Join Bridge Winners
Lose GNTs with me
(Page of 9)

During the semis of the GNT B in a 26 board match there were a series of boards I thought were particularly memorable and wanted to share.

Your methods are 2/1, UDCA, 3/low against suits and 4th best against NT.

Early in the match you pass an 11 count that a non insignificant portion of people would open, which you immediately regret when the bidding comes back around.

South
K1072
84
AK5
J872
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
?

Do you make an OBAR bid here? Chances are reasonable that both sides have an 8 card fit and that selling out to 2H might result in a double part score swing, or at worse the chance to push the opponents one level higher. At the same time partner already passed over 1, greatly decreasing the chances of a thin game and greatly increasing the chances of getting punished.

But you are fearless. You place a double on the table. Declarer obliges with a bump to 3H.

Partner leads the K. You lead K from KQ and A from AK. Plan the defense.

East
A93
Q32
10873
643
South
K1072
84
AK5
J872
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
X
3
P
P
P

You can see there is a decision to be made in diamonds so you had better decide now to play in tempo later. If declarer has Q9x or Q9xx, a duck is probably your best play to induce declarer to misguess the diamond suit. But if he has Qx or QJ you will need to rise to avoid giving declarer a free trick. With Qx or QJ declarer might not have been so keen to take the push to 3 immediately.

Declarer wins with the A and plays Q and leads a low diamond up. You play a low diamond and you hold your breath. Declarer plays the Q from his hand, draws trump with the A and K, partner following to the J, and plays the J.

West
North
East
A93
Q32
10873
643
South
K1072
84
AK5
J872
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
X
3
P
P
P
D
10
3 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
2
A
0
0
1
6
5
Q
4
2
0
2
3
5
Q
4
0
0
3
A
7
2
8
0
0
4
K
J
3
2
0
0
5
J
2
7
K
3
1
5
6

You win the K with partner following high low, showing odd count. Now how do you proceed?

It's not relevant when partner has both spade honors, since then either of you can attack the spade suit. What you need to determine from which side a spade must be led. A spade from your side will allow a make if declarer's hand is something like Qx AQxxx QJx Axx. In this case, partner must be the one to lead a spade through. But if declarer has Jxx of spades and partner has the Q and 8, you must be the one to lead the T through declarer, a surrounding play.

You don't see the implications of your spade holding and you try a low club. This is not a success.

The full hand:

West
J65
AK1096
QJ6
A9
North
Q84
J75
942
KQ105
East
A93
Q32
10873
643
South
K1072
84
AK5
J872
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
X
3
P
P
P
D
10
3 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
2
A
0
0
1
6
5
Q
4
2
0
2
3
5
Q
4
0
0
3
A
7
2
8
0
0
4
K
J
3
2
0
0
5
J
2
7
K
3
1
5
7
9
10
4
1
2
5
4
3
K
5
3
3
5
7
6
Q
A
2
3
6
9
10
J
8
0
3
7
10
9
8
8
0
3
8
9
5
10
J
0
3
9
6
Q
6
A
3
4
9
E/W +140
13

This was a cool variation of a surrounding play, the most common example being KJ9 opposite Axx with the Q offside and the T onside. In this example, the J is the honor that's surrounded by the T.

OK you shake off the previous hand. The stakes were small so you figure you won't be losing too much. But then this hand comes along.

Partner's double is looking to penalize at least one minor. Do you want to go for blood?

South
KQJ842
A752
3
A5
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
X
3
?

Unwilling to risk playing 3X with your shape, you bid 3 which partner promptly raises to 4.

Lead is the J. Plan the play.

West
North
A2
Q743
KQ94
1093
East
South
KQJ843
A652
2
A5
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
X
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
3
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
1

If hearts are 3-2 the hand becomes trivial, but the lead gives a pretty good indication hearts are probably breaking 4-1, and you don't have the spots to pick the suit up. You stare at dummy, silently regretting your decision not to go for the penalty. Then inspiration hits you.

The hand can be couped if your read of the position is correct. Win the A and play a diamond up, lefty winning the A. Win the presumable club return in hand with the A. Now a spade to the A, cash two top diamonds, ruff a club, spade K and ruff a good spade, and ruff another club. Then when you play another spade, righty is down to KT9 and must ruff and return a heart in the end.

West
95
J
AJ1075
KJ642
North
A2
Q743
KQ94
1093
East
1076
K1098
863
Q87
South
KQJ843
A652
2
A5
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
X
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
3
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
A
4
3
0
1
1
2
3
Q
A
3
2
1
3
5
A
6
1
3
1
K
6
5
5
1
4
1
Q
8
4
7
1
5
1
10
8
2
4
3
6
1
K
9
2
7
3
7
1
Q
6
4
10
1
8
1
9
7
5
J
3
9
1
J
10
9
9
2
9
2
11

If lefty ducks the A, the hand becomes even simpler. Now you have the tempo to pitch a club on the long spade before the club can be established, losing just three trumps.

West
95
J
AJ1075
KJ642
North
A2
Q743
KQ94
1093
East
1076
K1098
863
Q87
South
KQJ843
A652
2
A5
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
X
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
3
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
5
K
3
1
2
0
4
6
2
7
3
3
0
3
5
A
7
1
4
0
2
6
K
9
3
5
0
Q
2
3
10
3
6
0
J
4
9
9
2
6
1
7
A
6
10
3
7
1
8
10
9
10
2
7
2
8
5
J
4
1
8
2
Q
8
5
J
3
9
2
4
K
7
K
2
9
3
Q
6
A
Q
1
10
3
N/S +420
13

But the hand could also be stripped differently if the suits are arranged differently. He did make a vulnerable overcall after all.

West
9
J
AJ10753
KJ642
North
A2
Q743
KQ94
1093
East
10765
K1098
86
Q87
South
KQJ843
A652
2
A5
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
X
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
3
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
A
4
6
0
1
1
2
3
Q
A
3
2
1
3
9
A
5
1
3
1
K
8
5
3
1
4
1
9
7
2
4
3
5
1
K
5
2
6
3
6
1
4
7
4
7
1
7
1
10
8
5
6
3
8
1
Q
J
9
10
3
9
1
J
10
Q
9
2
9
2
K
6
K
7
2
9
3
10
8
J
Q
1
10
3
N/S +420
13

After winning the K you play the Q. Your RHO ruffs.

West
9
J
AJ10753
KJ642
North
A2
Q743
KQ94
1093
East
10765
K1098
86
Q87
South
KQJ843
A652
2
A5
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
X
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
3
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
A
4
6
0
1
1
3
K
8
5
1
2
1
Q
9
4

 

 

After a simple 1NT-3NT auction you find yourself in yet another dicey situation.

West
North
Q8
A2
A863
Q8743
East
South
A7
KQ5
Q10752
A62
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
7
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
Q
K
7
2
0
1
3
A
2
8
3
1
1
2

After a two rounds of spades, you must decide how to play the diamond suit. Unless spades are 7-2 you must find a way to take all 5 diamond tricks. It seems the only way is to hope lefty has the stiff K of diamonds.

But wait! Your LHO is quietly chuckling to himself. Spades must be 7-2! If you trust your read, is there another way?

At the other table the auction went very differently.

West
North
Q8
A2
A863
Q8743
East
South
A7
KQ5
Q10752
A62
W
N
E
S
1NT
3
3NT
X
P
P
P
D
7
3NTX South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
Q
K
7
2
0
1
3
A
2
8
3
1
1
2

Same sequence of cards as before. Does the auction change your line of play?

There are two ways to play the diamond suit given that spades are 7-2 and that you need 4 diamond tricks. One way is to play a diamond to the A and a diamond back up, guarding against KJ9, KJ4, and KJ94. The other is to run the T, catering to K9 and K4 with the long spade hand. Since we are putting seven spades in LHO's hand, he is a big favorite to have the short diamond.

It's a different story when 3NT is doubled. Although running the T is an inferior line to make the contract, when it is wrong the contract will be down only 1. If RHO has the king doubleton in diamonds, then A and one would result in the defense cashing six spade tricks and a diamond trick for down 3, and an unsightly minus 800.

Both tables ended up playing A and another, and as the cards lay both diamond lines would work.

West
J1096542
J963
94
North
Q8
A2
A863
Q8743
East
K3
10874
KJ
KJ1095
South
A7
KQ5
Q10752
A62
D
1

Congratulations to our opponents, whom thoroughly deserved their win. We wish them best of luck in the finals.

10 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top