Monday, 20 May 2013

Four Hearts Doubled

I can't yet face writing about Part 2 of the Buchanan Congress, so here's a hand me and Anna played on line. It was on Bridge Base against strangers, so features some truly awful bidding. The play is interesting though.

NS vul
S deal
♠ A J T 6
♥ A Q 7 4
♦ 9
♣ K J T 3
♠ 9
♥ T 6 5 3
♦ 6 3 2
♣ Q 9 6 5 4
♠ Q 7 5 4 3
♥ -
♦ A K Q T 4
♣ A 7 2
♠ K 8 2
♥ K J 9 8 2
♦ J 8 7 5
♣ 8

This was in the Acol club, and me and Anna had both had a couple of glasses of wine. Presumably East had too. I was sitting North and opened 1♣. We've not really decided what to do with 4-4-4-1 hands, but if it's short Diamonds it's easy, we always open 1♣. East has a bit of a tough decision between bidding some sort of Unusual 2NT or just overcalling 1♠, but instead went for a double. Anna bid 1♥ and I have a nice six loser hand so went for 3♥. East, perhaps regretting her first double, now decided to come in with 3♠. Anna bid 4♥, and now East doubled it.

West led her ♠9, and Anna saw the dummy. How would you play it? After you play one round of trumps East shows out.

First thing to note is that we've got pretty good Spades between us, so East must have rubbish Spades. In fact, on this lead, you have an easy four Spade tricks. So right now you could draw trumps, and take four Spade tricks along with your five Hearts. Unfortunately this still leaves you one trick short. If you try to set up the ♣K after drawing trumps as soon as you lose the lead you'll lose three Diamonds and a Club.

Anna realised this and instead went for Diamond ruffs. This is a decent shot, but fails against good defence. East won the first Diamond, gave partner a Spade ruff, and West returned a Club for another ruff (well defended). That meant four tricks for the Defence, so one down. This was likely to happen, as the lead was obviously a singleton, and it's almost certain that East has the ♣A. So, as long as the defence gets it right they're going to get four tricks.

So what's the solution? I think you should draw three rounds of trumps, then set up your Clubs (with a low one to the Jack). You will suffer a Spade ruff, but only one, and this is OK. You come out with five Hearts, three Spades, one Club and one Diamond ruff.


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