Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Platinum Pairs 1st Final Board 7

Board 7
Dlr S
Vul Both

♠ J 9
A J 2
K 10 7 5 2
♣ K Q 7
♠ 10 8 5 2♠ A K Q 6
Q 310 9 8 7
Q 8 6 43
♣ J 6 2♣ 10 9 8 4
♠ 7 4 3
K 6 5 4
A J 9
♣ A 5 3


* 4-card hearts, any strength less than GF


After they bid and raised spades and partner bid the other three suits, I knew [or maybe "knew", since 3NT is cold but 4 is not --FB] we didn't belong in NT, and holding two honors in hearts it seemed appropriate to strongly suggest that as a strain.  My screenmate started to ask what kind of Blackwood it was (he didn't know that my partner's earlier double had showed hearts), and so was a bit surprised to see the tray come back empty.  I'm glad my partner and I were on the same wavelength here; in retrospect it certainly seems possible that 4 could have been interpreted as keycard.  I could have bid 3 then 4 as a safety; 3♥ must certainly be forcing in this auction.

Partner's flat shape was a surprise, but his hand wasn't particularly unsatisfactory.  My opponent tried to cash three rounds of spades (starting with the K).  I ruffed, played a club to the A, a heart to the J, and the A of hearts.  My RHO was an expert player and was certainly capable of playing the Q from any holding, so that didn't tell me much.  I didn't think he would have bid 2♠ on only one queen and one potential J (note I didn't know spades were 4-4), so I wanted to play him for the Q.  I crossed to the A, played off the A, and took the diamond finesse to make 4.

It seems that LHO could defeat the contract by playing a minor suit instead of the third spade.  I just can't quite maneuver the same timing on my own.  Even if I could, it would be much harder for me to guess out the hand. (I still wouldn't know where the ♠Q was, and I might fear a diamond ruff.)  Presumably, having overcalled a 4-card suit and gotten a minimum raise from partner, LHO was hoping to have three cashing spade tricks.  I don't know what their methods are, but this would have been a good time to lead whatever card will yield a count signal at trick 1.

I heard of at least one if not two tables in the event where the defense found a club switch to beat the contract.  There might have been a more revealing auction though.

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