Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Which squeeze?


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

You're declaring 3N against a diamond lead from a defender very fond of passive leads. You win, play a heart to the K and Ace, and a club comes back. How do you play for 12 tricks? Let's assume that the defense isn't very deep; the inferences from not ducking HA or not leading a 2nd heart are too complex.

Discussion below...

You might as well run diamonds and come down to:

♠ 3
Q J 4
♣ K 9 3
♠ A K Q 10 6
♣ 7

No chances have been eliminated by doing this. From here, I'm pretty sure nothing is given up by cashing hearts, either (since only one player can guard that suit). After that, there's a fork, though:

[All lines work when the spades split or SJ falls, both have some vig for 5-2 clubs and a club-something squeeze]

a) test spades, then hope for a double squeeze around clubs. Requires long heart on left, long spade on right.

b) cash CA, then hope for spades and hearts in the same hand.

[If someone shows out on hearts, play RHO for spade length (likely if he's short in hearts, necessary if he's long) and choose accordingly]

How do you compare majors divided in a specific way vs majors together but in either hand? See Rubens's latest book. Perhaps I'll come back later and work it out in detail, but I'm pretty sure line b comes out slightly ahead.

For example, assume both red suits are 3-3. Then spades, if they don't split, are very likely to be 4-2. That would make it 5:3 that the odd heart is in the other hand, but that only works when it's hearts-left-spades-right-not-vice-versa, which cuts the odds to 2.5:3. But, it gets a bit closer after accounting for 5-1 spades.

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