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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 66  
Subject: Duped... Date: 8/5/2012 3:14 PM
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Everybody,

Here's a deal (rotated) that occurred at a sectional tournament this past weekend.


Dealer: East
Vulnerable: North-South

North
S: K 10 9 5 4
H: Q 10 5 3 2
D: A 9
C: 9

West East
S: A 8 3 2 S: Q 7 6
H: K 4 H: 6
D: J 4 D: K Q 8 6 5
C: K J 7 6 4 C: Q 8 3 2

South
S: J
H: A J 9 8 7
D: 10 7 3 2
C: A 10 5


The auction at my table:

     North    East      South     West
Pass 1H 2C
Pass 4H Pass Pass
Pass


West, of course, led the 6 of clubs, on which East produced the queen over Dummy's 9 and South won with the Ace. Now, the ruse: South continued with the seven of hearts (!), so West naturally assumed, from the bidding and the play, that East must have a singleton ace. Alas, the seven held the second trick. Declarer then led the Ace, felling a very shocked West's king. The defense subsequently scored the ace of spades and a diamond, but +650 garnered 17.76 of 23 available match points.

Norm.
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Author: eachus Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/12/2012 9:35 AM
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There is an error in the bidding. I'm pretty sure that North or South bid 4 Hearts, but did East raise Clubs? The lead seems to imply it. If East did bid Clubs, it matters a lot whether he (or she) bid 3 or 4.

If 3 Clubs, which implies some defense, your duck id reasonable, except that I would expect to find partner with a stiff Queen. But that is irrelevant. Especially if partner bid four Clubs, West should bid five.

If the bidding was 1H 2C 4H All pass, East definitely should have bid 5 Clubs. No excuse at this vulnerability. I don't pay a lot of attention to "the Law of Total Tricks," but it gives the same answer in this case.

Where should the bidding go from there? I don't know. Certainly 5 Clubs down 2 doubled for -300 beats -620 or -650, and if South does bid 5 Hearts, I have to hope that West won't duck in Hearts. (Partner shouldn't invite a sacrifice with the Ace of the opponent's suit--at least, not at the four level.)

There is a habit I've developed, from hard won experience. If passing puts you on lead, you should have a good lead picked out. No good lead? Think about bidding. Notice that in this case West should start thinking about a lead against a Heart contract at his first turn to call.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/12/2012 8:20 PM
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Robert,

There is an error in the bidding. I'm pretty sure that North or South bid 4 Hearts, but did East raise Clubs? The lead seems to imply it. If East did bid Clubs, it matters a lot whether he (or she) bid 3 or 4.

Argh! Yes, you are absolutely correct; the auction is indeed messed up. Here is the actual auction.


North East South West
Pass 1H 2C
4H Pass Pass Pass


If the bidding was 1H 2C 4H All pass, East definitely should have bid 5 Clubs. No excuse at this vulnerability. I don't pay a lot of attention to "the Law of Total Tricks," but it gives the same answer in this case.

Actually, with West's bid of 2C showing 5 and East holding only 4, the Law of Total Tricks (LOTT) would limit East to 3C. Over 4H, nothing doing.


There is a habit I've developed, from hard won experience. If passing puts you on lead, you should have a good lead picked out. No good lead? Think about bidding. Notice that in this case West should start thinking about a lead against a Heart contract at his first turn to call.

That's always good advice.

Of course, the textbook lead on this hand is the 6 of clubs (4th best of the longest suit) -- and I don't see anything in the West hand or the auction that would suggest a different lead.

Norm.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/12/2012 8:29 PM
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Robert,

If 3 Clubs, which implies some defense, your duck id reasonable...

No, not my duck. I was the snarly declarer who made the deceptive lead of the 7 of hearts to the second trick. It's Ron Newburg who ducked, then had to 'splain the decision to his partner, Mark ("The Shark") Aquino.

Norm.

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Author: eachus Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 21 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/15/2012 3:18 PM
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Actually, with West's bid of 2C showing 5 and East holding only 4, the Law of Total Tricks (LOTT) would limit East to 3C. Over 4H, nothing doing.

I don't understand. I see three potential outcomes consistent with the minimum holdings. If four hearts makes, five clubs is a good sacrifice. If four hearts is down two, five clubs may/should make. What if four hearts is down one? Then four hearts was a bad bid, but five clubs down should still beat any heart partial.

So East should bid five clubs not knowing whether it is a sacrifice or making, just like North bid 4 Hearts not knowing whether it would make or not.

I think that may be why your trick worked. West has now seen dummy, and has to figure out why East did not bit 5 Clubs.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/16/2012 11:30 AM
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Robert,

I don't understand. I see three potential outcomes consistent with the minimum holdings. If four hearts makes, five clubs is a good sacrifice. If four hearts is down two, five clubs may/should make. What if four hearts is down one? Then four hearts was a bad bid, but five clubs down should still beat any heart partial.

Five clubs may well be a good bid in this deal for the reasons that you cite, but the Law of Total Tricks (LOTT) does not justify it.

The Law of Total Tricks: In a competitive auction, it is safe to bid a number of total tricks equal to the total number of trumps in both hands.

West's bid of 2C in the actual auction promised five cards in that suit, and west has only four. Thus, the LOTT says that East can bid nine (5+4) total tricks, or 3C -- which would be insufficient over my partner's 4H bid.

I think that may be why your trick worked. West has now seen dummy, and has to figure out why East did not bit 5 Clubs.

West, apparently feeling the need to "'splain" his decision to play low to his partner, said at the table that he assumed that I would have led the ace of trumps rather than the seven if I had held it, and thus concluded that East must have it. If East had held a singleton ace and West had played the king, of course, the ace would have overtaken partner's king, costing a trick. Ouch!

Of course, the reasoning behind my choice of lead to the second trick was much simpler. I simply reasoned that one normally covers an honor, but that one normally plays "second hand low" if the lead is a spot card. In this deal, however, I knew that the seven and the queen were equals -- but that fact also was not exactly obvious to West until the finesse of the seven held the trick.

Norm.

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Author: 5761796E65 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 23 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/16/2012 1:40 PM
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I haven't played in years, but it seems like it is a bad play by South. South is playing West for a specific holding and a misplay. West has to have Kx and not rise up with the K for this to work. Kx is a 25% holding. Assuming West guesses wrong 90% of the time, that reduced it to 22%. Playing the KH is 25%, while the finesse is 50%. Maybe due to the bidding, the K is more likely to be with West. But I still think the finesse is higher odds.


How about this line?
South wins the AC and cashes the AH. Now play the JS to dummy. Go up with the K if West ducks. West does best to win the Ace and shift to diamonds. Dummy wins the AD, cashes the KS. When the QS doesn't drop, ruff small spade. Now the spades are set up to pitch all the diamonds on. Losing two tricks, if I did it right.

I think this line gives multiple chances to work. The KH can be singleton, or West doesn't play the AS, or spades can be set up for diamond discards.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26 of 66
Subject: Re: Duped... Date: 8/16/2012 3:28 PM
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Wayne,

I haven't played in years...

Welcome to Foolish Bridge Players, and please do feel free to contribute!

Perhaps it's time to come back? Most bridge clubs and tournaments are non-smoking and quite friendly now. Rude behavior is no longer tolerated, and most clubs and tournaments impose penalties for it.

... but it seems like it is a bad play by South. South is playing West for a specific holding and a misplay. West has to have Kx and not rise up with the K for this to work. Kx is a 25% holding. Assuming West guesses wrong 90% of the time, that reduced it to 22%. Playing the KH is 25%, while the finesse is 50%. Maybe due to the bidding, the K is more likely to be with West. But I still think the finesse is higher odds.

In a normal game in which hands were dealt or otherwise randomly generated, I would agree with you in principle. The surprise here, thought, is that the king being singleton (2 x 1/3 x 39% = 26%) is exactly the same as the probability of West holding a doubleton king (2/3 x 39% = 26%).

But this was a standard pairs game in a tournament, with official tournament sets of hands in which you can pretty much count on a critical honor being offside and protected (as here), the missing trumps splitting 5-0 on the wrong side opposite your 4-4 fit, and whatever else can be against you actually being against you.

Okay, I exaggerate. But only slightly.

How about this line?
South wins the AC and cashes the AH. Now play the JS to dummy. Go up with the K if West ducks. West does best to win the Ace and shift to diamonds. Dummy wins the AD, cashes the KS. When the QS doesn't drop, ruff small spade. Now the spades are set up to pitch all the diamonds on. Losing two tricks, if I did it right.


That would have been the correct line of play if West had played the ace of spades on the jack.

In the actual deal, declarer led the jack of spades at trick four, west ducked, and declarer wrongly let the jack ride. As a result, east's queen won the trick and there was no way to avoid a diamond loser. Declarer should have covered the jack with the king, then ruffed three spades, returning to the board by ruffing two clubs and then by cashing the ace of diamonds. The fifth spade and dummy's last trump take two of the last three tricks so declarer loses only a diamond, also making six.

So the bottom line is that declarer should have made six either way after the deception worked.

Norm.

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