Stuart King

A Close Match

This week we didn’t play in the Wednesday evening duplicate, instead having a match in the first round of the Knockout plate.

I should probably first tell you about the university team. There is only one partnership in it you could begin to call regular, and that is Mine and Mungo’s. There are three other players in the team, Max, who has been playing a few years now, and Deb and Ian, started to play this time last year and played very little over the Summer break. All this means is that the team is always myself and Mungo along with whichever of the other three can make the match. This week it was Max and Deb, who somehow hadn’t played together since May!

The boards for the match weren’t particularly interesting, that combined with the fact they were hand dealt (and so I had to write down the hands I thought were interesting enough to write about) means this post will be shorter than the last 😉

The first board of the match my partner made a tight 4 which failed at the other table, this was cancelled out two boards later when Max and Deb got a touch overboard, reaching 6NT going down while our opponents stopped in a comfortable 3NT. towards the end of the set came an interesting hand. second in hand vulnerable against not I pick up the following;

Q97

JT43

Q3

K852

   

Partner opens 1 and I respond with the obvious 1. After 1, 1NT partner jumps to 3.

Here I made a mistake. I bid 4. Here’s my reasoning. My hand is good, but I certainly don’t want to encourage slam with so few controls, partner needs a lot for that, something like AKxx/x/AKxxxx/Ax as a minimum. So the question has become what is the most likely game? 3NT, 4 and 5 all still seem viable. I was scared of 3NT as the round suits look so open, they can probably take a few heart tricks, or at least cross over in hearts, then lead clubs through me, which would be bad. for some reason I also thought that 4 would always be as good as 5, which it probably isn’t as partner can easily be forced . In short I have the wrong hand to play in the 4-3 fit.

I think I should definitely bid 3, tentatively suggesting a possible trump suit and still leaving 3NT in the picture. It might not even need to suggest a trump suit and it could just be me looking for 3NT but being worried about the round suits (if partner goes past 3NT I can always just correct to diamonds). Enough about my terrible bid, on to my partners play to make it!

North lead the 3 and this is what Mungo saw;

West

KJT3

A6

AK9742

Q

East

Q97

JT43

Q3

K852

What do you think of your chances? And how would you play?

For starters we would have liked to be in 3NT, but theres nothing we can do now. From the way Mungo played it I imagine his thoughts were something like this. I have 4 easy tricks outside trumps, if I can cross ruff I might be able to make it, and if the opponents play on trumps I can set up diamonds.

At trick one South takes the Club ace and switches to a Heart when partner drops the Queen. Mungo jumps up with the Ace crosses to the Q and throws his remaining heart on the K and ruffs a Heart. After cashing a second round of Diamonds he leads a third round to which North follows, what do you ruff with? Mungo choose the Seven, which was over ruffed with the eight. The defence then continued attacking with a heart which partner ruffed and continued his crossruffing. It was all in vain though when, two tricks later, North overruffed with the Ace and returned a trump, Partner then could help but lose four tricks with South holding four trumps. The complete hand was

Dealer:

Vul:

North

A2

K985

J65

J763

 
West

KJT3

A6

AK9742

Q

East

Q97

JT43

Q3

K852

  South

8654

Q72

T8

AT94

 

Obviously this is an incredibly complicated hand in 4 and partner gave it a great try. I have looked at this hand using deep finesse and I’m only a little closer to finding the best line. On this layout, double dummy, the defence can always prevail providing they start by crossing to the A and switching to a heart, then, whatever declarer does they have the counter measure. I would incourage you to look at it yourself!

As with all deals, it gets a lot more complicated if you start rearranging the opponents cards, particularly the pointy cards. Hands played in 4-3 fits are almost always very interesting!

we lost a suprising 5 IMP’s on that board. Given we lost 100 points at our table, that means we lost between 70 and 110 at the other. Hard to work out how right. the opponents somehow stopped in 2 at the other table and only made 8 tricks…

In spite of this set back we won the set by 5 IMP’s.

The second half of the match didn’t contain anything particularly interesting. There was one hand where we poked at a slam in the bidding, stopping in game, but the play was about as routine as it can get.

We ended up marginally losing the match, mostly by bidding a couple of borderline games that weren’t at the other table, and going one off for around 6 IMP’s out. Grrr….


3 Comments

LIndaNovember 12th, 2011 at 12:46 am

You didn’t give us enough of the bidding to follow the auction. You didn’t give us the bids before the 4S bid you made. I can’t even figure out how the bidding went looking at all four hands.

Your partner took a good line to make the hand and it was too bad the 8 was offside. As the cards lie he will always go down on best defense.

Good luck with your blogs. 🙂

Stuart KingNovember 29th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Ooops, I’ll update the post with the bidding. Could have sworn I put it in.

Stuart.

Stuart KingDecember 1st, 2011 at 10:44 am

Updated. Really need to get better at proofing before posting!
Thanks for catching the mistake Linda 🙂

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