Thursday, April 15, 2010

Platinum Pairs 1st Final Board 9

Board 9
Dlr N
Vul E-W
♠ 9 4
Q 8 7 6 3
9 6 2
♣ 6 5 3
♠ 10 6 3 2♠ K Q J 5
A J9 5 2
10 4 3A Q 8
♣ Q 10 9 8♣ A K J
♠ A 8 7
K 10 4
K J 7 5
♣ 7 4 2

4♠All Pass


In real life, this was a pretty boring / flat board. There was not much to the play, and 620 was worth 8 out of 17 matchpoints.

It would seem that the one thing to note is the possibility of just bidding 3NT instead of Stayman. Looking at our two hands, it seems that Franco clearly did better to get us to 4♠. Actually though, of the tables that played in NT 630 was a more common result than 600.

Hard to say what happened in real life, but the double dummy analysis of the play in NT is reasonably interesting. I conjecture that most everyone would lead a club with the strong hand on their right. Declarer wins and knocks out the ♠A. South now knows that playing a heart is safe, and could be useful when partner has the Q. South might try the 10, unblocking in case partner has Q9. If North works out this holding and chooses to return a heart, he should return the 8, denying the 9, to tell partner not to unblock. Actually though, it is necessary for North to return a diamond upon winning the Q, else South will get endplayed in hearts for an extra diamond trick.

Consider what happens if South does not switch to a heart upon winning the ♠ A. (Say he exits passively with another club.)  Declarer could get to this position with one black winner yet to play:
Q 8 7 6
9 6
A J9 5 2
10 4 3A Q 8
♣ Q
K 10 4
K J 7

On the last club, declarer pitches a diamond. South cannot pitch a diamond or else declarer can play A, Q, establishing the 10 while he still has control of hearts. So South pitches a heart. Declarer now cashes the A. If South doesn't unblock, he gets thrown in to lead away from the K. So South drops the K under the A. But now declarer plays a heart, establishing the 9 in his hand!

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