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What card do you play? Defense problem

#1 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-09, 17:48

Matchpoints.

This hand came up with my friend and her partner. I am making an educated guess at the auction:



West leads the 3. What do you do at trick one and if you choose to play the ace, what do you return?
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#2 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-July-09, 18:30

Tough, given that itís matchpoints

The only reason I can see for ducking would be that we are not rectifying the count, but I donít see that helping here. If we let him win his, presumed, Kx or less likely Qx (and I do know that declarer could have 3j and he runs the clubs we could be in a lot of trouble, possibly getting thrown in with the heart ace to lead away from our diamond King. Picture AQxxx Kx Qxx J10x

At the table Iíd ask whether 1S denies 10+ hcp. A lot of non-experts still redouble with all 10+ hands, even with a normal 1S response. Most experienced players simply make their normal response.

If declarer has denied 10+ hcp, Iím not so worried about the squeeze.

In any event, Iíd ask the question anyway since I want to be able to plan the defence.

I win the heart Ace and return the 9.

That way partner knows the heart situation. Yes, so does declarer but he may already know it and this is a hand where the defenders need to help each other.
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#3 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-July-09, 20:48

I am thinking if the clubs come in I get a bad score so I assume clubs are problematic. AQxxx, Kxx, xxx, Jx is consistent with the bidding.

The issue will be what to do when the club J is covered by the K. I can make it tough by winning the heart A and switching to the diamond K. So that is what I will do.
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#4 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2021-July-09, 21:20

View Postmikeh, on 2021-July-09, 18:30, said:

A lot of non-experts still redouble with all 10+ hands, even with a normal 1S response.

Really?? I thought that died out decades ago even against the "LOL/LOM"s. Then again I don't do a lot of kibbitzing of the Gold Rush pairs. But in open sectionals I can't remember the last time I ran into that even against the bad players. I think expert practice in this area has had a long enough time to filter down, at least among the duplicate crowd (can't say about the senior center rubber crowd my uncle plays in).

Maybe only in your neck of the woods?

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#5 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-July-09, 23:24

View PostStephen Tu, on 2021-July-09, 21:20, said:

Really?? I thought that died out decades ago even against the "LOL/LOM"s. Then again I don't do a lot of kibbitzing of the Gold Rush pairs. But in open sectionals I can't remember the last time I ran into that even against the bad players. I think expert practice in this area has had a long enough time to filter down, at least among the duplicate crowd (can't say about the senior center rubber crowd my uncle plays in).

Maybe only in your neck of the woods?

I donít know. Iíve played maybe 5 club games in the past ten years, and rarely play sectionals or regionals, so Iím going by distant memory.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 02:17

Does declarer play the low or an honour from dummy ? What do you lead from 4 or 5 small ?

The other line in consideration is to win the ace and return the diamond K to remove the side entry to the clubs if they don't run, but either partner has 5 hearts (where playing A9 works) or declarer has Qxx/Kxx and can unblock under the ace to force a second entry to dummy. This would be more attractive if dummy's clubs were AQJ8xxx where if you don't do this declarer with Kx and a stiff king of clubs can run the clubs if you don't.
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#7 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 03:23

View Postmikeh, on 2021-July-09, 18:30, said:

A lot of non-experts still redouble with all 10+ hands, even with a normal 1S response. Most experienced players simply make their normal response.
I can confirm this is still a point of major confusion at my local club, the former treatment is very common.
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#8 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 06:05

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-July-10, 02:17, said:

Does declarer play the low or an honour from dummy ? What do you lead from 4 or 5 small ?

The other line in consideration is to win the ace and return the diamond K to remove the side entry to the clubs if they don't run, but either partner has 5 hearts (where playing A9 works) or declarer has Qxx/Kxx and can unblock under the ace to force a second entry to dummy. This would be more attractive if dummy's clubs were AQJ8xxx where if you don't do this declarer with Kx and a stiff king of clubs can run the clubs if you don't.


Low and 4th best from an honor, top or second top from rubbish.
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#9 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 06:17

This hand came up in relation to a discussion with one of the better players in the club. I was asking him how he made 4 on a different board and commented on how these two ran into a lot of bad luck (they had two slams against them consecutively, one was cold, the other requires a very unlikely defensive line to get down), and he replied by saying they should concentrate more on the boards where they could have done better. He used this board as an example of where they could have done better, and he was technically correct, but I don't think the killing defence was clear at all, hence why I posted it here. Here is the full deal:



After the low heart lead, East has to switch to a low spade won by the jack followed by a low spade back to the king, allowing the defence to take four spade tricks and the heart ace for one down. They didn't find this so 3NT made for an 8% board. The standard contract was a club partscore making 10 or 11 tricks, two were going off in a spade partscore EW, one EW went off in 4, and two NS pairs bid and made 5.

Assuming I have the auction correct (and I may not have), I don't think this was a clear cut defence and so I think it is harsh to say they should have done better on this board, even though it is theoretically possible.
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#10 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 08:58

a is not too obvious. lol! think I would go along the line of K merrimac coup as others have said. even at matchpoints the aims of defenders is to get contract down, not to think about how many overtricks can be given away at trick one. after winning A, trick two return is fantasy guess; 9 is sensible; K is also guess but spectator applaud play. no applause for Lars on this hand...
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 09:31

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-July-10, 03:23, said:

I can confirm this is still a point of major confusion at my local club, the former treatment is very common.

In my club too. I am still struggling to convince one new partner to abandon this treatment: understandable I guess, he has played this way for decades and it works well enough in his eyes.
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#12 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 12:45

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-July-10, 02:17, said:

Does declarer play the low or an honour from dummy ? What do you lead from 4 or 5 small ?

The other line in consideration is to win the ace and return the diamond K to remove the side entry to the clubs if they don't run, but either partner has 5 hearts (where playing A9 works) or declarer has Qxx/Kxx and can unblock under the ace to force a second entry to dummy. This would be more attractive if dummy's clubs were AQJ8xxx where if you don't do this declarer with Kx and a stiff king of clubs can run the clubs if you don't.


If declarer unblocks from Kxx or Qxx, I would continue a heart.
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#13 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-July-10, 13:57

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-July-10, 12:45, said:

If declarer unblocks from Kxx or Qxx, I would continue a heart.


Which makes it an interesting play as it is, partner is either going to duck or play a third one, he's never finding a spade in a million years. Mind you I wouldn't have found south's 1 bid on that hand so would have been on the wrong foot anyway.
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