Five hands from Gryphons II -- July 21, 2001 Jim Plank, with commentary by Kevin Wilson Ok -- I'm at an all day meeting with my laptop, and bored stiff, so you get the voluminous results. Enjoy! ---------------------------------- Board: 2 Dealer: E Vul: N-S S 97642 H T D Q9874 C T6 S QJT8 S AK H Q832 H K974 D A62 D J3 C 97 C AQJ43 S 53 H AJ65 D KT5 C K852 Board 2 was interesting. Here's a likely bidding sequence: 1c p 1h 1n (sandwich notrump for the unbids) 4h p p p Regardless, 4H is a likely contract. Double-dummy, the hand is cold -- you can always hold your losers to one heart, one diamond and one club (ruffing one diamond). However, without seeing the N/S hands, you can try for trick #10 in two ways: - Play trump for one loser, and if you get two losers, pray that the CK is onside. With trumps being 3-2, you can play for one loser by figuring out who has Ax of hearts, playing one heart through them, and ducking the second heart. If trumps are 4-1 with one opponent having the stiff jack or ten, then you can squash it at trick one and then lead through the other's jack or ten later. - Play off the ace and king of spades, then cross to hand and throw a diamond on a spade -- now you can lose two hearts and the club finesse. It seems clear to me that line 2 is better, however after a diamond lead, the entries to your hand become an issue. The best chance is to lead a heart to the queen, which works very well if south flies with the ace in order to lead diamonds. However, if south is patient and ducks the first heart, then south can ruff the third spade, and still gets the ace and jack or hearts, plus the CK for down one. It's possible too that south can draw trump and win some diamonds too. I think I would have been in trouble after a diamond lead. Kevin: I just have a couple of thoughts to add. First, if north does bid a sandwich notrump, then the heart finesse is more likely to succeed since declarer will know more about north's distribution. Second, I'm unconvinced that 4H is cold even after a diamond lead. It seems repeated diamonds leads will tap dummy once and later declarer will be one entry short to his hand to draw trumps and cash spades. I believe you're right -- south's 85 of clubs holds up for the setting trick, even if he gets endplayed with the king of clubs. Here are the scores: 1: +430 2: +420 1: -50 2: -100 1: -150 2: -200 3N may well make, so long as declarer holds up on diamonds. South has some endplay issues once his spades and diamonds are gone. I would bet that 4H made on a spade or heart lead, or perhaps with south flying with the AH in order to cash a diamond winner. ---------------------------------- Board: 6 Dealer: E Vul: E-W Board six was one of the ones with varying scores. I would imagine the bidding at all tables went either 1n-3n, or 1n-2c-2h-3n. You are south, on lead. What do you lead under either auction? S T742 H 8 D QT52 C AJ87 I'm guessing against 1n-3n, I'd lead my stiff heart, and against the stayman auction, I'd lead the D2, although I'd still consider the heart, since partner is very likely to have five hearts (opener could have started with five). Against the heart lead in the Stayman auction is the fact that declarer's hearts are sitting behind partner's. I wouldn't lead the C7, since that would be disastrous if partner held something like QTx or even Q9x. Kevin: I wouldn't lead my stiff heart because I couldn't continue the suit later on when I win my ace of clubs. I might lead my stiff if I had several fewer HCP. Now, switch to the north hand. Partner leads the D2, and here is your hand behind the dummy: S K5 H J9643 D J43 C Q43 S QJ98 H A52 D K97 C 962 Low, jack, ace. Nice lead, pard.... Heart to the ace (partner playing his stiff 8 -- now we're glad partner didn't lead it) and the SQ off the dummy. Do you cover? The answer is an emphatic no. Why? Give declarer Axx. If you cover, declarer will take the ace and then finesse twice against partner's ten to get all four tricks in the suit. Moreover, declarer now has three entries to dummy (the two spade finesses and the DK). If you do not cover, then declarer has to know you have Kx of spades and play a low one in order to pick up the suit. Chances are that declarer will repeat the finesse and lead the SJ, and now if partner has the ten, he'll get it, and declarer's entries to the dummy will have been reduced to one. Here are all four hands: S K5 H J9643 D J43 C Q43 S QJ98 S A63 H A52 H KQT7 D K97 D A86 C 962 C KT5 S T742 H 8 D QT52 C AJ87 Double-dummy, E/W can make 630 on a diamond lead, and 660 on a club lead. However, if north holds up on the first spade and declarer continues with the SJ, then a club lead will hold it to 600. Suppose south leads a diamond and the play goes as follows: Heart to the ace. SQ, holding the trick, and SJ, king, ace. Now declarer flushes out the ST, and south plays the DQ. Declarer may hold up once, or not, but eventually takes the DK on the board and cashes the last spade. That's 6 tricks in, and the KQ of hearts make 8. Where's the last trick coming from? There are three possiblilites: hearts are 3-3, the HJ is finessable, or north has the CA and no more diamonds. The drag is that there are no more entries to the dummy, so declarer has to commit himself or herself at this trick. I'm gussing some played for the heart split and went down. The pity is that had declarer cashed the KH before flushing out the ST, then the contract is impenetrable, since the heart break is revealed. No wonder scores were all over the place: 1 - +690 -- Ted and Carolyn received some form of giftage for their top. 2 - +660 2 - +630 2 - +600 2 - -100 One final question about this hand -- suppose you're declarer and your SQ holds the trick. Is it best to lead the jack or lead low? Here are the spades: QJ98 Axx Since the SK appears to be onside, you should get three tricks in the suit. What's your best chance for four? If spades are 3-3, then you're never getting four tricks. If north has Kx, then you can get four tricks by playing low, and if south has Tx, then you can get four tricks by playing the jack and squashing the ten. Or is that right? If north has Kxxx of spades, then if he ducks the second round, you'll still only get three spade tricks. And if he has Kxxx, you'll only get two spades by playing a low one at trick two. So, here's the breakdown, by north's holding: Play low Play the SJ Kx 4 tricks 3 tricks Kxx 3 tricks 3 tricks KTx 3 tricks 3 tricks Kxxx 2 tricks 3 tricks (maybe 4 if north makes a mistake by covering). KTxx 3 tricks 3 tricks (Kevin: Jim - this is wrong -- if you lead low the 2nd time and the guy has KTxx, you will only get 2 tricks.) He's right: KTxx 2 tricks 3 tricks Looks like it's anyone's guess. If you figure that many norths will panic and cover the SQ on round one with Kx, then your right play is to give up on 4 tricks and ensure three with the SJ. Kevin: Its definitely right to duck the first spade. ---------------------------------- Board: 22 Dealer: E Vul: E-W Board 22 was the craziest hand, scoring-wise. I'm guessing that the bidding went skyward rapidly, probably something like 1h, 2s, 3c, 4s, 5c/6c, or 1h, p, 2c, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5c, 5s, 6c, 6s, X. S AQJ32 H KT2 D J92 C T8 S K4 S H 9 H AQJ64 D AQ75 D KT86 C AJ9763 C K542 S T98765 H 8753 D 43 C Q Hard to say. Given the vulnerability, I'd probably chance 2s over 1h as south, but as north, I wouldn't go higher than 4s -- my hand has too much defense. Everything else is just a guess. Of course, 7C is cold, (as is 6n played by west) and were north/south quiet throughout the auction, I think it would be findable. 6S doubled is actually a good sacrifice, since you should be able to hold it to down five (losing three hearts, two diamonds and a club), but two pairs went for 1400. I'm guessing that declarer played spades to break evenly. The question is -- is that the right play? My gut feeling is that given the bidding, and the fact that you know west has a stiff heart, the probability is probably greater that west has Kx of spades rather than the stiff 4 with east having the stiff king. Maybe west is 1156, but I'm guessing that with the stiff king, east would be less likely to be trooping toward that slam that you're sacrificing against. Kevin: Actually, 2 pairs sacrificed against the grand slam. ---------------------------------- Board: 8 Dealer: W Vul: None S KQ94 H A543 D KQ9 C J5 S A87 S JT5 H 76 H KQJ98 D 54 D 8763 C 987642 C 3 S 632 H T2 D AJT2 C AKQT This hand should be completely flat -- The bidding goes 1n-3n, and east leads a the KH. South holds up one round and then cashes eight more tricks, and leads a spade. West cashes two clubs and that's it. Granted, it can make 5 double-dummy (hold up one round of hearts and then lead spades from dummy), but no way would a sane south risk his contract and bank on east having the SA. How on earh is it that this is the scoring? 4: +430 4: +400 1: -50 Your guess is as good as mine. Did some easts lead a spade instead of a heart? Then it should be +5! Kevin: I think some West's pitched one club. The minus 50 is a good lesson on why holding up can be so beneficial. ---------------------------------- Board: 12 Dealer: W Vul: N-S S Q962 H T9 D 9743 C 652 S S KT753 H Q87 H AK6 D KQ852 D A6 C KT943 C A87 S AJ84 H J5432 D JT C QJ Can you find 6C? Maybe. 1d-1s-2c-2h-3c-4c-5d (one key card and a void) -6c. 6n makes on a spade lead if you throw diamonds on the spades. One pair (Ted & Carolyn) found 6C. The rest were in 3n making anywhere from four to seven! For shame for north to discard a diamond! Kevin: If partner is at least 5-5 for his 3C bid, then I have enough for a slam.