Preempts on holding pattern

April 3, 2009 at 8:32 am 3 comments

Peter, keep comin’ up with those preempts that work!!

I have bridge over the weekend and a bit of work today in that regard, so I haven’t had time to get ready the other part of preempts I wanted to put up today….Unless some hand that comes up on the weekend gets me really excited, come back Monday.

But thoughts on this would be appreciated:



Auction: 1NT 3NT
Opening lead: H3 playing 4ths which goes to the king.
What’s the plan?

I think I will put suppress comments as I did the other day today and will update ones not to do with this post during the day. Hope that sounds okay.


Entry filed under: declarer play.

Why do we do what we do? Those pesky eights and nines

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan  |  April 3, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    A spade switch would be annoying, and as the lead suggests
    RHO has something like K10, ducking the second round of hearts
    is equivalent to ducking the first.
    So we win, take a losing C finesse and if we’re lucky we may squeeze LHO in the majors one day, if RHO switches tp a D not a spade after winning H10.

  • 2. phil markey  |  April 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    well i’m not happy that this deck has the 9 of spades duplicated – if one of my 9 of spades is in fact just a rank challenged spade then i play a big diamond next

    i cant see a way to make that doesnt involve a club to the ten holding but i dont have to see or do that now and whilst hearts are blocked this might cater for AK of diamonds with 4 hearts in LHO’s hand and the thing i dont see yet to provide a 9th

    if you tell me one of my 9 of spades isnt a rank challenged spade then i’m cross although i probably still like a big diamond for similar reasons

  • 3. Ben Thompson  |  April 3, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I went down, so please feel free to ignore the rest of what I say 🙂

    After H3-2-K, I had a little hitch then ducked. Some danger, but against intermediate players, I think reasonable.

    Obviously, the percentage way to play clubs is finessing LHO for the Q. Let’s say that works. Still only 8 tricks. A diamond trick would be the 9th, and I’m in front on the timing (ie they can’t set up a spade trick before I can set up a diamond trick).

    Yay, but what if (a) hearts are 5-1 despite the apparent 4-2 break on the lead; or (b) the club finesse loses?

    If hearts are 5-1, I could be down with the C finesse winning (DAK offside). If the club finesse loses, I have no direct mechanism for a 9th trick, so I’m going to need to manufacture a squeeze.

    Let’s say the hearts are the honest 4-2 but the club finesse loses. After ducking the HK, RHO is most likely to continue his (high) heart to your A (why high? LHO didn’t lead J from J109, so RHO probably has one of them). Now you take the losing club finesse to East and what will he continue? Most likely a diamond. Looking at dummy, it will feel safer, and the more likely entry to his partner’s hand to set up the hearts.

    So you would go Q-(K/A), they set up hearts, you cash dummy’s clubs then play a low diamond. If you sneak this past, now you have a fair approximation of a double squeeze.

    That’s a whole lot of ifs and maybes, but it’s a whole lot better than “damn, the club finesse lost, there was nothing I could do”.

    Rewinding to trick 1, the danger in ducking the HK is that they switch to a spade. Not so likely from intermediate players with 3 small hearts in dummy. Not so likely even from good players, although we all protest that “of course” we would find it. Obviously I figured giving myself a residual outweighed the risk.

    So what actually happened? RHO switched to a low diamond at the speed of light. Holy Toledo Batman. Now it looked quite a lot like hearts were 5-1. I know West. Intermediate, but one of those intermediate players who knows some stuff and is capable of both NOT leading J from J109 (can be right) AND leading a sneaky 5th playing 4ths.

    My DQ held. Notice that versus the technical line, I’m no worse off. I can still take the percentage line in clubs, and I already have my diamond trick in. The downside is that if the club finesse loses, it looks like RHO is going to cash me out in diamonds. Bye bye residual.

    Is there a case for playing clubs the wrong way now? Nope, there’s not enough shape disparity between the oppos to justify a strong view on locating the CQ. In fact, RHO has already shown up with 10 points. On that basis, the CQ is slightly more likely to be with LHO (sometimes RHO will have dredged up a bid with CQ added to his collection).

    So the C finesse lost, RHO cashed up his diamonds (although he had a big tank after cashing one big one before continuing with the rest – odd) and I went down.

    Down like a palooka, although clearly I played the hand with cunning and panache.


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