Sunday, October 3, 2010

Squeezes are more fun than finesses


West led a 4th best spade against my 2NT and east to the Q, A, and
shifted to a heart. West won the A and led another spade to dummy,
making east squirm, eventually parting with a small club. How do you
play from here? Clearly a heart finesse is called for but there are a
few things to consider like the fact that the heart lead allows you to
get 3 tricks in the suit if the suit is 3-3, as it was this time, and
you probably should consider what might happen to people in 3NT. A
reasonable amount of people will get to 3NT so perhaps you should play
for the cards to lie such that 3NT could go down.
Anyway, I had 8 sure tricks - spade, 2hearts, 3diamonds, and 2 clubs -
with chances for another heart, 2more diamonds, and/or another club.
So, I took the heart finesse, cashed the K, seeing the 3-3 split. Next
came the diamond ace and the last heart, gathering another club from
rho and spade from lho, and a diamond from me. Then lho pitches
another spade on the third big diamond. So in the 3 card ending (with
7 tricks in the bag), I have Ajx in dummy opposite Kx and a losing
diamond, knowing rho has 2clubs and the diamond J and lho has 3 clubs.
So, do I finesse clubs or not? Does it matter whether it's matchpoints
or imps?
Honestly I was playing to squeeze east in the minors the whole time
and went through with it. Maybe it was a table feel thing or just
wanting to make a more dramatic play near the end of a bad session.
Alas, the Q did not fall under the A and K so I made only 3 but I
think it would have made for a neat squeeze even though it is
mathematically more likely that lho has the Q. But I think it's right
because having the club Q offside is the only way 3NT might go down.
That was one of the most interesting hands from the Athens sectional
yesterday, where my dad and I had a pair of 56% games.
Sent from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. Actually, RHO is more likely to have started with the Queen of clubs--the probability is 4/7. LHO started with 3 and RHO with 4. The squirm might make it even more likely, although he might squirm with Txxx as well.

    I would play for the minor-suit squeeze as well.