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Every Day Decision What do you do and why do you do it?

#1 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-01, 10:02

Here is a normal type hand that is faced almost daily. West leads a 4th best club against your 4H contract. How do you play and what is your reasoning to do so?

Imps: Club 3 lead. (4th best)

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#2 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-01, 12:13

There look to be three losers, A, A and a club. There is the possibility of a heart loser if they don't break and a second diamond loser if one of the opponents holds AJx. I don't think East holds this otherwise West might have led a singleton hoping for a ruff, so the diamonds are either 2-2 or West holds AJx. The problem is if I duck and East holds the K, they might switch to a singleton diamond and the defence get a diamond ruff, down one. This is where I struggle to work out the odds. Ducking will be fine when West has led away from the king, when East has the king and doesn't switch to a singleton diamond, or the diamonds are 2-2. The clubs look to be 4-4 and West didn't overcall 1, so if they hold AJx and Kxxx they don't hold ATxx(x) or they would have doubled or overcalled, and we have to hope West has two or three hearts. I think I will duck the lead in dummy, it requires a very narrow range of layouts for me to get a diamond ruff against me via a singleton diamond switch, and with a layout consistent with West not finding a double or spade overcall. My plan after that assuming I don't get the unfortunate layout is to draw trumps and play the spade king, whoever holds the ace might duck eliminating one loser. Beyond that, if it comes down to playing the diamonds myself from hand for one loser, play from the top and hope for a 2-2 break or stiff jack.
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#3 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2021-August-01, 12:54

good hand Winstonm. I have been timed-out. lol! took to long thinking about best line. instinct says let lead run round to Q as defender having led low club probably has top honour also (K) gut feeling says take A and lead from dummy to K and try to make this loser into winner by stealth.

I like AL78 analysis but not sure is quite right. good defenders will find ruff if are 3-1 so that is not in equation.
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#4 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-01, 15:40

One thing to consider is that the opening lead has granted a chance to avoid a club loser - but the same lead has given the opponents a chance to win the club King and switch to a singleton diamond. Provided the hearts cooperate and If the club is on the right, the contract can be assured by rising with the ace as long as diamonds are 2-2 or the jack is singleton. If the club king is on the left, a duck wins an extra club trick and provides an entry to the spades for diamond discards if needed.

Also, if LHO has led from the king, running the lead to the queen also allows a better chance to make if the hearts are 4-1.

So my thinking is that running the club to the queen is the best choice.



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#5 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-August-01, 19:16

My thought is to let the club ride to the Q. Mainly, I think that "Provided the hearts cooperate and If the club is on the right, the contract can be assured by rising with the ace as long as diamonds are 2-2 or the jack is singleton." is not correct. You rise with the A and then do what? If you draw three rounds of trump you are in danger of losing to two aces and two clubs. Rho gets in with one of those aces and leads a club pickling your Q if Lho holds the K.
And if you don't draw three rounds of trump the danger of a D ruff is still there.

Now if Lho is a devotee of "Never lead away from a K " then it's a different story. But people do lead from kings and if he has done so then you will probably go down if you rise with the A and draw trumps.


And, as you note, if the club K is on your right defeat is not certain if you duck and victory is not certain of you hop up. When Ds are 2-2 you will usually make even if you duck.
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#6 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-02, 11:30

View Postkenberg, on 2021-August-01, 19:16, said:

My thought is to let the club ride to the Q. Mainly, I think that "Provided the hearts cooperate and If the club is on the right, the contract can be assured by rising with the ace as long as diamonds are 2-2 or the jack is singleton." is not correct. You rise with the A and then do what? If you draw three rounds of trump you are in danger of losing to two aces and two clubs. Rho gets in with one of those aces and leads a club pickling your Q if Lho holds the K.
And if you don't draw three rounds of trump the danger of a D ruff is still there.

Now if Lho is a devotee of "Never lead away from a K " then it's a different story. But people do lead from kings and if he has done so then you will probably go down if you rise with the A and draw trumps.


And, as you note, if the club K is on your right defeat is not certain if you duck and victory is not certain of you hop up. When Ds are 2-2 you will usually make even if you duck.

If the club king is on the right along with the singleton diamond jack you guarantee (if the hearts are 3-2 ) your contract by playing the ace. You lose 2 aces and can cross to dummy in diamonds to lead a club toward the queen, which you can also do with diamonds 2-2.

You lose 2 aces but only 1 club - as long as the king is on your right.
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#7 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-August-02, 15:48

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-August-02, 11:30, said:

If the club king is on the right along with the singleton diamond jack you guarantee (if the hearts are 3-2 ) your contract by playing the ace. You lose 2 aces and can cross to dummy in diamonds to lead a club toward the queen, which you can also do with diamonds 2-2.

You lose 2 aces but only 1 club - as long as the king is on your right.


You might well lose 2 diamonds.
Assume the Ds are 3-1 and the person with the stiff D has three hearts. So after you take the club A, I assume that you draw all three rounds of trump to avoid the ruff. You are in your hand and you do what? If you lead a spade they take it, cash a club and lead another club. You are in. Now what? They have two tricks, you are in your hand, someone has AJx if Ds, Even if they take the diamond K they are not endplayed, The exit with a club, they wait for their J.

If you start with the diamond K, the A goes up, the club K is cashed, they cash the spade, another club is played. You are in your hand with no way to the board and you have lost three tricks. Someone still holds the Jx of diamonds.

So it seems to me anyway. I have not given it to Gib, but ask yourself what do you do after you rise with the club A and play off three rounds of trump? I
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#8 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-02, 21:53

View Postkenberg, on 2021-August-02, 15:48, said:

You might well lose 2 diamonds.
Assume the Ds are 3-1 and the person with the stiff D has three hearts. So after you take the club A, I assume that you draw all three rounds of trump to avoid the ruff. You are in your hand and you do what? If you lead a spade they take it, cash a club and lead another club. You are in. Now what? They have two tricks, you are in your hand, someone has AJx if Ds, Even if they take the diamond K they are not endplayed, The exit with a club, they wait for their J.

If you start with the diamond K, the A goes up, the club K is cashed, they cash the spade, another club is played. You are in your hand with no way to the board and you have lost three tricks. Someone still holds the Jx of diamonds.

So it seems to me anyway. I have not given it to Gib, but ask yourself what do you do after you rise with the club A and play off three rounds of trump? I


Ken,
You are seemingly not reading what I wrote when I responded - I specifically stated if the diamond jack is singleton or the diamonds are 2-2. If so, you can get to dummy in diamonds to lead a club toward your queen.

Thanks 😊
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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 08:09

I can agree that I did not phrase things well. The issue is whether to hop up at T 1 or to play low at T1. When will I regret my choice, when will I be happy?

Suppose I play low and the Q wins. Very likely I am making this hand. I play a club to the A and a spade from the board. If someone hops up with the A and they get a D ruff I don't care since then my remaining Ds are good. moreover, if trumps are 4-1 the stiff D is unlikely to be with the stiff H so that ruff leaves the Ds as 3-1. Or maybe at T2 they take the A and do not get a ruff. Say the lead a trump. I rise, I ruff a club, cash the two spades throwing Ds, and lead the last trump from the board. If trumps are 4-1 that's no problem. I have two trump and the KQ of diamonds in my hand so they get 2 of the last four tricks, I get the other 2. So it is very likely that the contract comes in on the sole assumption that the club K is on my left.
What do I need if I rise with the A? Quite a bit, starting with the club K being on my right. If the club K is on my left even a 2-2 diamond split will not save me assuming Rho has either the diamond A or the spade A. And if Ds are 3-1 then I need the stiff to be the J otherwise, if someone holds AJx, I am going down regardless of where the club K is.

So: If I play low I need the club K on my left, and that's all I need. If I rise with the A I need quite a bit. If I regard it as highly unlikely that Lho would underlead a K then yep, I should probably hop up with the A. But if the location is of the K is anything even remotely like an even bet then playing low must be the way to go.

There is a little bit of mind reading. If Lho had the stiff D J might he have led it? Well, if he held the stiff D J and four clubs to the J then yes, he probably leads the D J. Of course Rho might hold the stiff D J and the club K. Then yes, better go up with the club A at T1 and draw trump.

Anyway, I play low at T1. I am sure of that. I think it is the best choice, of course I could be wrong, but I am absolutely sure that I do it. I don't see it as a close call.
Ken
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#10 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 09:01

Playing low at trick 1 is the right play.
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#11 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 09:18

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-August-03, 09:01, said:

Playing low at trick 1 is the right play.


The bridge gods are smiling at me, for the moment at least. They are fickle gods.

Do you have the full hand handy?

The other day the following came up: 1D-1S-1NT-3H. I am holding a 2=3=4=4 12 count. Ah yes. Is 3H forcing? I think not but I think my partner thinks that it is. Does partner have five hearts? I think he should but I am not sure. I bid 3NT. Pard tables a 5=4=3=1 12 count. The bridge gods smiled, the opponents were helpful and it came in. As Julie Andrews sings, Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.
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#12 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 11:40

View Postkenberg, on 2021-August-03, 09:18, said:

The bridge gods are smiling at me, for the moment at least. They are fickle gods.

Do you have the full hand handy?





3 of clubs lead.

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#13 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 11:58

An interesting hand. It's the "Oh, and also" feature that comes home for us here. Mostly I play low because if the K is on my left and either of the aces is on my right then they can get three club tricks. Here both aces and the K are all on my left but still the duck comes through because of the 4-1 trump split. An unexpected gift.
Ken
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#14 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 14:45

I don't understand why West made an attacking and dangerous lead when their partner is marked with little, instead of playing a safe top heart. West is looking at three defensive tricks and the club king might be a fourth on some layouts. There is nothing in the bidding to suggest that the potential club winner might go away on an establishable side suit. As it happens I don't think it makes any difference as declarer can quickly set up two club discards on the spades if a club isn't led.
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#15 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-03, 16:45

View PostAL78, on 2021-August-03, 14:45, said:

I don't understand why West made an attacking and dangerous lead when their partner is marked with little, instead of playing a safe top heart. West is looking at three defensive tricks and the club king might be a fourth on some layouts. There is nothing in the bidding to suggest that the potential club winner might go away on an establishable side suit. As it happens I don't think it makes any difference as declarer can quickly set up two club discards on the spades if a club isn't led.


I did this from memory so he probably held J9xx of Trump
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#16 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-August-04, 08:12

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-August-03, 16:45, said:

I did this from memory so he probably held J9xx of Trump


Ok, that makes a difference, in which case that is a hideous hand to find an opening lead from.
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#17 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-August-04, 08:40

Yes. Part of my thinking was "How likely is it that Lho would underlead the club K?" It's a bit tricky. The auction shows that most of the high card points lie with declarer. Still, if Lho has a more modest holding a club lead might still be attractive. And, in the other direction, leading from four to the J is not all that attractive either and he did lead a club. So 4 to the J or 4 to the K? Well maybe 4 to the J9 is appealing.

I take your point to be: What are we to make of a club lead on this auction. I agree. It's not just a matter of "Well, if it is 4th best then a random deal makes it 50-50 as to where the K is".

The ACBL Bulletin has a series on mathematics in bridge. I'm a (retired) mathematician and I think people overestimate the role of math. Very often as hear, the math has to be combined with, and perhaps take second place to, questions like "Huh. Why did he do that?" Math is not useless, not at all, but it requires care in applying it.

Anyway, my thinking, just looking at the NS hands, was that a club lead from the k was a reasonable possibility. That, combined with all the things that could go wrong if I hop up with the A, led me to play low. Bridge is interesting for many reasons, one of them being that it is simply impossible to confidently judge the chances that the K is on the left. This time it was.
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#18 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-August-04, 09:22

View Postkenberg, on 2021-August-04, 08:40, said:

Yes. Part of my thinking was "How likely is it that Lho would underlead the club K?" It's a bit tricky. The auction shows that most of the high card points lie with declarer. Still, if Lho has a more modest holding a club lead might still be attractive. And, in the other direction, leading from four to the J is not all that attractive either and he did lead a club. So 4 to the J or 4 to the K? Well maybe 4 to the J9 is appealing.

I take your point to be: What are we to make of a club lead on this auction. I agree. It's not just a matter of "Well, if it is 4th best then a random deal makes it 50-50 as to where the K is".

The ACBL Bulletin has a series on mathematics in bridge. I'm a (retired) mathematician and I think people overestimate the role of math. Very often as hear, the math has to be combined with, and perhaps take second place to, questions like "Huh. Why did he do that?" Math is not useless, not at all, but it requires care in applying it.

Anyway, my thinking, just looking at the NS hands, was that a club lead from the k was a reasonable possibility. That, combined with all the things that could go wrong if I hop up with the A, led me to play low. Bridge is interesting for many reasons, one of them being that it is simply impossible to confidently judge the chances that the K is on the left. This time it was.


Although the immediate thought is to play low and ensure two club tricks, I find it interesting that it is not so clear cut and there is an argument for playing the ace.
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