Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Sometimes You Live Right And Sometimes You Don’t

Practicing on BBO a couple of days ago against Jeff Smith and Captain Paul I had two interesting lesson hands.  Here’s the first

  S AK52  
  H Q3  
  D KQ72  
  C A53  
  S J94  
  H 986  
  D A84  
  C K763  

All vulnerable

Jeff Isabelle Paul Linda
Pass 1D Pass 1NT
Pass 3NT All Pass  

Jeff and Paul had never played together but had agreed on third and fifth and upside down count and attitude.  They had no discussion about leads against notrump.  Jeff led the H2 and when I played the HQ it held, with Paul playing the H4.  It looked to me like Jeff had led fourth highest and Paul was giving either count or more likely positive feelings about hearts.  This suggested the suit was 4-4.  How do you play the hand?

We won 11 imps on this board since only one other pair made it (when one of the defenders suicided).  Several had got a heart lead.  So I thought I had played it fairly well.  While my thinking about the hand wasn’t bad,  I didn’t get all the way there and in retrospect it seems so simple. 

Clearly the right line is to return a heart.  I considered it at the time but got myself confused about what to pitch from dummy if Jeff did had five hearts.  If Jeff cashes three hearts (as he will on the hand) then you throw 2 clubs from dummy and one from your hand.  You will then be able to make the play I did, cash the spade ace and lead towards the spade jack.  If spades are bad you can still try diamonds and there are squeeze chances too.

If hearts were 5-3 all along then on the last heart you throw a spade from dummy since you can’t duck one anyway and a club from hand.  Now you can make it if the spade queen is doubleton, the diamonds break or if Paul has both the spades and diamonds (just make sure to cash the top clubs early).  So I won eleven imps on this board by being lucky.

The next interesting board is a bidding hand.  I have noticed that both David and Jeff double a lot of games when they know things aren’t breaking and Rick Delogou got me last week when he doubled with a void in trump (reminding me that when good and silent opponents double they are often the one short in trump).  Here is a hand with that theme.  Jeff held S K763 H K10953 D Q1042 C void.  This was the auction.

Jeff and Paul vulnerable

Jeff Isabelle Paul Linda
Pass 2C Pass 2H
Pass 3C* Pass 3NT

3C was invitational with a good six card club suit.  Do you double on Jeff’s hand?  I think this is a nice aggressive bid.  Hearts aren’t working; your other cards appear to be well placed and partner may well have a club stack.  If you do it goes all pass and you can now pick a lead.  As it turns out the best lead (which Jeff found) was a diamond and Jeff eventually choked up plus 300 worth 4.9 imps.  Here is the whole hand


  S 95  
  H J2  
  D K65  
Jeff C AK9876 Paul
S K763   S J104
H K10953   H 8
D Q1042   D AJ98
C VOID Linda C J10542
  S AQ82  
  H AQ764  
  D 73  
  C Q3  

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