Too hard for me.

May 28, 2009 at 11:16 am 9 comments

It was supposed to be a Cayne match on BBO on Sunday, but it felt more like we’d been beamed up to some other planet that had a version of bridge I didn’t quite get.





Yeah, sorry, you’re too high again – 6NT by West. Without communication difficulties this might not be such a bad spot. But on the SJ opening lead – that after you have opened 1S – let’s just say I didn’t get that warm and cosy feeling you like to have after dummy comes down….

What’s the best plan to make the most of it?

(Comments suppressed for now.)


Entry filed under: Cayne matches.

Still at the six level. Too hard for me, continued

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan  |  May 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I’m not sure about D to 9 or D to J; If D9 loses to the 10 and a D
    comes back we probably run it, and could go down even with HKxx onside. Whereas if DJ loses to the K we’re still OK if a major
    is 3-3 and HK on side. Is it so unlikely the lead is from J109?

    I suppose it comes down to how likely RHO is to duck holding DK.
    How would you defend with xx 109xx Kxxx Qxx?

    • 2. Khokan Bagchi  |  May 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

      I wouldn’t run the diamond if one came back. A second diamond trick isn’t much use at this stage. You need hearts 3-3 with the finesse working and the spades 3-3 (unlikely).

      On the layout you’ve suggested, you’ve got 10 tricks once the DJ scores.There’s no squeeze if you set up a spade as the 11th trick, as the red suit threats are after dummy. I can’t see where the 12 trick comes from if you set up a heart, either. If you don’t cash 2 spades before throwing east in with the 4th heart, east can safely exit in spades when in with the 4th heart. If you cash a spade, east can lead up to the CJ – the club suit is blocked.

      You need deep finesse on hands like lthese!

      • 3. Jonathan  |  May 29, 2009 at 7:54 pm

        5 hearts 3 spades two diamonds, two clubs is enough, so I would run the second D to the J if the 9 lost to the 10.

        If the DJ scores on my example hand you’re right – I didn’t notice a C into the KJ was no use (unless we give South C109 as well.)

        Perhaps it IS more important to stay out of this contract than to try to make it…

  • 4. Khokan Bagchi  |  May 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I reckon you should be able to stay out of a slam on this hand. I might have mentioned earlier that I find bidding problems much more interesting than play problems. What about the following sequence?

    2S___2NT (forcing)

    I don’t think east has enough to force to slam.

  • 5. khokan  |  May 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Every line suggested so far seems to rely on play a diamond towards the J9 at some stage. If you’re going to rely on the DK to be with South to allow the DJ as an entry, you may as well play South for the D10 instead – this builds a trick as well as an entry.

  • 6. Jonathan Mestel  |  May 29, 2009 at 12:00 am

    If this is the worst slam you bid in a week, then I worship you.
    I have no idea what’s best, but my instinct is to play a D to the J
    at trick 2. This should tighten up any end position I suppose this is playing N for HK and something good to happen.

  • 7. phil markey  |  May 28, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    i tanked for about 90 seconds then won the queen hooked a heart and played a diamond down

  • 8. khokan  |  May 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I might win the SK in dummy and play a diamond to the 9, forcing an additional entry and a trick if south has the D10. This way, I’m making if:

    (1) the diamond 10 is onside;
    (2) the heart finesse works; and
    (3) hearts or spades break, or there’s a squeeze for the 12th trick.

    This line isn’t high-percentage, but alternative lines based on spades breaking appear unlikely to work, given the lead in spite of your opening bid, and these lines force you to make an early decision about what to discard from dummy.

  • 9. Ben Thompson  |  May 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I refuse to accept their opening lead out of turn and make partner play it. He will demand a non-spade lead, and that will have to be better for us.

    The spade lead looks like spades aren’t breaking – not good.

    It’s going to be very hard to make without getting extra heart tricks. If spades broke, I could maybe get 5 spades, 3 clubs (club finesse), 3 diamonds (but I’d have to pick them, and probably lose one to do it) and the HA. And even with spades breaking, that’s less likely that just taking the heart finesse.

    So I want to take the heart finesse. If that gets me 5 tricks, I’m home (just concede a diamond). If it only gets me 4 (ie 3-3 with the K off or 4-2 with the K on), I’m going to need either spades 3-3 (which I don’t think is happening) or a minor suit finesse plus a squeeze (we’re short of entries to take more finesses).

    The real pooper is that South would very likely duck a heart to the Q with Kxx. That’s going to be a blow because when the HQ wins, I’m going to blow my last direct entry to hand to take the heart finesse again.

    Well, spades a fair chance to be 5-1, so I think what I’ll do is win SK, play a spade to the Q and see what South ditches. Probably a card from his long minor, which may give me a hint about the honour layout.

    I’ll chase that with a heart to the Q. Two options:

    (A) If that loses, South will pretty much have to return a heart, so I cash them (because they have to be 3-3 now to be any chance of making), cash CK, CA and then cash SA to execute the squeeze. South would have to be x Kxx 108xxx Q109x, or very similar.

    (B) If heart to the Q wins, I’ll assume they’re 3-3 with the K onside and play a diamond to the J right there. I can’t cross to CA, cash SA and then take the heart finesse again because even if hearts break, I still need to knock out the DK and North could have that plus a cashing spade or two.

    (still on B) What could happen to the DJ?
    – It could lose to the K with N. Now I need hearts 3-3 with the K onside
    – South could pop the K. And do what? Continue a diamond I guess. Now I need hearts 3-3 with the K onside again
    – South could duck and the DJ could win. Maybe I could try to endplay a South who also ducked Kxx heart, but my communciation is shot, so I would just play a heart to the J next.

    (still on B with the DJ winning) If I only have 4 heart tricks, I’m going to need a squeeze on South now, kindalike the end of case A above, but with a slightly different hand. South would have misdefended (by ducking his DK) to let me get here, but it happens.


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