May. 22nd, 2008 05:42 am
[personal profile] lenv1
I played a two session swiss team event Saturday. Traditionally, the day before mother's day (yes, I know, this was a week late) my unit holds a two session swiss with a BBQ dinner at the split. At dinner they give out the Mini-McKenney medallions and ace of clubs certificates. What fun. When I found out they gave up on the awards ceremony (you mean I wasted my time winning hundreds of masterpoints last year?) I was crushed. I broke the bad news to the winner of the Grand Life Master category and his teammates (second in Grand Life Master, first in Emerald Life Master, and second in Diamond Life Master. So far this year, they're still first and second in Grand, first in Emerald, and now first in Diamond) he was crushed. He put on a brave face but I could tell. Those multiple world championships are little consolation. In fact, it was such a disappointment, that neither of our teams won the swiss. A team from other units (units which, no doubt, award medallions) won.

I did notice two very interesting hands in the same round. Once I was dummy, the other on opening lead. Each time dummy put down AQx, not in trump, traditionally a bad place to put AQx. Each time the suit was lead through dummy. Each time the lead was from the king, up to Jx. Maybe AQx is the perfect holding to put in dummy.

Monday night, after work, I stopped by the club for the monthly swiss teams, to pick up my wife. She was playing against another Grand Life Master (he got a medallion a different weekend) so I watched him for the last two boards. I would have watched her, don't get me wrong, but she prefers I watch anyone else.

1st, favorable
K9xxx Tx JTx Kxx


They play weak NT, so 2H shows either 15-17 balanced or a sound min with shape, with four hearts either way. GLM announced that he shouldn't trust the opps but he would, so he tried 4S, passed around to my wife, Jo, who doubled.

AJTx Kxx x JT9xx
K9xxx Tx JTx Kxx

He (correctly) pointed out that a 2S call would have promised 4S without showing extras (that sort of makes his 4S call an insult, but what can you do...) and thought about the hand. LHO continued a small heart, won in dummy, and now declarer ducked into a deep trance. He came out with a diamond off dummy and Jo played DK, declarer and opening leader followed small. She cashed CA and led another club. He won CK and cleared LHO's CQ, Jo pitching a diamond. After HQ ruffed, and S9 (no cover) to the ace (all follow small), he led SJ-x-?

1) We know LHO is either 2=4=4=3 or 1=4=5=3. He's shown HAQ and CQ and we haven't seen SQ, HJ, or DAQ. If he's 2=4=4=3 he has to have SQ and DA and at least one of the other two red pictures. If he's 1=4=5=3 he has DA and maybe the red honors. Not helpful.

2) Let's check out the IMP odds.

a) Teammates make 4H for +620

We score 1H and 1C on defense assuming my hand doesn't lead a club (it wouldn't) and pard leads a club before trumps are drawn and RHO gets a pitch on a long diamond, so to make 4H LHO must be 1=4=5=3. If GLM takes a spade finesse now, -100, wins 11 IMPs and playing for the drop, -300, wins 8 IMPs.

b) Teammates go down in 4H for -100

Spades must be 2-2, so finesse now, -300, loses 9 IMPs. Spade drop, -100, loses 5 IMPs.

c) Teammates defend 4SX (or 4S or 3S)

Unlikely, not worth worrying about. Note that GLM's teammates play a strong NT, so they are unlikely to get to 4H on a 4-4 fit with only 24 HCP, and if they do a save is wildly unlikely. With the 1=4=5=3 hand it's unlikely opps at the other table would get busy with the nine count.

d) Teammates play a heart partial

i) LHO is 1=4=5=3 for +170

Finesse now, -100, wins 2 IMPs and playing for the drop, -300, loses 4 IMPs.

ii) LHO is 2=4=4=3 for +140

Finesse now, -300, loses 4 IMPs and playing for the drop, -100, wins 1 IMP.

So, if they bid game:

LHO's shape\Spade guessFinesseDrop

and if they don't:

LHO's shape\Spade guessFinesseDrop

Declarer played for the drop, saying he didn't want to go -300 in a phantom. Fine. The IMP odds are 3:4 or 6:5, depending on the contract at the other table, so that's a pretty frail reed on which to pin your hopes.

On the other hand, would RHO play DK from a holding like Kxxx? If she has DAK, CA (she's a passed hand) the spade finesse is off. If she has DKQ, CA, and HJ she can't have SQ or she'd have opened 1N (12-14). So it comes down to:

Qxx xxxx KQxx Ax opposite x AQJx Axxxx Qxx
xx xxxx KQxxx Ax opposite Qx AQJx Axxx Qxx

She would always bid 4H with the latter hand, but would she double 4S? Unfavorable at IMPs after a forcing pass? And what of the forcing pass. Which hand is more likely for opener?
Finessing seems clear to me, and it was right at the table.

To be fair to GLM, allow me to point out:

a) LHO is unreliable, so his forcing pass may be (heavily) discounted
b) This particular GLM is unlikely to play Jo, a girl, for playing DK, in 2nd seat, from Kxxx
c) Jo held Qxx Jxxx Kxxx Ax

Nice play!
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