Damned if you do….

February 19, 2009 at 4:42 am 2 comments

Sorry, but my filing system is not what it should be. The hands I had in mind for today are – well – SOMEWHERE.

But this is something interesting from this year’s NOT – well, it’s not the NOT, really. Actually only 16 teams or so are allowed to play the National Open Teams now….it does make you wonder, doesn’t it? Still, from the event we all still call the NOT, even though it’s not.

Round 12
Board 19
Vul EW
Dealer South

NORTH

sQ952
h1AKJ
d1Q108
cKQ10

WEST

s7
h1109643
d197643
c93

EAST

sKJ83
h1Q8
d142
c J6542

SOUTH

sA1064
h1752
d1AKJ
cA87

Against us in slam Bruce Neill went quickly down when he finessed the opening ten of hearts lead at trick one. In the other room, Lazer, on the same heart lead to 6NT decided to play for the given heart position. Then he played spades beginning with the queen to make his slam. Nicely done by Warren.

I was sitting there thinking how lucky it is that we don’t play the nine from those holdings – well, we do sometimes, not not as a matter of course. Anybody who did routinely lead the nine from Q109 would have been severely punished for doing so.

Not long after, the theory is tested again, well almost.

Round 13
Board 13
Vul All
Dealer North

NORTH
sAQ654
h1AK10743
d1Q
c7
WEST
sJ987
h18
d1AJ73
cKQ65
EAST
s2
h1J962
d110842
c J1098
SOUTH
sK103
h1Q5
d1K965
cA432

Round 13, board 13 – this deal had to be unlucky for somebody and that was us. Wally Malaczynski was declarer and just a little overboard in 6S by North. I led the normal club, Wally won and played 2 rounds of spades to dummy. He got the bad news, played a diamond and Simon had to decide what to do. He ducked and that was the end of that. Slam making.

Still, for me it raised again the issue of the opening lead from sequences. Change these cards a little – so that the opening leader leads the D10 to 6S. Low from dummy and??? Hmmm. If partner has the queen, we have to play low. If partner does not have the queen we have to rise. The way to make sure that partner in 3rd seat gets this right is to play that the ten denies the queen, ie if on lead with Q109 to make the very opening lead which the night before costs the contract – the NINE.

Damned if you do? And damned if you don’t!

Tomorrow? An example of the Suicide point.

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Entry filed under: 2009 NOT, defence.

Thoughts about the NOT. The critical point. Or not.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. phil markey  |  February 19, 2009 at 6:29 am

    yeah i like to lead third best from interior honour sequences – so the 9 from Q109 – i do find myself cringing sometimes at the information this provides to those who arent defending – but then they virtually never seem to ask

    i nearly always ask about someone leading a 9 or 10 – and i dont generally ask a lot – perhaps its because of my lead preferences catering for these awkwardly ranked cards thereby making me sensitive to the problem – but – in my experience it is consistently the source of poor explanations from good players

    Reply
  • 2. sartaj  |  February 19, 2009 at 5:42 am

    A few years ago, Peter and i played each other in the NSWBA Individual. Against a suit contract, Peter led a low card on the go and with Kx in dummy opposite xx, I called for the King.
    Later we discussed that the correct play , if Meckstroth is sitting on your right, is often to play low from dummy.

    Sure enough, in the next years’ playoff final, George Gaspar led the D10 against 4S, i called for low from Kx opp xx. And the moment Bobby started to think, i knew he was going to get this one wrong. He rose Ace (from AJxx). +420 Bang

    I am sure Bobby or his philosophical brother will get their revenge one day when declarer calls from low next time and they had underled an ace on the go!

    Reply

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