A appears early. I'd rather play for just over 50% on the trumps splitting 1-1
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#3 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 17:35

Duck the opening lead. West is squeezed if (s)he is 0=3=5=5.
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#4 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 18:09

View PostFelicityR, on 2019-November-10, 17:10, said:

Crossruff s and s before giving up the and/or drawing trumps, but that feels and looks a losing line, except if the A appears early. I'd rather play for just over 50% on the trumps splitting 1-1


You can sort of combine the options - start by ducking the heart, win the e.g. heart return, spade to the A, claim if 1-1, else ruff a club, SK, crossruff a bit and hope for Axx in clubs to drop.

View Postakwoo, on 2019-November-10, 17:35, said:

Duck the opening lead. West is squeezed if (s)he is 0=3=5=5.


I was looking at this but couldn't get it to work - though that was on my phone with about 3 hrs sleep. Let's try harder: The end position would be AJx opposite x - x K. This requires a decent amount of effort as South has to become the long trump hand and is very short on non-ruffing entries. You start by ducking the heart, win the heart return (say), spade J to Ace and we assume West shows out. Now club ruff with S9, SK, heart ruff small, club ruff high, spade to 8, but North still has one trump too many, and South two clubs too many. :(

ahydra
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#5 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-November-10, 22:25

I have delayed responding until now. I would always duck the heart.

What happens next depends on the defence, but a heart continuation probably looks as good as anything to west. Win the Ace. While it seems natural to test trump, it turns out that one canít afford it. Unless I feel that LHO has only 2 hearts, I ruff a heart with the 8. Now Iím in very good shape, 7nless Iím down, lol.

Cash the spade Ace, in case they break. Now diamond over, ruff a diamond, ruff a club, repeat the cross ruff, ruff the last diamond, ruff a club, pull trump and claim.

This seems like a high percentage play, losing only when LHO has 2Hearts and the spade Queen or one of the minors breaks very badly....note that you test trump before playing minors, so thereís no risk in those suits if trumps break.Few would lead a heart from Qx, so the only real danger is precisely QJ, which is very low percentage, certainly far lower than the chances of a 1-1 break.

This is a good hand, assuming Iím correct, in that it requires one to plan the play from trick 1.
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#6 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 00:55


Tramticket writes 'East leads the Q, west contributes the 9 (probably standard carding, but E/W formed a partnership on the night and hadn't discussed!).The bidding won't win any beauty contests, but if you can make this 20 HCP slam you won't have to apologise to partner!Things are easy if trumps are 1-1, since you can draw trumps, give up a heart and cross ruff. But you are one trump short to do this if they break 2-0.What is the best plan?'
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
At double-dummy, In AHydra's reconstruction (left)), declarer can duck East's opening lead and hope that East fails to find the killing switch. On any other switch, declarer can succeed by finessing against East's Q. GIB demonstrates that, after a ruff, South's 2nd trump squeezes West in the minors. Declarer can ruff out whichever minor West abandons.
At single-dummy, I like MikeH's line but, at the table, I would have played A, A, ruff a , ruff a , ruff a , ruff a , ruff a . If KQ or A appear early, then claim. Otherwise concede a and try to guess the ending... perhaps ruffing a high and finessing West for Q.

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#7 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 02:58

View Postmikeh, on 2019-November-10, 22:25, said:

I would always duck the heart.

What happens next depends on the defence, but a heart continuation probably looks as good as anything to west. Win the Ace. While it seems natural to test trump, it turns out that one canít afford it. Unless I feel that LHO has only 2 hearts, I ruff a heart with the 8. Now Iím in very good shape, unless Iím down, lol.


No, you won't be down, but I was - I ruffed the heart low. :(

I thought that I might not be able to afford to test trumps and reasoned that I would be in good shape if I could ruff my heart, since I could ruff diamonds in dummy without fear of over-ruff* and east would surely have at least four clubs. I felt that there was a good chance that west would hold at least three hearts since he might have overtaken the queen with K9.

Unfortunately west did have a doubleton heart and trumps were 1-1 all along. :(

The actual hand was as below. Every other pair scored 12 tricks in 4 and I did have to apologise to partner.



Thank you for your replies. As Mike says, the hand needed planning from trick 1. My plan wasn't good enough!


* - I should have mentioned in the earlier post that the opponents were playing 4-card majors and the 1 opening promised at least a four-card diamond suit.
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#8 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 06:41

Forgot to ruff with the 8 which I'm not convinced ever costs and is critical in half the 1-1 breaks where W has 2 hearts ?
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#9 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-November-11, 07:00

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-November-11, 06:41, said:

Forgot to ruff with the 8 which I'm not convinced ever costs and is critical in half the 1-1 breaks where W has 2 hearts ?


Yes, seems easier away from the table. In my mind I was trying to keep A8 over East's possible Q7 - but I don't think that this is ever important.
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#10 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2019-November-12, 13:01

 Tramticket, on 2019-November-11, 07:00, said:

In my mind I was trying to keep A8 over East's possible Q7 - but I don't think that this is ever important.

On the contrary, it is quite important for the players who donít master yet the forcing finesse with JT9 from hand🤣
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