Gryphons II -- Hand writeup -- August 11, 2001 Jim Plank A flawed writeup, for two reasons. First, since I didn't go to last saturday's game, and I don't have the hand records, I'm writing about a hand from friday (8/17). Second, since Kevin's out of town, you don't get his commentary. But here's a neat hand. You're west, non vulnerable, and pick up a stellar hand: S AK763 H A D KTxx C KQx Even better, partner opens 1H. 1S by you and partner raises to 2S. I went straight to 4N, and partner bid 5H, showing the two missing aces, but no queen of spades. That was enough for me -- 7S is out of the question because of the QS -- Even if partner has JT9x, our chances of bringing in the spade suit with no loser is under 60%. I thought briefly about 6n, but I can only count 10 tricks (4 spades, 3 clubs, 2 diamonds and a heart). If partner has the HK, that's 11, but partner could easily open with those 11 points. No reason to tempt fate -- I bid 6S. A club is led, and partner tables a gold mine: S T854 H KQxxxx D Ax C A S AK763 H A D KTxx C KQx My first thoughts are negative -- 6n and 6s are making the same number of tricks, so we're going to lose to the 6n bidders. This is looking like a quick claimer. The only concern is a 4-0 spade split. If RHO has it, I can bring the contract home by leading low from the dummy, and just covering RHO's card. So I take the CA, lead a low spade, and there's no need for a safety play, because RHO discards a club. Ugh. In case you're wondering, a 4-0 split with LHO having the spades is a 4.8% probability. Even worse, 6N still has a chance if hearts split 3-3, or if they don't start with a club (if they start with a club and hearts split 4-2, you don't have enough entries to flush out the heart loser and run the last hearts). However, what makes the hand interesting is that you shouldn't give up -- you can still make the hand if LHO has the right distribution. I tried to play her to be 4333, which she was, but I couldn't get it right, and lost two spade tricks. As it turns out, you can't make it if LHO is 4333. However, if LHO is 4423, you can, so that's how you should play it. Think about it before going on. Suppose these are the cards: S T854 H KQxxxx D Ax C A S QJ92 S - H Jxxx H xx D xx D QJxxx C xxx C Jxxxxx S AK763 H A D KTxx C KQx After finding out the bad news about the spades, you win trick #2 with the ace of spades and strip LHO of exit cards -- you play the KC of clubs (throwing two hearts from dummy), the KD and AH, then a diamond to dummy. Then you win the KH and QH, throwing your two last diamonds, and ruff dummy's last heart. Here's the position: S T85 H - D - C - S QJ9 S - H - H - D - D who C - C cares S K76 H - D - C - Lead a low spade, and LHO is endplayed. She'll have to win the SJ, and now either return sets up your ST in dummy. Unfortunately, with LHO is 4333, you're done after leading the first spade. You could make if you had the DQ. But to strip LHO, you have to ruff a diamond in dummy, and that means that the end position would be: S T8 H x D - C - S QJ9 S - H - H - D - D who C - C cares S K76 H - D - C - Now when LHO wins the SJ, the SQ will squash the ST, and LHO's S9 holds up as the setting trick. You can make it double dummy if you don't draw the first round of trump, but that, of course, is insanity. As always, the scores were all over the place: 1 - 1520 -- Ann Donnell and Helen Kirby bid the ice cold 7n (since hearts are 3-3) 2 - 1020 -- Two pairs in 6n+7 1 - 1010 -- One pair ended up in 6H, and made 7. 1 - 460 -- 3N plus 5 (losing two spades, I guess) 3 - -50 -- My compatriots 3 - -100 -- Either 7s down two, or 6S doubled, down one 1 - -300 -- 7s, treated to the red card and set two.