Man or mouse? Continues.

October 30, 2009 at 5:49 am 8 comments

NORTH

s86
h1A872
d1
cAK109762

WEST

sAKQ5
h14
d1AKQ109832
c

EAST

sJ107
h110953
d1J54
cJ84

SOUTH

s9432
h1KQJ6
d176
cQ53

The hand is from the Spring Nationals semifinal. In one room the West hand asked for specific aces with 4NT, North passed, East showed none and West signed off in 6D. Should this ambition to bid seven by West encourage North to bid on principle? Pauline Gumby thought not. +1370.

In the other room Simon Hinge thought nothing of trying his luck at the seven level, doubled and -500 for a swing to the eventual losers. All that rubber bridge, no doubt. Steels the nerves.

Thanks to Rainer for doing a simulation, see his comments under yesterday’s post.

I think we could call this a man nor mouse situation as well:

WEST

sA1093
h17
d17532
cKQ65

SOUTH

s4
h1QJ10432
d1J1086
cJ4

You sit West:

West….North….East….South
……………………………Pass
Pass…..1H…….Pass…..4H
Pass…..6H…….All Pass

Partner leads the DK, taken by declarer’s ace. Then ace and another trump to dummy and partner discards the S5, playing reverse count. I’m not sure why declarer did this as it must be wrong on principle to let the defenders make a possibly useful discard here. Still, there you are. You now have all weekend to make the decision about what you are going to do SMOOTHLY and in tempo on the spade off dummy at trick four. I’d prefer to give you one nanosecond to do that, but unfortunately it is out of my control.

See you Monday.

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Entry filed under: bidding, defence. Tags: .

Man or mouse? Man or mouse? Concluded

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ben Thompson  |  October 31, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    First things first – I have plenty of time to make my decision before the spade gets played. Trick 1, for example, is a good time to think about that problem. Even when partner pitches the S5, you still have to pitch, and you can think a little without obviously thinking about what you’re doing when dummy’s spade gets played next.

    I think partner pitched a spade deliberately to turn us off that suit. Not that he needed to – I doubt that anyone is jumping to 6H with KJ in spades, a 5422/5431, and holes in the minors. Where does he think his tricks coming from? He may be making a slam try, but he’s not going solo.

    I’m going for declarer as something like KQJx AKxxx Axx A (and partner as xxxx x KQ 109xxxx). So I hop SA and play a diamond.

    If that doesn’t work, North is just some crazy lucky guy and I hope to play against him more.

    Reply
  • 2. khokan  |  October 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    On reflection, maybe ducking the SA is wrong. Partner would not likely throw a spade from Qxxx, even though it’s clear that it can’t cost the contract ie ruffing out the SQ isn’t going to be critical.

    I still think, though, that 6H with the following hand is anti-percentage.

    KQxx
    AKxxx
    Ax
    Ax

    Reply
    • 3. phil markey  |  October 31, 2009 at 9:13 am

      i think pard has the same shape as we do – if he had 5/6 clubs why wouldnt he pitch one of those ? – so i think donald is right

      its unlikely i would come to this analysis at the table although as soon as dummy hits the issue is plainly what to do on the spade off the deck so i am confident i played in tempo

      bidding 6 hearts in this auction is a classic scoreboard test scenario – you write down +1430 or your an idiot – debating or defending its merits is offensive leaving only post set gloating or apologising as appropriate

      Reply
      • 4. khokan  |  October 31, 2009 at 11:31 am

        Not clear what you mean by “offensive”, Phil. Are you saying that the only thing that proves the merits, or otherwise, of bidding 6H is the result, or are you saying that you shouldn’t debate actions taken at the bridge table? Bridge would be a pretty random game if you couldn’t get some idea of the likelihood of success for bidding actions.

        As to partner’s shape, would partner pitch a spade from Qxxx, rather than a club from xxxx (he probably should). Who is Donald?

        Reply
      • 5. phil markey  |  October 31, 2009 at 12:51 pm

        “Are you saying that the only thing that proves the merits, or otherwise, of bidding 6H is the result, or are you saying that you shouldn’t debate actions taken at the bridge table?”

        the nature of the game is to do right things that are wrong and wrong things that are right – debate might help but real debate between human beings is a rare thing – if north writes down +1430 listening to debate about it being a crappy bid is only going to be listened to disingenuously – if he writes down -100 south has been betrayed and wont be debating it

        so we can debate the merits of the punt north took but the intangibles make a reasoned debate a bit shallow for me – i mean do we really know ? – rising ace of spades is something we still arent too sure about and we have had some decent debate about that

        i agree about the club pitch thingee – if pard has 6 spades then he isnt my pard – if he doesnt have an even number of spades he messed up – if he has 4 spades and he has less than 4 diamonds he has a very natural club pitch – so i’m going with 4144 as most likely

        donald duck

        Reply
  • 6. khokan  |  October 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I play low (hopefully in tempo!!). Declarer is much more likely to hold:

    KJx
    AKxxx
    A
    Axxx

    than:

    KQx
    AKxxx
    Ax
    Axx

    Reply
    • 7. Peter Gill  |  October 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm

      Partner would not discard S5 (Reverse Count) on either of the above hands.

      Reply
      • 8. khokan  |  October 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm

        Yes, you’re right, although partner could technicslly have Qxx52

        Imagine these hands, then:

        KJxx
        AKxxx
        A
        Axx

        than:

        KQxx
        AKxxx
        Ax
        Ax

        The former seems more likely than the latter.

        Reply

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