Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Squeezes are sexier than finesses but not when the squeeze is a 5% play

Time for some hands from the Atlanta sectional.

♠AJxxx Axx Kx ♣Q9x. IMPS, 3rd seat, white vs. red.
P-1♣-1♠-P; 2♠-3♣-P-P; X-P-P-P

What is partner doubling on? This isn't a classic maximal double (1S-P-2S-3H; X) since we can't be sure that it's our hand, but it is basically maximal - something bordering on a limit raise with tolerance for defending 3♣X if I have a defensive-oriented hand. Here it seems awfully aggressive since he's a passed hand opposite a one-level overcall. With this hand, I happily passed.

Dummy hit with a yarborough 3-5-3-2 hand. My spade ace lead gave declarer the spade king that he doesn't always deserve but we still managed to collect 800 via 2 diamonds, 2 hearts, a spade, and 2 diamond ruffs.

You are defending against the uncontested auction was 1NT-2♣-2-2NT-P. 2 showed 5 hearts. You hold ♠KTxx xx KJx ♣QJxx and lead a low spade.
Dummy has ♠QJxx x xxx ♣AT8xx. Dummy's Q wins trick one and he leads a low club to partner's K, then he leads a diamond to your J, then you play the K with declarer winning the ace. Declarer then leads the ♣9. Do you split the honors? My LHO did and it gave me the contract as I ducked and later finessed for the other club honor, and wound up with 3 club tricks, a diamond, 2 hearts, and 2 spades.

In the end game I had a chance to play for a straight up finesse for the K or play for a simple squeeze and endplay against the opening leader. At trick 11, with dummy to cash the last club, dummy still had ♠J and x while I had AQX left. Since I kind of knew that the opening leader's shape, that would require the opening leader to have started with Kx and RHO 5 small (or 5 to the T9 as the case may have been), clearly the anti-percentage play and not something worth trying in any situation, unless lho had bid. Recognizing this as a potential option and shooting it down is a sign of a good declarer.

One of our lose 10's was when we stayed out of game on these cards:
♠x Q9x AQTxx ♣xxxx
♠Qxxx AKJTxx xx ♣x
I opened a canape 1♠ so partner wasn't able to figure out that the spade singleton was a good thing. And it's not such a great contract if the opponents lead trumps and diamonds don't behave. They led trumps against me but with diamonds were 3-3 with KJ onside and hearts 2-2, I couldn't help but make 6. At the other table, they opened my hand with a weak 2 and I guess responder upgraded when the opponents overcalled and raised spades?

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