Friday, September 25, 2009

Defensive problem -- solution

[UPDATE: THG makes an excellent double-dummy point in the comments. Elaboration in the "solution" section.]

This was the full deal from Wednesday's defensive problem:

IMP Pairs
Dlr West
Vul North-South

K Q 5 3 2

A J 4

9 8 7

J 9
J 9 8 4

10 6
K 10 9 7 6

8 5
A 10 3

Q 4 2

A K 8 6 5 3

A 7

Q 3 2

K J 6 5

Q 10 4 2

West North East South
All Pass

What would you lead?

Say you lead the 10 which runs to declarer's queen. Declarer plays a club to the jack, holding (partner shows even count), and another club to partner's king. Partner plays a heart back to dummy's jack. What is your plan?

At this point, declarer played ♠A and a spade, ducking it to East's ten. Now declarer had 4 spades, 3 hearts, 1 club, and 1 trick in whatever minor gets played next.

What went wrong? Answer below...

Declarer avoided losing a spade to West who could have cleared hearts while retaining a diamond entry. East could have played the ♠10 on the first round, or West could have hopped ♠J on the 2nd round.

3NT was cold (from this side of the table), though. How did declarer go wrong? (I don't know the answer, but deep finesse claims this is true.)

UPDATE: As THG points out in the comments, you had to pitch something on the 2nd club. A spade is clearly a disaster. If you pitch a heart, declarer can set up spades and wind up only losing a trick in each suit. If you pitch a diamond, declarer can (perhaps after 2 spade winners) play a diamond to the jack and set up 2 diamonds (while only letting you in once and stranding your long hearts) to go with 3 spades, 3 hearts and a club; losing 2 diamonds and 2 clubs.

This answers my question about how 3N was cold. Yet another triple-squeeze hand, entirely by accident. Reminds me also of the back-and-forth entry attacking seen on this deal.

In practice, pitching a diamond and hopping ♠J is still a good single-dummy effort.

1 comment:

  1. What did you pitch on the second club? A heart means that it is no longer have the necessary tricks once you get in with a spade and clear the suit. A diamond means that declarer can set up diamond tricks by dropping your ten without letting you in after your tricks have been established.