Two hands from Gryphons II -- August 25, 2001
             Jim Plank, with commentary by Kevin Wilson

Here are a few hands that topped the standard deviation ordering
for saturday.  Tops was hand #15.  This is one of those
competitive auctions where each hand has some decisions,
although I don't think I would have had too much of a hard time
with any of the hands.  

Board: 15   Dealer: S    Vul: N-S

South has a rule-of-20 1s opener.

         S AQ87643
         H A982
         D 9
         C 6

West holds a fistful of clubs, and I think has a nice 2c bid:

H KJ75
D 4

North seems to me to have enough to get into the auction at 2d.

         S 2
         H T4
         D KQJ853
         C K743

The only drawback to 2d is that it should be forcing for one
round, and south may not have a very good rebid.  Still, it's
a nice hand.  If south has some diamond support, he'll be in
a good ruffing position for clubs.

Kevin: Anybody who doesn't believe the south hand deserves a one
     spade opener should open 3 spades.  I myself would consider
     this bid at IMPs -- red vs. white in 1st position, but
     being matchpoints, I would also open 1S. The 2C bid seems
     clear, but to me 2D isn't nearly as clear... I would pass
     because I probably have a useless hand for spades or hearts
     and that is my partner's next likely reopening bid.  If he
     doubles then I can jump to 3D and will have described this
     hand fairly well.

     I find it hard to believe anyone will sell out for less
     then 3S with the south hand.

Now east has an interesting hand:

                S KJ95
                H Q63
                D AT762
                C 8

I'm passing.  There have been three strong bids and I have a
ten-count.  I'm guessing that everyone has been stretching for
their bids.  It looks like we have misfits around the table, and
I have both of the opponents' suits under control. 

South will bid 2s, and I think white on red, west will compete
to three clubs.  I guess east should consider 3n, but I think
entries will be an issue, so I'd pass, and I think south will
bid 3s.  North can't possibly have 4 hearts, so there's no sense
in bidding hearts.  Now east can bring out the red card, and the
fun begins.  First, what do you lead as west?  Your stiff
diamond, or the ST?  Kevin? 

I'd start with the ST, since it has such nice promotional value.
Partner should know what he's doing, and a spade lead may kill a
quick ruff in the dummy.  

Kevin: I wouldn't lead my stiff diamond if dummy bid them.  If
       not, its close - either one could be right but to keep
       partnership confidence I would probably lead a trump.
       Against doubled partscores lead trumps!!!

Here are all four hands:

         S 2
         H T4
         D KQJ853
         C K743

S T             S KJ95
H KJ75          H Q63
D 4             D AT762
C AQJT952       C 8

         S AQ87643
         H A982
         D 9
         C 6

After a spade lead, and proper defense (certainly it's not hard
for west to count out the club suit, or for east to count out
the diamonds).  E/W should get two spades, a club, a diamond and
three hearts for down three, and 800 to E/W for their troubles.
A diamond lead and return shouldn't work better -- south
discards a heart on the diamond, and then goes ace and out of
hearts when in with the lead.  Any way you look at it, south
should be able to either get a heart pitch on diamonds, engineer
a heart ruff, or force west to lead spades and score the SQ.
That will make three spade losers, one heart loser, a diamond
and a club for down 2.

Kevin: I think that the defenders will have a hard time not
       leading hearts themselves before declarer is forced to.
       6 tricks for the defense... 2 down.

Note, E/W should make three clubs (a heart lead can lead to 4
tricks for N/S. I don't think it can be set).  I imagine some
people tried 3n, which makes on a spade lead, but goes down with
a diamond lead.

The scores:

         1: -1100 - Should we be surprised to see Mike and Brooks  
                    chalking up 1100 as E/W?  Do you think west led 
                    a spade, a diamond, or a club?

         1:  -800 - Joan and Edna wield the red card.

         1:  -430 - 3N E/W making 4

         2:  -400 - 3N making 3

         1:   +50 - Setting clubs or notrump

         2:  +100 - Setting them two

         1:  +150 - Sharon and Elaine get the best score, probably  
                    setting someone three.

Kevin:   I bet both times the contract was 4S X when the big numbers 
         were collected.

Board: 31   Dealer: S    Vul: N-S

Board 31 had some swingage, and I'm not sure why.  South opens
1D and I think west will chime in the 2H. You're north, with a
nice 1n opener.  What do you do?

         S Q743
         H Q952
         D AQ
         C AQ5

I'm doubling to show the 4 spades.  If partner bids something else,
I'll settle in 3n.  If they persist in hearts, I whack them.

Kevin: This seems like an intelligent plan.  Q9xx isn't quite as
       nice as Q10xx would be though.

Pass to partner, and now your turn as south -- your bid:

         S A52
         H JT
         D KJ9732
         C K3

I guess there may be some support for 2s, since you have three
spades, and you can ruff hearts in the short hand.  However,
with six diamonds and no sure eight card fit in spades, I'll bid
3d.  I don't think we're missing a spade game -- if partner has
game-going values, he can bid 3h, and now I'll show my three
spades.  I guess if partner has a minimum with four or five
spades, 2s may be our best spot, but I'd rather feel safe with
my six card diamond suit.  Kevin may disagree.

Kevin: Why lie when 3d describes this hand great?  I think 2s is
       disgusting and is also a gross misrepresentation of my

After 3d, 3n by north is clear cut and cold:

         S Q743
         H Q952
         D AQ
         C AQ5

S 8             S KJT96
H AK7643        H 8
D T6            D 854
C 9862          C JT74

         S A52
         H JT
         D KJ9732
         C K3

4s, which north will bid after a 2s response, is a disaster, and
5d, which will make after the AK of hearts is led, will go down
with the ace of hearts and a low heart (you can't park your
second losing spade anywhere).

The scores:   5: +660 -- Most people were indeed in 3n
              1:  +90 -- I don't see how this score is possible.
              2: -100 -- 6N down one?  Perhaps.  Maybe 5d down one.
              1: -300 -- That's looking like a spade contract.

Kevin: I'm surprised at least one declarer didn't make 12
       tricks.  With the lead of the 8 of H almost every high
       card has been accounted for.  Assuming that W ducks the
       first round (and the fact that he bid 2h instead of just
       1h), then he is marked with no outside entry and after
       running diamonds the club situation will also be made
       clear... it looks at though there is an easy end play
       against E unless he is wise enough not to pitch the 6 of
       spades... It is not unreasonable to play for this exact
       layout either because W is marked with only one spade
       after the diamond and club run.

Hmmm -- that's kind of a big play.  First, west has to duck
heart #1, which is the correct play, but not all wests will do
that.  Then, I'm assuming that Kevin means that north pitches
three hearts and a spade on the run of the diamonds.  If east
pitches three spades, then north makes six by playing the ace
and another spade, and then cashing the his last good spade and
the clubs for the rest of the tricks.

So east will have to pitch at least one club, which means that
north can now cash his three clubs.  That's 10 tricks in, and
the end position will be:

         S Q74

S 8             S KJT
H AK            H 
D               D 
C               C 

         S A52

Now a low spade from hand (north) can be ducked, and N/S will
now get the rest of the tricks because east is endplayed.  The
only way for east to take himself off the endplay is to pitch the
ten and nine of spades, and keep the 6.  

Why do I say this is a big play?  Because of this: are you
willing to risk getting saddled with +4 when west magically
produces the stiff ST or SJ? Certainly if west pitches the S8, 
I think it's a great play, but I don't know if I would have the
temerity to go through with this endplay, even if I could find
it at the table.

The averages and standard deviations:

Board  N/S Avg   Stddev

   15  -303.33   417.90
   31   321.11   389.88
   11   143.33   382.80
    2   -55.56   356.28
   26  -203.33   344.42
    7   270.00   322.63
    4    85.56   316.51
   19  -320.00   307.35
   10    75.56   303.14
   20  -460.00   299.33
   28    60.00   298.55
   32  -213.33   291.43
   18  -154.44   279.61
   29  -453.33   268.74
   16   -74.44   262.56
   13   445.56   261.45
    6   348.89   260.83
   23    50.00   256.04
    1   264.44   234.62
    3   188.89   233.07
    8   110.00   200.55
    9    65.56   188.98
   14    77.78   182.93
   30  -383.33   180.68
   17    50.00   163.50
   22   -15.56   155.14
   24  -287.78   151.42
   33   122.22   145.51
   27    87.78   122.91
   21   -75.56   109.15
   25    74.44    87.06
    5    34.44    76.03
   12  -463.33    26.25