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Striptease!

#1 User is offline   daveharty 

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Posted 2012-April-15, 18:11

This hand comes from last week's game at my local club. It is a step up in complexity from the hand I described in "Psychobabble Smackdown", but it contains such an important (and common) theme that I decided to share it in the N/B forum. The thread title is a less-than-subtle clue about how to approach the hand (and it has nothing to do with disrobing in order to distract the opponents!). Click "Next" to see how the hand begins:



A few notes about the auction are in order. Most of you will probably recognize North's 2D bid as a "transfer", showing 5+ cards in the next higher suit; in this case, hearts. When South bid 3H, he was "super-accepting" the transfer (2H would have been simply "accepting" the transfer, which is what occurs in the majority of cases). This shows four trumps and a maximum 1NT bid. In other words, a very good hand for playing in the transfer suit. This will occasionally get the partnership too high if responder has a really bad hand, but it will also enable the partnership to bid close games that they might otherwise have missed when responder has a borderline hand, as in this case.

How would you tackle this hand as declarer? It looks like the defense is off to a good start; they've taken their spade ace, and attacked your weak suit, diamonds, where there are two losers waiting. Is it simply a matter of hoping that the club queen is with East, in which case a finesse will allow you to avoid any club losers? Or is there a way of improving your chances?

Spoiler


If you want to see the whole hand played out as it was at the table, click here.

I hope you found this theme a little bit challenging, but not frustratingly so. Familiarity with this common type of hand will vastly improve your declarer play, and pave the way for more advanced techniques further down the road.
Revised Bridge Personality: 44 43 33 44

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#2 User is offline   Trumpace 

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Posted 2012-April-15, 22:56

Instructive hand, but shouldn't we win the first round of diamonds rather than the second?
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#3 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 00:31

In addition to what Trumpace asked, don't you think the problem would be a bit better if the north hand has
Spoiler
, so the contract is 100% on the correct line?
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#4 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 01:54

View PostTrumpace, on 2012-April-15, 22:56, said:

Instructive hand, but shouldn't we win the first round of diamonds rather than the second?

The normal reason to win the second in this sort of situation is because you don't want to allow the opponents a free choice of who wins the third, and also because you may not want the critical suit led twice from one particular side. Neither of these are likely to be an issue here (If W has 5 diamonds he's doomed whichever you win).

One reason for winning the first is because if 5 is a singleton, the second one is ruffed removing your exit card, but do you really think KQJ10xx, would not have been led ? (Or bid ?) It's also possible that by winning the first before the defence know there is no trump loser may induce W not to unblock when he should. (QJxx, x, KQx, Q10xxx for example).

This is counterbalanced by the possibility that W thinks you hold AJ9, so if you play the 9, W wins the K and might switch to a club hoping his partner holds that J, but he has a safe spade exit, so this shouldn't happen here, but is more viable if E had returned a spade allowing you to play the diamond.
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#5 User is offline   daveharty 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 06:25

View PostAntrax, on 2012-April-16, 00:31, said:

In addition to what Trumpace asked, don't you think the problem would be a bit better if the north hand has
Spoiler
, so the contract is 100% on the correct line?


This was the actual hand, I didn't want to alter it in any way to make it more "pure". You are right of course, but I also wanted to make the point that even when a hand doesn't have a textbook layout, using the same techniques can give declarer an advantage over simply taking a simple finesse; in this case even a wrong club guess at the end didn't scuttle declarer, as there was no way East could safely break clubs.
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#6 User is offline   daveharty 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 06:35

View PostTrumpace, on 2012-April-15, 22:56, said:

Instructive hand, but shouldn't we win the first round of diamonds rather than the second?

The main reason I ducked the first diamond is that every so often, West will switch to a club. As Cyberyeti says, it's not really plausible that this diamond switch is a singleton.
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#7 User is offline   Trumpace 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 13:13

View PostCyberyeti, on 2012-April-16, 01:54, said:

The normal reason to win the second in this sort of situation is because you don't want to allow the opponents a free choice of who wins the third, and also because you may not want the critical suit led twice from one particular side. Neither of these are likely to be an issue here (If W has 5 diamonds he's doomed whichever you win).

One reason for winning the first is because if 5 is a singleton, the second one is ruffed removing your exit card, but do you really think KQJ10xx, would not have been led ? (Or bid ?) It's also possible that by winning the first before the defence know there is no trump loser may induce W not to unblock when he should. (QJxx, x, KQx, Q10xxx for example).

This is counterbalanced by the possibility that W thinks you hold AJ9, so if you play the 9, W wins the K and might switch to a club hoping his partner holds that J, but he has a safe spade exit, so this shouldn't happen here, but is more viable if E had returned a spade allowing you to play the diamond.



As you noted, it is unlikely that a good LHO will switch to clubs after winning the first D. Where is declarer's club loser going to go?

The point about two club leads from RHO is not relevant, as in your line, after losing the third round of diamonds and RHO leading a club, you are going to play a club yourself and finesse the T/Q.

Yes singleton D is unlikely, but that is not the main reason to win the first diamond.

Your D play matters when LHO holds the QT of clubs (otherwise barring the unlikely singleton D, you take a double finesse after forcing opps to lead clubs).

Now if he holds KJ, QJ or KQ tight of diamonds, you must win the first diamond.

He could also hold the Kx (or KQx as you noted) and fail to unblock on the A.

He might also hold the Qx and RHO might fail to overtake the second round (which is unlikely).

Saying that this is counterbalanced by the chances of an unlikely club shift is an overstatement,IMO.
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#8 User is offline   daveharty 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 13:49

The proper play in the diamond suit is undoubtedly a worthy topic of discussion...in another venue. As I'm sure you know from looking at the full hand, whether you win the first or the second diamond trick makes zero difference with regard to the main theme of the hand (or what I THOUGHT was the main theme at any rate): the advisability of stripping the hand and forcing the defense to break clubs, as opposed to simply taking a finesse. It's true that things are rarely that simple at the table, and hopefully aspiring players will eventually learn to think holistically about the hand, but don't you think it's appropriate to focus on one main idea in the N/B forum? This is probably a low-intermediate theme rather than a beginner topic anyway, but it's so common and widely applicable that I thought I would bring it up. If the N/B readers think it's too advanced, I hope they will say so, and in that case I will try harder to be level-appropriate next time. But as JustADummy has rightly pointed out in the past, what we don't want is for a bunch of more advanced posters to start arguing about things that are, at best, tangential, and at worst, completely unrelated to the main point. That just confuses the issue and discourages N/B posters from participating in the discussion.
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#9 User is offline   Trumpace 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 14:55

View Postdaveharty, on 2012-April-16, 13:49, said:

The proper play in the diamond suit is undoubtedly a worthy topic of discussion...in another venue. As I'm sure you know from looking at the full hand, whether you win the first or the second diamond trick makes zero difference with regard to the main theme of the hand (or what I THOUGHT was the main theme at any rate): the advisability of stripping the hand and forcing the defense to break clubs, as opposed to simply taking a finesse. It's true that things are rarely that simple at the table, and hopefully aspiring players will eventually learn to think holistically about the hand, but don't you think it's appropriate to focus on one main idea in the N/B forum? This is probably a low-intermediate theme rather than a beginner topic anyway, but it's so common and widely applicable that I thought I would bring it up. If the N/B readers think it's too advanced, I hope they will say so, and in that case I will try harder to be level-appropriate next time. But as JustADummy has rightly pointed out in the past, what we don't want is for a bunch of more advanced posters to start arguing about things that are, at best, tangential, and at worst, completely unrelated to the main point. That just confuses the issue and discourages N/B posters from participating in the discussion.


Well, all I wanted was to have the "best" line to be part of the spoiler. In fact, once you had done that, I would have requested moderators to delete my post(maybe I should have made that clear, I apologize for that). I didn't expect to see any discussion or to have to actually make posts justifying that line! That itself is an indication that this hand (note: the hand, not the theme of the hand) might not be appropriate for the N/B forum.

I agree, tangential topics are to be avoided. That makes it important that the hands posted here are to the point, and made up so as to try and prevent such discussions (for instance, in this case, make the contract 5H, add DK and CT). Sometimes it is unavoidable, inefficient or just plain difficult to try and modify the hands in such a manner, but in that case you can always say this is the main theme of the hand, and there are other possibilities which we would not want to discuss in the N/B forum etc. Fortunately for N/B hands, this is less likely to be an issue. I hope you agree that the proposed solution ought to be "complete" (or at least mention that it does not consider some issues) in order not to confuse/mislead the N/B readers.

If there is some mistake/incompleteness in the proposed solution, there will be some discussion. That should be expected. You just cannot say, this is N/B forum, please stop the discussion. That is not the solution, IMO. We ought to put in more effort in constructing the hands to avoid such discussions in the first place (or preempt such discussions by specifically addressing the more advanced posters in the first post).

Note: I am not trying to discourage you. You have done a great job!
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#10 User is offline   dwar0123 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 16:36

View PostAntrax, on 2012-April-16, 00:31, said:

In addition to what Trumpace asked, don't you think the problem would be a bit better if the north hand has
Spoiler
, so the contract is 100% on the correct line?

I actually think it is better to show examples like this because they are very common. You shouldn't just play this way when it is 100% sure to work :)
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#11 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 17:48

Good hand Dave.
Hi y'all!

Winner - BBO Challenge bracket #6 - February, 2017.
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