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

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.