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Equal Percentages? A choice of lines

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 06:28


Matchpoints. Good club standard.

3NT might have been better here, but I alighted in 4S on the 8H lead (second and fourth), East plays the six, normal count. I won in South and led a spade to the six and queen, which lost to the ace and another heart came back, the three. What is my right line in trumps?
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#2 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 11:49

I honestly don't see any strong reason to make an inference about spade length. I'm not familiar with second best leads but I'm assuming that the lead and count cards tend to show 44 hearts? The only inference to make that I can see is that RHO may have ducked with Ax or Axx and LHO with Kx might have flown K. Therefore, it seems that playing for the potential of LHO having K9xx is slightly superior.

If there is something more, I'm curious and all ears.
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#3 User is offline   manudude03 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 12:48

I'd be more inclined to play East for AKxx. People do randomise the honour they win cards with on a regular basis, but even good players tend not to randomise their trump pips as much as they should, i.e. they would play the 4 instead of the 6 a lot more than 50% of the time.

I did wonder if someone with AK9x would just duck the trick, but you can pick up 4-1 either way by playing back to the ten then.
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#4 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 16:42

View Postmanudude03, on 2021-September-02, 12:48, said:

I'd be more inclined to play East for AKxx. People do randomise the honour they win cards with on a regular basis, but even good players tend not to randomise their trump pips as much as they should, i.e. they would play the 4 instead of the 6 a lot more than 50% of the time.

I did wonder if someone with AK9x would just duck the trick, but you can pick up 4-1 either way by playing back to the ten then.

The two critical layouts are stiff A and AK9x with East, say if East wins with the ace. After adjusting for free choice it is a toss-up. Is it heads or tails?
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#5 User is offline   manudude03 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 06:55

View Postlamford, on 2021-September-02, 16:42, said:

The two critical layouts are stiff A and AK9x with East, say if East wins with the ace. After adjusting for free choice it is a toss-up. Is it heads or tails?


You need some two-headed coins :).

As said, I would be more inclined to play East for AKxx. It also has the benefit that you might not be able to make the contract anyway if it is stiff A (club switch through king).
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#6 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 07:58

View Postmanudude03, on 2021-September-03, 06:55, said:

You need some two-headed coins :).

As said, I would be more inclined to play East for AKxx. It also has the benefit that you might not be able to make the contract anyway if it is stiff A (club switch through king).

The club ace has to be onside or you aren’t making anyway.
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#7 User is offline   manudude03 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 08:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-03, 07:58, said:

The club ace has to be onside or you aren’t making anyway.


Good point (and I do seem to remember thinking that at first, forgot about it). The idea is the same though only if West has K9xx, they are more likely to be able to get a club ruff for -2.

Edit: You would also need to decide what to do if West can win and switch to a low club, king's probably right, but you could be getting Grosvenor'ed.
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#8 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 09:02

If West wins and switches to a low club the king is your only chance of making. Or did you want to play East for the singleton ace?

East's heart spots normally deny the 7 and the 2, making the 4-4 heart split very likely. In fact, it is very likely East started with 9653 and West with T872. In theory East should be able to deduce from the auction that West has at least four hearts, and therefore that the lead is second from nothing, and that playing the 9 the first trick is safe. But maybe they saw deeper into the position and deduced the 9 could confuse partner (could it?), or they kept the 9 out of habit. This argues against a club ruff if West shows out the second round of spades - West would need to be 1=4=2=6 and a diamond lead is probably better. If East shows out the second round (assuming we read that, which I fail to do, and led a spade from North) there is no threat - by assumption West has the ace of clubs, so the East hand cannot be reached.
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#9 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 11:48

View Postmanudude03, on 2021-September-02, 12:48, said:

I'd be more inclined to play East for AKxx. People do randomise the honour they win cards with on a regular basis, but even good players tend not to randomise their trump pips as much as they should, i.e. they would play the 4 instead of the 6 a lot more than 50% of the time. I did wonder if someone with AK9x would just duck the trick, but you can pick up 4-1 either way by playing back to the ten then.
Agree with ManuDude03's argument. Win the return in hand, to lead 3. If LHO had been dealt A964 if might not false card. Also, if he held 4 or more hearts, he might have competed in the majors.
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#10 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 12:19

If Reese was right then the fact that east played one honor is evidence that he cannot hold the other as with both he might have played the king but with stiff ace he had no choice.
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#11 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 13:18

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-03, 12:19, said:

If Reese was right then the fact that east played one honor is evidence that he cannot hold the other as with both he might have played the king but with stiff ace he had no choice.

Basically you are arguing restricted choice
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#12 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 13:21

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-03, 12:19, said:

If Reese was right then the fact that east played one honor is evidence that he cannot hold the other as with both he might have played the king but with stiff ace he had no choice.
The exact same argument applies to West - if West had 4 spades they chose to play the 6 from K964, instead of the 4.
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#13 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 14:20

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-September-03, 13:21, said:

The exact same argument applies to West - if West had 4 spades they chose to play the 6 from K964, instead of the 4.

But as manudude correctly, imo, pointed out, most players do not randomize low spot cards as often as they should. Indeed, if one plays suit preference in trump, as a lot of good players do, one gets out of the habit of randomizing even when, as here, suit preference isn’t likely to provide useful information. So the spot rates to be honest.
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#14 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 16:22

View Postmikeh, on 2021-September-03, 13:18, said:

Basically you are arguing restricted choice

Yes. Exactly. From Master Play if memory serves. I was quite impressed with Reese when I was trying to learn.
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