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An Extra Chance

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 07:22


The auction is Paleolithic but the play is the thing. West leads the queen of diamonds against your grand. How would you play and why is it wrong to play a club at trick two as recommended by Bridge Master (level 5 B-27)?
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#2 User is online   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 09:39

As a simple soul I'd play a dummy reversal and hope the hearts break.
A small extra chance that if West has 4 hearts there is a red-suit squeeze I think?

Win DK
CA
C ruff with A
Spade
Club ruff
Spades, throwing H2.
Now (unless West has discarded 5 diamonds, in which case cash DA and South's hand is high)

HAKQ
DA
last heart

I could afford 1 round of trumps before the CA in case West is 1-5-7-0 but then I think East might have bid on KQJT98765 and also might have made a Lightener double?
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#3 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 10:17

If the spades are 4-0, the hearts are likely to be 4-1 or 5-0. If that is the case, only a squeeze can save the day. If west guards the red suits, a crisscross squeeze is necessary due to entry problems so the first trick must be won in hand . Then one spade cashed to find the bad news. It is possible for west to hold 1471 or 2470 but the play would be the same, ruffing 2 clubs high and using trumps for transportation. If west follows to the first spade it is safe to play a second spade before ruffing clubs in case of the 2470 hand.
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#4 User is offline   Evies Dad 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 10:34

Wouldn't East be more likely to have 4 h.
Eliminate clubs, draw trumps and run 9H if West is deemed to hold a singleton.
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#5 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 11:12

View PostEvies Dad, on 2021-August-21, 10:34, said:

Wouldn't East be more likely to have 4 h.
Eliminate clubs, draw trumps and run 9H if West is deemed to hold a singleton.


Your hearts aren't good enough, E will cover any card you lead, you only succeed against a singleton 8 or 6.

You can succeed against 4171/1471 with W I think, but I haven't found the line for 3172 if there is one.
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#6 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 11:48

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-August-21, 11:12, said:

Your hearts aren't good enough, E will cover any card you lead, you only succeed against a singleton 8 or 6.

You can succeed against 4171/1471 with W I think, but I haven't found the line for 3172 if there is one.


I could be wrong but in order to squeeze east the only possibility seems to be clubs/hearts (therefore west cannot hold 2 clubs) so you have to ruff a diamond . The question is how to play to allow yourself the options of either ruffing diamonds or ruffing clubs. So, to preserve the entry in case west is 4-7 in the reds, the first diamond is won in hand. Then you have to play on spades. If east shows out on the first or second spade then you have to play for the club/heart squeeze. If west show out on the first or second spade, you would play for the diamond/heart crisscross against west.

And, of course, if the hearts turn out to be 3-2 it is all moot but you can find that out without killing the squeeze chances.

So, it looks to me not only is it wrong to play on clubs at trick 2, but it is also critical to the second chances to win the diamond in hand.
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#7 User is offline   Evies Dad 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 15:11

3172 there is an automatic squeeze against E (1417).
After 4s 2c 3d he can't hold 4h and last c.
Edit - oops are in wrong hand.
The hard part is deciding what E has along with his 4h.
If E has 4h and a shape that can't be squeezed then the only line available is hoping W has singleton 6/8H. That is still 40% as a last resort.

Is there a line when W holds 2173 ?
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#8 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 15:16

View PostEvies Dad, on 2021-August-21, 15:11, said:

3172 there is an automatic squeeze against E (1417).
After 4s 2c 3d he can't hold 4h and last c.
Edit - oops are in wrong hand no way back
The hard part is deciding what E has along with his 4h.
If E has 4h and a shape that can't be squeezed then the only line available is hoping W has singleton 6/8H. That is still 40% as a last resort.

Is there a line when W holds 2173 ?

When West is 2173 you need him to have singleton 8 or 6 of hearts. But you are right that it is wrong to play a club at trick two, as recommended by Bridge Master. When he is 3172 you also need him to have a singleton 8 or 6 of hearts and a club at trick two is fine ... Also if West is 1-4-7-1 you need to win the first diamond with the king and a club at trick two does work ...

I think Winston sums it up. Win the first trick with the king and cash a trump, and you will pick up all layouts you can. If West is 4-1-7-1 then a club a trick two is fatal.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#9 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-21, 17:20

Assuming west has 7 diamonds, the odds of his holding 4H seem very low. If he is 1=4=7=1, we can afford to win the first diamond in hand, lead a club, ruff a club

If west shows out, then we test trump. If west has a stiff trump, then we can ruff another club, with the Ace, and run dummy’s trumps. After the penultimate trump, we have in dummy K 9754 A void

In hand, we have void AKQ2 xx void

West has void Jxxx (or equivalent) xx

Now we cash the last trump, pitching a heart and the cross cross materializes.

The only downside to this requires east to hold a 9 card suit, solid apart from the Ace.

I think it foolish to cater to that, hence a club at trick 2 is a sound play.

Note that if west has a mundane hand such as 2=1=7=3: we don’t have the entries to draw trump then ruff two clubs in our hand and get back to dummy to play the last trump

Say we win the opening lead in hand, and play 2 rounds of trump…say they split. Club Ace, ruff, cross in trump, ruff a club. Now we have to play a diamond to the board to cash the last trump.

The 5 card ending is K 9754 void void opposite in hand void AKQ2 x void

LHO has the feared 2=4=7=0, which is what we were catering to by not playing a club at trick 2. He has void Jxxx J void.

We cash the spade King, pitching our heart, but now west pitches his heart guard….we can’t get back to the 4th heart.

So it is, I think, incorrect to state that the club at trick 2 is an error…I think it mandatory.

Then, most of the time hearts will break. But if west has 1471, we make on the cross-cross and if east has 4 hearts, we need to be in dummy when we break the suit, since we will be leading the 9, hoping for stiff 8 or 6 in west. We’ll know the count perfectly after ruffing two clubs.


As with any intentionally inflicted squeeze (and we’d explore squeeze here) or other endgame position the key is to visualize the position immediately before the squeeze card is played….including in which hand we will be.


Where I agree with Winston is that it’s essential to win the first trick in hand. This sort of situation is why all good players (when playing well) take considerable time before playing to trick one. I know that at least my instinctive reaction is to win in the short hand, so taking time to plot the play BEFORE calling for a card at trick one is essential. I think that the BM hands do a wonderful job of forcing players to do just that.

But while winning in hand is essential to creating the crisis-cross matrix, it’s also critical for the far more common scenario where east has the long hearts.

So we play for the criss- cross and by doing so learn whether it works, whether hearts are breaking, or whether to play for a miracle in hearts.
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#10 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-August-23, 00:58

The time that playing a club at trick two is wrong is when West is 4-1-7-1, when his singleton heart is not the eight or six. Then you destroy your own squeeze. I think it is right to cash a high spade at trick two, and this makes the contract whenever it can be made.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#11 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-August-23, 07:24

View Postlamford, on 2021-August-23, 00:58, said:

The time that playing a club at trick two is wrong is when West is 4-1-7-1, when his singleton heart is not the eight or six. Then you destroy your own squeeze. I think it is right to cash a high spade at trick two, and this makes the contract whenever it can be made.


If east passed 4D holding 0418 shape, then this line is better than a club at trick 2.

While I doubt that many easts would find that call, and I’m not sure how clear it was to bid 3D on xxxx x QJ109xxx x (maybe a stiff clubhonour?), I can see that it costs nothing to cash a high trump at trick two. If east shows out, we have to hope west has 4=1=7=1 or 4=2=7=0 and play diamond Ace, spade to hand, diamond ruff, top spades, heart to hand, draw trump and squeeze east

So I stand corrected…a high trump can’t cost, even tho it almost surely won’t gain either. Good catch.
'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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