Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PP 2nd Final Board 25

This is the deal that could have wound up haunting me for the rest of my life.  I certainly thought we were in contention at this point (I had underappreciated some of our earlier bad results) and faced this annoying problem:

Board 25
Dlr N
Vul E-W

♠ K Q 5♠ J 10 6 4
A K 6 3 28
10 9A K J 7 6 4
♣ J 8 3♣ A 5

3NTAll Pass

Lead:  ♣K -- a "power" lead.

How do you play?

The "normal" option seems to be win the 1st or 2nd club, maybe cash a diamond (you can pick up stiff Q or stiff 8, take your pick), then cross in hearts, cash your other heart winner lest it be stranded, and take a diamond hook. If diamonds come in, you have 9 tricks. If not, you're down several, probably 5.

Given the overcall and the power club lead, I decided to cash 2 diamonds. Against the previous line, this seems to gain whenever the Q is offside (I go down many fewer if it's 3rd, and make otherwise), break even if it's onside doubleton, and only loses when the Q is onside 3rd. Even without the overcall, this still seems like the right line to me.  

In fact, everyone followed low to both diamonds and I led a spade, RHO hopped Ace and led clubs. Clubs were 4-4 so I wasn't down yet. North, cruelly, teased me by playing a spade back. Now I thought I had a red-suit squeeze, but alas not and I was down 1.

This was worth 3.5 instead of 8.5 for making 3.  The full deal:

♠ 9 8 7 3
J 5
Q 5 2
♣ K Q 10 6
♠ K Q 5♠ J 10 6 4
A K 6 3 28
10 9A K J 7 6 4
♣ J 8 3♣ A 5
♠ A 2
Q 10 9 7 4
8 3
♣ 9 7 4 2

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