Monday, April 5, 2010

Platinum Pairs 1st Final Board 1

If you want a problem, consider how you'd play 4 by West on a low spade lead. Or, cover up South/West and defend as North (read to "What should North do here? then decide).

Board 1
Dlr North
Vul None

Q 9 8 6 3
9 3
A 9 6
K 9 2
7 A K 5
A Q J 10 8 7 6 5
J 8 4 2 10 5
A 3Q J 10 8 7 5
J 10 4 2
K 4 2
K Q 7 3
6 4



West North East South
Pass 1♣Pass
4All Pass

Lead: ♠3

[Reasoning withheld for under the fold for those reading as a defense problem] I won, pitched a club on a 2nd spade and led a low diamond from dummy.

South won Q and led a heart. I won the Queen and led another diamond to North's Ace.

What should North do here?

In practice, he led a heart. I was able to win, draw trumps, and lead the J to pin the nine.

420 was good enough for 14/17 matchpoints.

My reasoning: I figured South likely holds at least one top diamond honor and obviously a spade honor, plus I basically need him to hold a heart honor.  Given the preemptive raise, they also know to strand club winners in dummy if I set those up. At IMPs it might be harder not to take a club hook which seems like it has more legitimate ways to make. At matchpoints, I think my line offers some misdefense chances and otherwise has a decent chance of maximizing tricks in a poor contract.  I suppose technically I make if there's Kx onside in trumps plus a natural diamond trick (e.g. HH9 tight with South). 

As for what North should do: I have no entry for a heart finesse. Anything but a heart would have been successful.


  1. Are you saying that without the interference you would have taken the club hook?

  2. Yes, for two reasons: I wouldn't have the inference about the plausibility of both kings onside; and, if it lost, the defense wouldn't know dummy was dead.

  3. I ask because few people would ever consider this a loss associated with the overcall. Of course, as you say, the defense is less likely to know that dummy is dead if they had done no bidding. I do not mean to suggest that the whole charge should go to the overcall, just that some of it should.