Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How Did I Miss This

I don't quite understand what I was thinking on this hand. It really frustrates me when I clearly misdeclare a hand. I misdefend a good bit and make a one or two bad bids each session, but taking a clearly inferior line of play just doesn't happen. This one actually is pretty simple. For me it should have been easy. I wouldn't expect any beginner to make 5 on it but most of the people at the club made 5, which is more likely attributable to a bad opening lead.



I had no useful spots. In 4H, I got the HJ lead, which is certainly the best the defense can do. Anyway, like an idiot, I won, led a club to the K, and ducked a spade. Back a second trump, I trumped a club, played A and a spade, and just made 4 when spades were 3-3 and hearts 3-2. After the hand, I wondered why everyone else made 5 and really couldn't figure it out.

15 minutes later I was washing my hands and it suddenly hit me that I should have cashed my two top clubs earlier, pitching spades from dummy and then scoring 2 spade ruffs in dummy. Getting to my hand isn't a problem because I had easy diamond ruffs to get back. And there's no reason to draw trumps or worry about losing trump control since I would be taking all 4 of my side-suit winners immediately. So, with everything splitting nicely, I should come to 11 tricks: 3 clubs, 1 spade, 2 spade ruffs, 3 diamond ruffs, and 2 top trumps. If not for the trump opening lead, 6H is makeable via an additional club ruff in dummy. I suppose the only time this line is worse than the one I took is when clubs are 6-2 or worse.

Side question: After having trumped 1 spade in dummy, is it safer to try to trump a second spade or to try for a club ruff? Essentially, is a 3-3 break more or less likely than a 4-4 split?

1 comment:

  1. 3-3 is more likely than 4-4. Think about it this way: you know 1-1 is more likely than 2-2, which is more likely than 3-3...

    3-3 is 35.53% and 4-4 is 32.72%.

    Depending on how good the opponents are, there might be some restricted choice-type considerations if one of them follows with the K or Q to the second round of spades. Sure, if your spots are low enough then any defensive spade is equivalent to any other, so it's safe to drop an honor from KQxx--but the opponents might not be good enough to do that smoothly.