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USBC QF Segment 1 - ATB: Defense at trick one

I didn't want to make this an ATB but I kept getting an error message when I tried to create an article so here it goes.

In what follows the text in italics is commentary from vugraph on BBO. 

It is board 6 and things don't start well:

Vugraphzfj: Bramley: "I have 12 cards."

Vugraphzfj: Levin: "I had 14"

Vugraphzfj: Levin: "I had 14, and I don't remember them, but I looked, for sure."

Vugraphzfj: Director in the room. Going to 7 now

After board 7 is played we are back.

Vugraphzfj: A bit interesting that they're playing the same board 6, as Levin did look at his hand earlier

Vugraphzfj: Directors (and players) taking him at his word that he didn't remember the cards

Now for the problem.

Weinstein
Bramley
6
KQ106
108654
Q84
Levin
QJ92
J932
9
AJ32
Hamman
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
X
XX
3
5
P
P
P
D
6
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
Q
3
5
1
1
0
4
9
A
J
3
2
0
2

The opening lead is the 7, which is 3/5 but may be top of nothing if xxx especially if you have raised partner's suit.

Declarer smooothly plays Q and it is your turn.

So you know that partner has

  • doubleton because XX was support (see alert)
  • 5 or 6-card suit because of 3 (don't think he can have 4 and he would probably have bid more with 7)
  • most likely 2 or 4-card suit from the lead - either Kx7y or 7y, where x is 10 or 9 and y is 6 or 5

Unless declarer has done something strange he has a balanced hand too good for 1NT (15-17) and not good enough for 2NT (19++-21).

After about 5 minutes East played the 3.  Declarer led 4 to his A and claimed 11 tricks when partner followed with the J.  The full hand was:

Weinstein
108753
87
KJ
K1076
Bramley
6
KQ106
108654
Q84
Levin
QJ92
J932
9
AJ32
Hamman
AK4
A54
AQ732
95
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
X
XX
3
5
P
P
P
D
6
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
Q
3
5
1
1
0
4
9
A
J
3
2
0
2

If you look at this session in the BBO Vugraph Archives there is more commentary about this hand on later boards.  Many spectators were suggesting that East made a nullo play but the commentators reminded them that when a world class player thinks for 5 minutes and makes a mistake then maybe he thought of something that you didn't consider.

The real purpose of this article was to give credit to Bob Hamman for playing the Q and giving Bobby Levin the chance to get it wrong.

100% to East
100% to West (only kidding but if partner leads either major then declarer can't give you this problem)
None to either East or West but full credit to South for play at trick one
If you didn't want to make it an ATB then I won't vote

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