Join Bridge Winners
Complex Hand
(Page of 7)

In a quarter-final match in the Senior trials for USA2, a lead-directing double gives you an interesting problem.

Both vul, North deals. As South, you hold:

South
KQ874
J6
4
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
?

1NT: 14-16

2: Transfer

RDBL: 3+ spades, desire not to declare

Your call?

 

South
KQ874
J6
4
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
?

Even though you might be off the first four tricks, you have to get to game. There is no way you can find out if partner has the right cards or not, and you can't sensibly bring him into the loop. Bidding 3 won't accomplish what you would need to do. You can't afford to miss a vulnerable game with this hand opposite a 14-16 1NT opening.

Partner has spade support, so you certainly belong in spades. Partner doesn't want to declare, so he doesn't have a heart card. You don't either. But West doesn't know that. If you bid 4 and West doesn't have a good heart holding to lead from, he may lead something else. You hold the jack of hearts, which decreases the chances that West has a great heart holding.

You bid 4, ending the auction.

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P

West leads the 8. Standard leads and carding.

North
AJ62
1083
AKQ3
54
South
KQ874
J6
4
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P

How do you start?

 

North
AJ62
1083
AKQ3
54
South
KQ874
J6
4
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P

Whatever else you are going to do, it is clear to grab this opportunity to discard your losing hearts. After this you will have a good chance to take 10 tricks.

You cash your diamonds, discarding 2 hearts. West follows with the 5 and the 6. East plays 2, 7, and 10.

What do you do next?

North
AJ62
1083
3
54
South
KQ874
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P

You have 3 tricks in. Even if the ace of clubs is offside, you should have a good chance to score 7 trump tricks or 6 trump tricks and a long club. If the trumps are 2-2, 7 trump tricks are easy simply by drawing trump. If the trumps are 3-1, this could leave you a trick short.

It is clearly right to attack clubs without drawing as much as one round of trumps. If you play a round of trumps before leading clubs and the black suits are bad, the defense will be able to draw two additional rounds of trump. If that happens, a 4-2 club split with the ace offside will leave you with only 9 winners.

You lead a club to the ten, king, and ace. West leads the ace of hearts (4 by East), and you ruff. Now what?

 

North
AJ62
108
3
5
South
KQ87
8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P

This is a complex hand. It is clearly wrong to now draw 2 rounds of trump, as the defense could get in and defeat the contract with a third round. It might be right to play a club immediately. Or it might be right to draw one round of trump before playing a club. If you draw one round which hand should play the honor?

You can afford to lose a trump trick along the way. The key is to make sure you take 6 of the last 8 tricks.

The biggest danger is that East can win the second round of clubs, lead a diamond, and West can overruff. The diamond carding says that isn't likely, but the enemy carding in diamonds doesn't have to be honest.

Suppose you take no trumps before you lead a club. East wins, and returns a diamond. Ruff and overruff is the worst case, since if you aren't overruffed you can ruff 2 clubs high, one heart low, and that is 10 tricks. West returns a heart. You ruff, ruff a club high, spade to hand, ruff a club high, and draw trumps with your last club a winner. This fails only when West has stiff 9 or 10, but if that is the case you go down even if clubs are 3-3, giving West 1-5-3-4 or 1-6-3-3 shape.

Suppose you play a high trump from your hand, and lead a club. Again, worst case is when East leads a diamond and you get overruffed. West forces you with a heart. Now you don't have the control to ruff 2 clubs high and set up the long club, so you have to ruff a club low. This loses when East's shape is 2-4-5-2 (embarrassing to go down when the trumps are 2-2) unless somebody has 109 doubleton of spades. It would mean that West had doubled 2 on a 4-card heart suit, which is possible but not likely.

Suppose you play a high trump from dummy (everybody following), and play a club. Now you can ruff a diamond return high, and ruff a club low. Then:

If East overruffs and returns a heart, you can ruff small, ruff a club high, and draw trumps and claim.

If East overruffs and returns a diamond, you can pitch a club, ruff small in dummy, and crossruff.

If East can't or doesn't overruff, you have 10 tricks on a crossruff.

The high trump from dummy line looks best. It fails only when East has 4 trumps and a doubleton club, which looks less likely than the other losing cases.

You choose to play the queen of spades from your hand. Both opponents follow small. You then exit with a club. East overtakes West's jack of clubs with the queen, and leads the 10. What do you do?

 

North
AJ6
108
3
South
K87
632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P

Winning this in dummy isn't 100% safe. If East started with 3 spades and a doubleton club he will be able to overruff dummy, and you will be a trick short. However, you do have a 100% line. Win the spade in your hand. If West follows, claim. Otherwise, you ruff a club high, ruff a heart, ruff a club high, and lead a red card off dummy to score your last trump en passant for 10 tricks.

You win the king of spades, ruff a club high, and crossruff as described, making 10 tricks. The full hand is:

West
5
AQ752
J9865
AJ
North
AJ62
1083
AKQ3
54
East
1093
K94
1072
Q1097
South
KQ874
J6
4
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
A
7
4
1
1
0
K
2
6
5
1
2
0
Q
10
J
6
1
3
0
4
10
K
A
0
3
1
A
3
4
4
3
4
1
Q
5
2
3
3
5
1
8
J
5
Q
2
5
2
10
K
5
6
3
6
2
2
2
J
7
1
7
2
8
9
7
7
3
8
2
3
9
A
9
1
9
2
10
12

The cards were friendly enough so any reasonable line would have succeeded.

Do you think West should have found the winning heart lead?

West
5
AQ752
J9865
AJ
North
AJ62
1083
AKQ3
54
East
1093
K94
1072
Q1097
South
KQ874
J6
4
K8632
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
XX
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
A
7
4
1
1
0
K
2
6
5
1
2
0
Q
10
J
6
1
3
0
4
10
K
A
0
3
1
A
3
4
4
3
4
1
Q
5
2
3
3
5
1
8
J
5
Q
2
5
2
10
K
5
6
3
6
2
2
2
J
7
1
7
2
8
9
7
7
3
8
2
3
9
A
9
1
9
2
10
12

It is pretty difficult. West is looking at 12 HCP, so he knows his partner can't have much. North is known from the auction to not have the king of hearts, so South is a favorite to hold that card. There is nothing in the auction which indicates that heart tricks will be running away.

At the other table, West overcalled 2 after 1-P-1. East raised, and West found the heart lead against 4 to defeat the contract a trick.

While it is certainly reasonable to play the redouble of a doubled transfer as business, that treatment is less likely to be successful than the redouble of a doubled Stayman bid since responder is likely to be more distributional and less likely to have the strength needed to make a business redouble profitable. As this deal illustrates, using the redouble to show support and get the hand played from responder's side can be quite successful.

Several years ago Fred and I had an accident on this sequence when the meaning of the redouble was forgotten and 2 redoubled was not a success. It took some time, but we got those IMPs back on this hand.

49 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top