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Common Game 2019-01-21 Board 13
West
J3
J109542
AQ62
8
North
A109
876
J84
A1063
East
K842
AK3
109
KJ95
South
Q765
Q
K753
Q742
D
13
West
North
East
South
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Analysis by David Loeb

The Bidding: At tables where East-West play a 15-17 HCP 1NT range, East opens 1. After West responds 1, East shows their spade suit. West has a choice between advertising a less than invitational hand with long hearts or an invitational hand with 4 hearts. West's 8 HCP suggest not inviting game. West has far more trick taking potential than an average 8 HCP hand. West heart length and texture are likely to provide 4 tricks opposite 2 small. West's AQ combination is better than an isolated Ace and isolated Queen. West's Jack may have value in support of East's spades. West's 12 Suport Points are somewhat inflated by West's singleton club. Ruffs in the long hand don't provide extra tricks. East opened 1. It isn't clear shortness in clubs is valuable. West's heart length and texture merit an upgrade. Inviting game with a jump to 3 seems best. East's Losing Trick Count of 7 suggests declining the invitation. East's 15 Support Points suggest bidding game. With AK3 and good texture, bidding 4 seems best.

At tables where East-West play a 14-16 HCP 1NT range, West has greater assurance of a heart fit. West uses a Jacoby Transfer to transfer to hearts. West's 3 rebid shows 6+ hearts and invitational values. East's 15 Support Points are towards the lower end of the rage. East's heart fit and texture suggest bidding game. Ace and King tend to be under valued using the traditional point count. Bidding 4 seems best.

The Play: With a 9-card heart fit, the "8 Ever, 9 Never" adage suggests attempting to drop the Queen. Here, declarer wants to ruff diamond at least 1 diamond in the short hand. So playing for the drop is clear. Declarer has 2 quick loser in the black suits. To mitigate chances of losing 2 spade tricks, declarer will take a lobbing finesse towards the King. If West is dummy, it is easy to rise with the Ace. If East is dummy, it is more difficult. declarer could have a singleton. They could have 2 small and be looking for help with a guess. A Count Signal in diamonds will help North rise with the Ace. On the auction West will have 6+ hearts. When South signals an even count in diamonds, North knows declarer has 2 or 4 diamonds. Why is declarer playing on diamonds before drawing trump? Declarer is planning to ruff a diamond. So declarer has 4 diamonds. That leaves declarer with at most 3 cards in the black suits. North infers declarer has a singleton club and rises with the Ace. If North ducks their Ace, they will never score it. Declarer is fortunate all the side suit Kings are well placed. With the Queen falling, declarer has 11 tricks. 1 + 6 + 2 + 1 ruff + 1.

Analysis by Lynn Berg

East opens 1 and West responds 1. Over East's 1 rebid, West rebids 2. That will buy the hand most of the time. But how well it plays when the Q drops (declarer cashed the A before trying the finesse).

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