NZ Playoff continued

May 8, 2009 at 11:14 am 11 comments

NZ Playoff
Session 4
Board 16
Dealer West
Vul EW









2C……….Pass………2S………Dble (in one room and not the other)
2NT…….Pass……….3NT….All Pass

In fact the opening bid at one table was 2C and at the other 2D, but to the same effect. Over 2S one South doubled and the other didn’t. Of course North led longest and strongest in the room with no double and declarer had no issues making.

In the other room the spade lead forces declarer to guess what to do. Having observed yesterday that although the point of the opening bid is partly to stop lousy overcalls, notice that in this case a lead-directing bid was still possible. Further, it is interesting to consider the fact that if South had instead been able to overcall, one might feel that the play is less than a guess.

Burrows in this case decided to play South for the card he might have held if he had been able to overcall – the diamond ace – and therefore went down for a game swing to the eventual winners.

Having read the whole of Ware’s report, I do have to confess that I would not be playing on the NZ team if these were the things I had to get right. I got most of them wrong.

Here’s one more.

Sitting North you hold:


All Pass

So, what do you lead for quite a large swing….


Entry filed under: defence. Tags: .

The NZ Playoff NZ Playoff…the grandslam

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. khokan  |  May 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I discussed this hand with David Lilley and agree with his analysis – the identity of the 7D bidder is important here. If he is bidding 7D as an advance sacrifice, then whatever you lead doesn’t matter. However, if he is bidding to make, then a spade lead is indicated if the 7D bidder is a solid citizen. If the 7D bidder is a creative type, then partner may have a cashing ace.

    I don’t think it can be right to lead a heart – if the 7D bidder had running hearts and doesn’t have a fast club or spade loser, he might well have converted to 7H.

  • 2. Richard  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I confess that my intuition is to lead a small spade, but I don’t have a clear line of reasoning why.

  • 3. Bill Jacobs  |  May 8, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    It’s hard to care. Partner has either a void or a cashing ace. If a cashing ace, the double is a bit speculative anyway, and the 7D bid is a LOT speculative.

    So a void it is, so a spade lead it is. At least it’s easy to construct sensible layouts where the spade lead is the winner.

    Looking forward to discovering how the winning non-spade lead can be deduced.

  • 4. Jonathan Mestel  |  May 8, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    If it had gone 3D-7D I might well lead a heart, expecting dummy to have a long solid suit. But 5D-7D I see no reason not to try for a
    S-ruff, other than this wouldn’t be a problem if that were right…

  • 5. Peter Gill  |  May 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    If declarer did not have so many diamonds, I think the traditional normal lead then would be a heart. Dummy figures to have a long suit as a source of tricks, probably in hearts since I have the black queens, and thus dummy’s void is most likely to be in spades and partner’s void in hearts.

    However, the length in diamonds of the 5D opener makes it less likely that dummy has a running suit and thus the case for partner’s void to be in spades is very strong, due to relative suit length, which perhaps overrules the normal logic of leading the weaker of one’s longer suits.

    I think it is Martel – Stansby who have specific agreements
    that Dbl asks for a certain lead here, not “guess my void”.

    In the primitive world without such an agreement,
    it’s very tough.

  • 6. sartaj  |  May 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Winning the spade King is clearly the right play

    1. When spades are 6-1, the only relevant case is D AQ both in the North hand. S- K wins there

    2. When spades are 5-2, winning the king and diamond to king requires only DA in South.
    Ducking the king at trick 1 and then playing diamond to the jack requires DQ in the South hand AND DA in the North hand

    Before any acrobatics, cashing one high heart is important.

    • 7. khokan  |  May 11, 2009 at 10:32 am

      I’m not convinced that cashing a high heart is correct. The minute extra chance of a singleton HQ must surely be offset by the cases where north holds the J9 of spades and AQ of diamonds, in which case the defenders can attack hearts to beat you.

  • 8. khokan  |  May 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    On the first hand, it’s difficult to see how south could get a chance to overcall, unless EW play a big club system. Other the auction would start with a 2NT opening or 1C – 1S. Also, if south overcalls, rather than makes a lead-directing double, I don’t see how it makes playing the hand easier.

  • 9. Ben Thompson  |  May 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I think there are two basic possibilities here:
    * East meant 7D to make and South is cubing for a lead
    * East meant 7D as an advance sac, and South has a bunch of goodies
    There are some either-or hands (like long diamonds, long holey side suit, random void – maybe you make if they get the lead wrong, maybe you don’t) … but they’re still mostly sac-intention.

    If East is sacking, I’m probably going plus on any lead.

    I like to play Lightnerish doubles as asking for a specific suit to be led. You can’t always double when you want to, but when you do there is no doubt about what it is that you want led.

    We’ve all had the hand where partner made the Lightner double, we’ve led our 6 card suit and it’s turned out that partner was actually void in our 3 card side suit. I had one years ago that was 7 and 2.

    So here, I play X is asking for a spade lead and that’s what I lead.

    If partner hadn’t doubled, I think I would lead a club. Diamond is too negative – they could easily be drawing trumps, cashing up East’s side suit ditching losers and thanking me at the bar. If you think East is likely to have a source of tricks for his 7D (if he’s going to be making it), it’s most likely to be hearts, so leading a heart would be kind of like leading a diamond.

    Partner’s CA is more likely to hold up than partner’s SA, so that’s what I would do without partner’s helpful double.

  • 10. khokan  |  May 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I think that partner is more likely to hold a short(ish) ace, rather than a void. The 7D bidder must have a running suit to bid this way. I lead the C3, with apologies if partner has a spade void.

    • 11. khokan  |  May 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

      I change my lead to the CQ – no harm in trying for extra undertricks if partner holds C AJ10!


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