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Last dance Mea culpa

#1 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-September-15, 10:43

Harry's Swiss Teams. Do you agree with your bid?
You considered bidding 5 but luckily remembered that OXO* would be declarer and your side is vulnerable).
At double-dummy, South can make his game but in real-life should be defeated.
West leads K against South's 4 contract. Which would you play?

Hit next to see the first 7 tricks.
*OXO = Ox opposite. John Collings coined this abbreviation to use instead of CHO to go with LHO and RHO


OXO has already muffed an opportunity to defeat the contract.
In this 6 card ending, on-lead, after winning Q, what is the last chance for the defence?

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#2 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-September-15, 12:58

It’s not only oxo who muffed the defence. Why the club 5? Surely east should play the Jack in order to get the heart shift?

Now, declarer can always take the diamond hook later but might be persuaded not to, since west might have led or switched to a stiff diamond.

As it is, in the endgame the odds look bleak, but one needs to exit the heart King. This will succeed most of the time that the 3 would work, and will win on force, where the 3 rates to fail, if partner has J10 in hearts, as he did. It might also work if he has Jx….declarer will usually hook coming back, if he started with Q10x.

Edit: I suspect that at the table it would be difficult to avoid bidding 4C. However, on this auction it may well lead to their bidding 4S, when passing might get them playing 3S. While as the cards lie we should beat 4S, the auction would be the same on lies where they should make, as opposed here to could make. 5C would not appeal to me at all.
'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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#3 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-September-15, 13:43

View Postmikeh, on 2021-September-15, 12:58, said:

It's not only oxo who muffed the defence. Why the club 5? Surely east should play the Jack in order to get the heart shift? Now, declarer can always take the diamond hook later but might be persuaded not to, since west might have led or switched to a stiff diamond.
If West switches to , at trick 2, declarer has extra chances :( Declarer can duck to East's K, cash AK K and use dummy's A to finesse .

View Postmikeh, on 2021-September-15, 12:58, said:

As it is, in the endgame the odds look bleak, but one needs to exit the heart King. This will succeed most of the time that the 3 would work, and will win on force, where the 3 rates to fail, if partner has J10 in hearts, as he did. It might also work if he has Jx….declarer will usually hook coming back, if he started with Q10x.
Well sussed :)

View Postmikeh, on 2021-September-15, 12:58, said:

I suspect that at the table it would be difficult to avoid bidding 4C. However, on this auction it may well lead to their bidding 4S, when passing might get them playing 3S. While as the cards lie we should beat 4S, the auction would be the same on lies where they should make, as opposed here to could make. 5C would not appeal to me at all.
Good point :)
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#4 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-September-15, 15:51

The complete deal.

West's continuation was best defence.

Against accurate defence, declarer has to play double-dummy. conceding an early trump, to create an extra dummy-entry for red suit finesses,

After 2 rounds of s, declarer's actual line is reasonable -- but West should ruff declarer's K to lead a and defeat the contract, easily,

After West failed to ruff, East's only chance is MikeH's MerriMac coup -- killing an entry to dummy.

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#5 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-15, 19:46

View Postnige1, on 2021-September-15, 15:51, said:

West should ruff declarer's K to lead a and defeat the contract, easily,

We had 2 opportunities to suggest hearts, on the OL and in our play of the 2 spades. Given that we failed to indicate hearts on either occasion, it seems strange if we then blame partner for not finding the correct defence.
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#6 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-September-16, 18:22

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-15, 19:46, said:

We had 2 opportunities to suggest hearts, on the OL and in our play of the 2 spades. Given that we failed to indicate hearts on either occasion, it seems strange if we then blame partner for not finding the correct defence.
On the actual layout, at trick 1, East does better to encourage a continuation because an immediate switch helps declarer.
At trick 2, if West obediently continues clubs, however, then East should probably play A to suggest values.
That signal would make it even easier for West to ruff the 2nd top to sink the contract with a switch.
Arguably, that defence should have been obvious, in any case :(.
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#7 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-16, 18:37

View Postnige1, on 2021-September-16, 18:22, said:

On the actual layout, at trick 1, East does best to encourage a continuation because an immediate switch helps declarer.
At trick 2, if West obediently continues clubs, however, then East should probably play A to suggest values.
That signal would make it even easier for West to ruff the 2nd top to sink the contract with a switch.
Arguably, that defence should have been obvious, in any case :(.

I can buy not showing hearts on the OL but why would anyone not just play their trumps 8-3? This is an absolutely no loss play that clues partner in to the most important feature of your hand. It was so obvious I watched for it specifically when I first clicked through the hand. For me, any advanced player is going to make this signal here and John Collings certainly qualifies on that score, so he should 100% expect you not to hold the K after playing 3-8. Making the right signal here is a million times more obvious than ruffing in after partner has denied the K. Again, you don't blame your partner when it was you yourself that messed up. This is how you learn and get better at the game.
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#8 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-September-17, 05:16

East can suggest a later switch but prevent West from switching at trick 2, by overtaking the opening K lead and returning J. In any case, however, West should ruff declarer's 2nd winner to lead a . I was West so mostly at fault.
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