Thursday, July 15, 2010

PP 2nd Final Board 19

Board 19
Dlr S
Vul E-W

WestEast
♠ Q 9 5♠ J 10 7 4 3 2
Q 3 2A J
A Q 107 3
♣ J 9 8 6♣ A 5 4

Franco
North
Andy
South
1
Pass22♠Pass
3Pass3♠All Pass

[Andy] Take the declarer spot on this one. South leads two high spades, North pitching a low discouraging heart on the second. (You unblock the ♠Q for flexibility.) After long thought, South tables the 9. What now?



It looks "normal" to put in the Q. If that wins, you can just knock out the heart for a subsequent club pitch, losing only 2 spades, a club, and a heart. In contrast, if you put in the 10, then even if it forces the K, they might establish a club trick before you can give up a heart. (The Q will provide one pitch but you still have 5 losers.)

That isn't what I did though -- at the table, I called for the 10. I just figured that even it were wrong, I would have to get a bit unlucky for it to cost. In many positions, it would be far from obvious to RHO that he needed to shift to a club instead of a heart. There would also be some club positions where I could recover.

At the table, the 10 was a winning play, as the full hand was:

♠ 8
10 6 4
8 6 5 4 2
♣ K Q 7 2
♠ Q 9 5♠ J 10 7 4 3 2
Q 3 2A J
A Q 107 3
♣ J 9 8 6♣ A 5 4
♠ A K 6
K 9 8 7 5
K J 9
♣ 10 3


I was able to establish a heart trick and take another diamond finesse to pitch both my clubs away. +170 was worth 12 matchpoints while +140 was only 6.5.

You might or might not agree with my play on this particular hand, but I do think that playing without fear of the downside is often a winning strategy at matchpoints.

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