Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Stefan Ralescu
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I see, you are looking for a miracle without protecting your base.
Aug. 4, 2015
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“If I lead the queen of diamonds before cashing the queen of hearts, West can't have an accident. He will have an easy heart return. But if I strip out his heart exit, who knows what wrong card he might touch.”

May I point out that the argument works both ways, because if you strip West of his heart exit and then play the queen of diamonds, since West doesn’t have the “easy heart return” available, who knows, maybe he will find the spade return setting you by 3 tricks when East is 4=5=2=2 with the K-9 of clubs. But if you lead the queen of diamonds before cashing the queen of hearts, no matter how the defense reacts you won’t be set more than two tricks.
Aug. 4, 2015
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West led the diamond ace and East played the 3 (upside down). If East is 2=5=4=2 with the jack of diamonds, cashing the queen of hearts and then leading the diamond queen may also cost a trick. Why not lead a low trump to the ten?
In any case, when West is 2=2=5=4, you appear to be down two, but if East started with K-9 of clubs and you cash the queen of hearts before playing the diamond queen, West might switch to a spade subjecting you to a potential uppercut. Say it goes nine, ten and your king and you lead the deuce of trumps to dummy’s ten. East takes the king, cashes his winners (the ace-queen of spades and the jack of hearts) and exits with his last spade. Being left with A-8-6-4 of trumps in your hand (and West with J-7-5 of clubs and a diamond), you are stuck. If you ruff low, West overruffs and leads his last diamond for partner to ruff with the nine. So in this scenario, you will go down 3 (having lost 2 spades, 1 heart, 2 diamonds and 3 trump tricks).
Aug. 3, 2015
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According to your assessment, you “know” that West holds five diamonds to the A-K and strongly suspect that he holds the jack of clubs. By presuming a doubleton heart on your left you have an inferential distributional count. Assuming an errorless defense, what can you possibly gain by playing the queen of hearts before the diamond queen?
Once you’re playing West for 2=2=5=4, you must worry about the location of the nine of clubs when planning your next move.
Aug. 3, 2015
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Cashing the queen of hearts before playing the queen of diamonds could cost an extra undertrick if East started with K-9 of clubs.
Aug. 3, 2015
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You are using a fallacy in the name of returning a diamond. The defensive problem was ill posed if you know what I mean.
July 6, 2015
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You will have to do some explaining for not continuing spades when partner is 3=3=4=3 with the heart jack and the queen of diamonds, so I guess the “highly suggestive” argument is as good as any other.
July 6, 2015
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In the 3NT deal started on page 6, at the critical moment it is not at all clear that South has Qx in diamonds.
In the layout shown, the killing defense is indeed to attack diamonds. However, this could easily be wrong if declarer’s hand is AK9/KQx/xx/86542 or AK9/KQ/xxx/86542 or AK9/QJ/Qxx/86542. In all these cases a low heart switch at trick 5 leaves South with no winning option.
July 5, 2015
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Actually, I am not concerned about the defense, since I am a tempo ahead of it. If East pitches on the DK, I ruff the next diamond. If, as you say, East pitches again, I cash the CA, ruff a club (my 8th trick), and lead a diamond. Now East has to ruff and the 9 of hearts is my 10th trick.
May 22, 2015
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“Ruffing the 2nd D on dummy just put you in an awkward position if you play trumps you lose control and …”

That’s not true. After winning the club with dummy’s ace, Adam should not have shortened his hand by ruffing a club. Instead, he should ruff a spade and play the king of diamonds, pitching a club from the table. East must ruff but what can he do? If he returns a heart, South can make an overtrick. And on a club return, South pitches a diamond from his hand. Now East is stuck and declarer takes the last five tricks.
May 21, 2015
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Here is an ‘easy’ line: ruff the opening lead, diamond ace, low diamond ruff with the king, heart to the jack, diamond king, pitching a club from dummy.
May 21, 2015
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On the actual layout East misdefended when he cashed the king of clubs and continued clubs, but if declarer’s hand would be 4=4=3=2 without the jack of spades, returning a heart… well, that would be a disaster. East should be thankful that his diamond had not been ‘extracted’, so he should cash the king of clubs and then switch to a diamond at trick 4.
May 18, 2015
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There is a danger that declarer is 2=6=3=2 with A-J of diamonds and the king of clubs. If you return a diamond, declarer will discard two clubs from dummy.
In that case, only a spade return will work for the defense.
March 18, 2015
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Michael, you seem to be dwelling on the same things. There are a few techniques that could help you stop dwelling and refocus your mind. But for now, I’ll keep saying, “Okay, whatever makes you feel better.”
March 1, 2015
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Michael,
Just for the record, on the bidding and the opening lead, the line based on playing the SK at trick 3 is simple and does the trick when East holds the SJ (as on the actual layout). It is a ‘fine’ line (a “Better Play” than the one in the semifinal match in the Senior Knockouts); however it is not best. But I never claimed it was the optimal line of play.

It seems to me that you have been making up issues that don’t exist, transforming them into arguments that you want to win at any cost. Normally, I would ask WHY, but under the circumstances I’ll simply say, “Okay, whatever makes you feel better.”
March 1, 2015
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Michael,

Apart from the joke that you failed to understand, all I claimed was that the modification of Marc’s idea was simple and 100% successful provided East had, as expected, the SJ. Otherwise it was clear from the beginning that that line may fail.

I see you did not bring any improvement to any of the lines proposed.

Are you trying to prove something?
March 1, 2015
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If West is 2=5=1-5, there is a 0% chance to score 4 clubs with the N-S hands. So, no wonder you were missing how I take 4 clubs here…
March 1, 2015
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I thought you understood the joke. Sorry, guess it wasn’t funny.
However, since you insist on focusing on the case where West holds Jx of spades, I believe your earlier East hand example (Axxxx, Kx, Qxx, Kxx) is in the 0% range. Who would fail to lead the spade jack from a worthless, entryless hand (Jx, J109xx, Jx, xxxx) knowing that his partner has a 5+ card suit and the stronger hand? Just give South Kxx, AKx, Axx. AJxx and you will see what I mean.
March 1, 2015
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Yes, Kit’s line was excellent. What I liked about leading the spade king at trick 3 was that it worked under the expectation that the spade jack is onside. It didn’t depend on other assumptions and it was beautiful by its simplicity. And even when West turned out with Jx of spades, following a perfect defense there were still chances of making.
Feb. 28, 2015
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In that case, I’ll feel sorry that I did not adopt Andy Bowles solution.
Feb. 28, 2015
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