Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Simple, pointless, but fun

Love all
Dealer North
  • Q1054
  • 6
  • A1097653
  • K
  • AJ76
  • Q873
  • Q2
  • 874
  • K832
  • AK94
  • KJ4
  • A10
  • 9
  • J1052
  • 8
  • QJ96532
All pass

North's slightly off-centre 3 opening pushed us into the best contract - normally one would want to play in four of a major, but when all the suits are breaking badly, no trumps plays better.  For what it's worth, I wouldn't open 3 on the North cards, but might well open 3 given a chance with the South hand.

South led the queen of clubs, North overtook, and I ducked, hoping to find North with a doubleton club.  A singleton was even better for me.  North switched to ace and another diamond, South discarding a club.  I cashed the ace and king of hearts, North discarding a diamond.  This showed up an obvious flaw in my vague plan to take a spade finesse through South's presumed length: North was now known to have started with seven diamonds, one heart, and presumably one club, so four spades.  Instead, I played a spade to the ace, noting South's nine, and successfully ran the six.  I could then duck a spade to North, win the diamond exit discarding dummy's last spade, then cash the ace of clubs and the king of spades to squeeze South, making the last trick with dummy's eight of clubs.

If South has a small singleton spade, I can make only nine tricks.  After winning the ace of spades, I cash the queen of hearts, the ace of clubs, and, if North has kept all her spades, the jack of diamonds.  Then I duck a spade to her.  She has one diamond left to cash, then has to lead into the split tenace in spades.  (If North unexpectedly follows to the ace of clubs, play king and another spade next instead.)

The overtrick was pointless, alas.  We were playing Butler (i.e. imped) pairs, and it was worth nary an imp.  It's not my favourite form of the game.

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