Thursday, 5 June 2014

Easy to play, too hard to defend

Love all
Dealer West
  • KQ86
  • 104
  • Q95
  • Q976
  • J32
  • K6
  • KJ1062
  • 854
  • A95
  • 972
  • A873
  • A102
  • 1074
  • AQJ853
  • 4
  • KJ3
All pass
  1. 12-14
  2. To play (forcing hands go through 2NT)
North led the ten of hearts against 3, and my partner put down a suitable dummy. At matchpoints, declarer's first task is to decide if 2 might go off with diamonds 2-2 - if it will, then that's the distribution it's most important to make 3 against. But here, the defence would need to attack spades early and establish two tricks in the suit, which at best is possible only on an unlikely misguess by declarer. So in 3 one should simply aim for as many tricks as possible.

With hearts apparently 6-2, the finesse is better odds than the drop, so after winning the king of hearts at trick two I played the king of diamonds then the jack. I was probably going to run it, so North covered and I won the ace and came back to the ten. I'd have liked to be in dummy to ruff the third heart, but that didn't really matter. I ran the eight of clubs to the jack, ruffed the heart return, and played ace and another club. With this very fortunate spade layout, the suit is frozen once North has taken one honour, so when I let him win the spade switch he was forced to lead into my tenace.

There was not much in the play, but what about the defence? North having failed to lead a club, South has to switch to the suit at trick two. Then North has to cover West's jack or ten of diamonds lead, so that the third round of diamonds can't be won in dummy to ruff the third heart. I don't see how South can know to make that switch.

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