Monday, February 20, 2012

Santa Clara regional

Wow. It's been almost 2 weeks since I updated! I haven't really played bridge in that time until the last 3 days in Santa Clara. It was 3 days of pairs with Meg - definitely not a good weekend of bridge for her and not so great for me either. It took 5 sessions before we scratched with a 3rd in the section of the Sunday imp pairs. We followed it up with just barely scratching in the evening to miss the overalls. I have a slew of defensive hands I can write about and add to the collection for my future book.

It was a good trip and one I think I will want to make more often in the future. Flying into San Jose is really convenient and even though there is only 1 direct flight per day between SJC and ATL, it's an ideal time - departs ATL at 7:10pm and coming back it's a red eye leaving at 10:40. If there are any readers here in Silicon Valley who want to hire me as an EE or software engineer and give me lots of freedom to take time off for travel and to play bridge, I'd happily consider such a job.

Anyway, one of our best boards the first day was when I overcalled 1NT after my RHO opened 1C and got to play it there.
Dummy (south):
873
Q43
A852
QT4

           RHO (west):
           QJT6
           KT
           Q93
           KJ97

Put yourself in my RHO's position. The opening lead was a low diamond to the Q and K. Next came DJ, SA, SK from declarer, and spade to you. You cash the last spade. Partner discards a discouraging H7, and the C5 while dummy sheds a heart. You safely exit the D9 to dummy's A. Declarer pitches a heart. Now dummy plays CQ, you cover, declarer and partner contribute the 2 and 6. This deal has reached a critical point. What now? It appears that declarer is trying to endplay you. That's assuming he has both rounded aces. He's already shown up with 11 points in the pointed suits so that would give him a 19-count. My RHO played the HK, playing his partner to have the ace. However, that gave up a heart trick and allowed me to take 2 hearts and throw him in with a club, forcing him to give me a club trick too (well, it put me with A8 over 97 at trick 12).

A low club at the critical point (trick 8), a low club does no better. Declarer can win with dummy's 10 and then endplay you again by throwing you in with either suit, thus forcing you to again how to lead into a tenace at trick 12. The winning play here is the CJ. Declarer must win this in hand with the ace but now has no successful counter because the good CT is now stiff in dummy. He can cash the club but then has no club to throw you in with the lead away from the HK. And throwing you in with a heart before cashing CT can't work because it sets up your C9.

If declarer doesn't have the HA, can it cost to lead the CJ? Yes because partner has a good diamond he could cash.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting hand, almost like a surround play.

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