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Winning At Wilcox
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The Silicon Valley Sectional was held this weekend at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California, a few miles from my house.  The two session pairs on Saturday attracted a lot of local talent (28 tables).

I played with junior internationalist Michael Xu; we had a 53% afternoon and a 63% evening to win the event (the runners up were 20% of a board behind us).  Here are three interesting hands from the evening.

West
North
82
10963
1043
AK73
East
South
AKQ10643
A4
82
96
W
N
E
S
3
P
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
3
K
2
2
0
1
A
8
5
4
2
0
2
Q
A
K
3
3
1
2
3

East obviously has a doubleton diamond.  You have 10 tricks (assuming LHO doesn't have all four spades), any chance for 11?

West
97
K
QJ9765
Q1054
North
82
10963
1043
AK73
East
J5
QJ8752
AK
J82
South
AKQ10643
A4
82
96
W
N
E
S
3
P
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
3
K
2
2
0
1
A
8
5
4
2
0
2
Q
A
K
3
3
1
2
A
7
2
5
3
2
2
K
9
8
J
3
3
2
Q
6
6
2
3
4
2
10
7
3
5
3
5
2
6
9
9
7
3
6
2
4
4
10
8
3
7
2
3
5
10
2
3
8
2
6
10
A
8
1
9
2
K
J
9
Q
1
10
2
7
J
4
J
1
11
2
N/S +450
13

Your diamond ten is a threat against West, and both opponents probably stop clubs.  Your heart ten looks like a threat against East -- but actually it's not, as East will discard after dummy.  You need the heart 4 as a threat for the double squeeze to work.  Fortunately the trick 3 play makes that a good possibility.  I ran the spades, keeping an eye out for the jack of diamonds and all the hearts.  Dummy's 7 of clubs was a winner at trick 13.

+450 was worth 89% of the matchpoints.

(An interesting wrinkle at Li-Chung Chen's table:  He held my hand and RHO opened 2.  Li-Chung bid 3N!  I'm not sure if this is right, but I like it, and Li-Chung was rewarded with 72% of the matchpoints for +430.)

Our next hand is another installment in the long-running series, "what is that idiot doing"?

West
J84
1092
K53
J1042
North
K96
AKQ63
Q2
863
East
South
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
3
7
K
3
1
0
2
4
K
Q
1
2
0
6
3
A
8
3
3
0
J
10
3
8
3
4
0
5
9
A
4
1
5
0
K
7
5
2
1
6
0
Q
A
6
J
0
6
1
7

(2 was an artificial game force.  You play upside down carding).

What on earth is partner doing?  What do you play?

West
J84
1092
K53
J1042
North
K96
AKQ63
Q2
863
East
Q3
874
J984
AQ97
South
A10752
J5
A1076
K5
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
3
7
K
3
1
0
2
4
K
Q
1
2
0
6
3
A
8
3
3
0
J
10
3
8
3
4
0
5
9
A
4
1
5
0
K
7
5
2
1
6
0
Q
A
6
J
0
6
1
7

What partner -- me -- was doing was not seeing the ace of clubs in his hand!  I encouraged on the club lead and wondered why Steve Chen, a very good player, was winning the king of clubs when the textbook play with AK was the ace.  A few tricks later I found my ace and figured I'd better pitch it to let Michael know the layout of the suit.

God only knows what poor Michael made of this, but he did well to exit passively with a club and score his king of diamonds at the end.  Par is for my hand to win trick one and switch to a diamond for -420, but -450 was just a half matchpoint below average.

Another defensive problem.  More diamonds, or a switch?

 

West
93
K742
A10965
98
North
654
AJ653
2
QJ102
East
South
W
N
E
S
P
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
2
K
4
2
0
1
7
Q
A
3
0
0
2
2

Our opponent (quite a good player) held this hand.  He reasonably placed Michael, the declarer, with J8 of diamonds and switched to a heart.  This was not a success looking at all four hands:

West
93
K742
A10965
98
North
654
AJ653
2
QJ102
East
Q873
98
KJ873
63
South
AKJ10
Q10
Q4
AK754
W
N
E
S
P
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
2
K
4
2
0
1
7
Q
A
3
0
0
2
2

The same thing happened at another table with an expert defender!  What is going on?  How can Qx opposite stiff be a stopper?

The answer lies in a BOLS bridge tip by Jose Le Dentu, Tip For the Pip (http://www.haroldschogger.com/ledentu.htm).  When partner leads into your 5-card suit at notrump, and dummy has a singleton, return your smallest card.

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