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Bridge Movie No. 3

#1 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 01:04

Matchpoints. Red v white, you are South, with East as dealer. You hold QJxxx A AJxx Kxx

Dealer opens 2H. You could double, but 2S looks pretty obvious. If west bids 3H, I can reopen with a double if I choose. So 2S it is.

West passes and partner bids 3H, pass to you.

3H is a good spade raise. He either has invitational values or a hand that has extra values, since 4S would not be preemptive. He might have a mediocre opening hand to bid 4S.

So, I have full values. Definitely worth accepting.

I could bid 4S but even though I don’t have a huge hand in terms of hcp, I like my shape.

Cuebidding below game, imo, should not promise a huge hand…just one that is happy with the auction so far and likes the hand.

I think this hand qualifies, but what to bid?

4D doesn’t seem right…he won’t have a stiff heart given that west didn’t raise 2H, and he won’t cuebid the heart king because for sure that should show the ace. So he will be endplayed into bidding 4S with virtually all hands. I can hardly bid over that, since he might have just the invitational hand.

Fortunately, we cuebid first and second round controls up the line, at least until game. So I can bid 4C.if he signs off, I’m content. If he bids 4D, now I can bid 4H.

He bids 4D, I bid 4H and shortly thereafter we are in 6S




The opening lead is the heart 3, and east inserts the 10. Drawing trump, you discover that east began with 2 spades, west with 1.

You are cold if east has the diamond queen, but west has 9 minor suit cards to east’s 5 and, if east has the club ace, there’s no inference from the bidding, concerning the diamond queen. QJ10xxx in hearts and the side club Ace is all east needs.

Is there a way to avoid the diamond hook?

If east is 2=6=2=3, with the club Ace, then you, having won the second trump in dummy, lead a club.

If east rises with the ace, you can later pitch a diamond from dummy, thus avoiding the finesse. So east has to duck if he has the Ace. If he doesn’t…if west wins that card then, u less east was feeling really aggressive there’s a decent chance the diamond queen is onside.

So your club King wins. Now what? If diamonds are 3=3 with the queen onside, you can make the rest of the tricks….you hook the diamond and end up pitching dummy’s club queen away. But now that you deduce that east has the club ace, the diamond hook (already not a percentage winner) becomes even less likely to win. Anyway, you want to make sure that you take the best line for 12 tricks….going down in this thin slam, at mps, costs far more than you gain by making an overtrick.

What if east is 2=6=2=3 or even 2=6=1=4? Are those holdings more likely than 2=6=3=2? Given that we are missing 8 clubs and only 6 diamonds, east rates to have more clubs than diamonds.

So you play a diamond to the King. Cash the heart Ace to pitch a club, then ruff dummy’s last heart. Cash the diamond Ace…once in a while the queen drops doubleton…then exit the club.

East wins and…….either cashes the diamond Queen, having held xx QJ10xxx Qxx Ax, or has to give you a ruff and a stuff, allowing you to make….of course any three diamonds beats you but when it’s not your day, they add insults to injury by showing you that the contract was cold on the lie of the cards😀
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#2 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2022-November-04, 22:27

Damn - I thought of hobsoning West with the ace of clubs, but didn't think of hobsoning east.
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#3 User is offline   dokoko 

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Posted 2022-November-06, 07:04

If you judge East is favorite to hold A, I think your line is far better than the diamond finesse.

You lose if East has exactly 2 clubs and 3 diamonds and win against all other distributions.

Assuming East to hold the A there are 715 possible hands:

4 diamonds and no small club: 15 hands (10 with Q)
3 diamonds and one small club: 140 hands (70 with Q)
2 diamonds and 2 small clubs: 315 hands (105 with Q)
one diamond and 3 small clubs: 210 hands (35 with Q)
no diamond and 4 small clubs: 35 hands (none with Q)

So you win on 575 out of 715 hands by eliminating instead of 220 hands by finessing.

If East would normally open 2 on QJTxxx even without a side honor, I would try for West to hold A by leading clubs up to dummy and then eliminate. If East would need either Q or A to qualify for his 2 opener, I would play as Mike suggested, finessing against East when A is in West.
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