Thursday, 19 December 2013

Kind of a Big Deal - Deal of the Week #12

Who knows what tomorrow will bring so I'm going to go ahead with a big hand from today for the Deal of the Week. It features lots of high level high pressure bidding decisions.

N deal, All vul
♠ A
♥ K Q J x x x
♦ T x x x
♣ A K
♠ K Q J x x x x x
♥ x x
♦ x
♣ x x
♠ T x x
♥ x
♦ A 8 7 x
♣ Q T x x x
♠ x x
♥ A T x x
♦ K Q J x
♣ J x x
4♠1 5♥2 5♠3 x4

Here's the monster auction, all the way up to a final contract of 6♦, played by South. North opened 1♥, and South replied 2♦, ignoring the Heart fit (better to support Hearts straight away). Then the bidding took off. West saw all his Spades and came straight in with 4♠. North wasn't going to let this go, and bid over it with 5♥. East, with my encouragement, bid 5♠. South doubled it, and North went into a think. He came out with a bold 6♦ bid, which was passed out.

There's lots of big decisions there. For better or worse, here's what I would have done for those six numbered bids.

1 I agree with 4♠. Even if partner has absolutely nothing, you're only three off.
2 I'd bid 5♦ here, as you know you have a Diamond fit.
3 I agree with 5♠. You've got a couple of tricks for partner (♦A and a Heart ruff).
4 Not sure! You have a defensive hand, but 6♥ can't be far off.
5 I'd pass the double. Given your previous bidding, you have a defensive hand, with ♣AK.
6 He wanted to double, I advised against it. Likely you have one trick, and partner has none.

So after some hair raising bidding, it finished in 6♦ by South. North must have been worried about trumps, but when South has ♦KQJx it looks good. But the trumps split 4-1, and unfortunately declarer drew all four rounds. East wisely withheld his Ace, and won the fourth round of Diamonds then the defence took loads of Spades as declarer was out of trumps too. Of course once a defender is down to the bare Ace of Trumps declarer is best just to cash all his other winners (in Hearts), and at some point the defender will get his one and only trick.

With this and a series of other vulnerable penalties I think AP and TB will win the week, to get back within one of JW and NC.

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