Aug 122002
 

None Vul
IMPs
Dealer: East
Lead: D8

jhemmer
S A Q 6 5
H A 8 4 2
D 8 3
C A Q 7
Maestro
S K 10 2
H Q J 10 3
D K
C K 9 8 6 3
[W - E] justinl
S
H K 9 7
D A Q J 10 6 5 4
C J 4 2
danb
S J 9 8 7 4 3
H 6 5
D 9 7 2
C 10 5
West

1 H
3 C
4 H
Pass

North

Dbl
3 S
Dbl

East
1 D
Rdbl
4 D
Pass
South
Pass
2 S
Pass
Pass

 

In an earlier installment we had a demonstration of how to get tapped in a 5-3 fit. Today we have another rare variation: getting tapped by discarding your stopper in the suit.

East’s redouble is support, showing exactly three hearts; and South’s jump to 2S is preemptive. North raises to 3S over Gee’s 3C, and East rebids his diamonds at the four-level. 4D makes without any trouble, except on an unlikely club lead, but Gee, aware of his sure touch in Moysians, corrects to 4H. The spade game also makes, extremely luckily, for N/S, with the trump and diamond finesses both on; but North wisely opts for the certain plus by doubling.

North leads the D8, best for the defense, and here we should pause to consider how the play might proceed in a parallel universe of accurate declaring. The bidding and opening lead indicate that North is 4-4-2-3 with all three aces. Declarer plays three rounds of diamonds, discarding a spade and club. North’s best play is to discard a spade on the third round, retaining trump control. A fourth round of diamonds is ruffed by South and overruffed by declarer with the 10. North must refuse to overruff and discard a club. Now South plays a heart to dummy, ducked by North, and a fifth round of diamonds, which South can no longer ruff, discarding a club. North ruffs in and plays a low heart back, but eventually is endplayed in the black suits for down 1. (Update: My original analysis was wrong. Thanks to Ira Chorush for this improved version.)

In the actual universe the play goes somewhat differently. Gee wins in dummy and plays two rounds of trump ending in dummy, North correctly ducking. Now Gee shifts to diamonds. He discards a spade on the first round. He discards a spade on the second round. North ruffs in, cashes the trump ace, cashes the SA, dropping Gee’s now-bare SK, and leads another spade. Gee could hold it to down 4 by ruffing the fourth round of spades, and leading a low club, forcing North to concede a club trick. Instead he ruffs immediately and leads a club into North’s tenace. Down 5, not vulnerable. And you know what that means.

  3 Responses to “Son of Trump Management”

  1.  

    I think that, on the auction, 4-3-1-5 or 4-3-2-4 patterns are more likely than 4-4-2-3, and I don’t agree with “except on an unlikely club lead” (against 4D). South is on lead for the first and last time on this hand, and a club lead looks like a fair choice when partner has shown the blacks. Not much future in spades with 10 cards between North and South.

    •  

      Roland is certainly right that a club is a reasonable lead against 4D. As for the distribution, I think the double strongly indicates four hearts, and that we both left out the likeliest layout of all, 4-4-1-4. In that case the play should go exactly the same way, but North has a chance to beat the contract two tricks by ruffing in on diamonds and giving his partner a club ruff.

  2.  

    I see no way to make 4s so long as west pitches at least 1 heart on the diamonds after East plays the diamond queen. South is one entry short. Of course, it is cold at this table.

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