Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Platinum Pairs 1st Semi Final Board 21

Hands rotated; as shown I was East. N-S vul.

A K 8 2
K 9 7 6
A 9 7
6 4
A Q 3
K Q 6 4 3 2
8 5 2

West North East South
All Pass

Should I balance 2 here? I think at both white I'd consider it, though partner is marked with 5+ spades.

Partner led the ♠5. Declarer won, led a club to the king, then a spade to the 8. What should I pitch? I chose an uda 2. Another club, this time won by my partner's Ace and he produced the very nice J. Declarer ducked this, captured the 10 with his Ace, and threw me in with a 3rd diamond. I won this and cashed another.  Declarer pitched a heart and a club, while partner pitched a club and the missing lower spade spot (i.e. he started with 5).  I had to make a play in this position:

A 2
K 9 7
A Q 3

What do you think?

Partner is under a little pressure here, but luckily declarer had pitched a heart. Q seems to cater to all possibilities. The final result was down 1. If you cash the last diamond partner is squeezed out of a heart and declarer can always succeed (not saying that he's guaranteed to go right if you play a low heart next, of course).

Of course, if I had never pitched a diamond (maybe a club was safe?) it would have been easier. Or if partner splits in spades we rate to be in good shape.

Declarer started with Jxx originally. Pretty sure that if he holds onto all of those we're toast.

At the table, Andy thought a lot about whether to encourage with the 10 (I think no -- at that point, I know he has an honor, so might as well tell me whether or not it's the J). Declarer got annoyed when I showed up with the Ace, but there was no other line he could/should have tried at that point.


Tim points out that the defense can survive even if I cash the last diamond (partner pitching a heart).  In the 4 card ending, if declarer doesn't keep 3 winners I can exit a club and later get 2 heart tricks.  If he does keep 3 winners, then he has only 1 heart and now playing Q will pin his jack and the defense can (at declarer's option) untangle 2 heart tricks or a heart and a spade.  Pretty cute.  


  1. I'm a little confused. What did declarer pitch on the diamonds?

  2. Sorry, post corrected. A heart and a club.

  3. I think you can beat him by cashing the last diamond whether he keeps Jxx/J or Jx/Jx in hearts and clubs.