Thursday, November 15, 2012

Interesting Slam Play Problem

Picked up a very interesting play problem the other night during our regular weekly Team Game. I held AQ53  AK8  AKT  J74  and opened 2N in 1st seat. Partner transferred to Hearts with 3D and then bid 3N. Even with the 4333 hand, I liked my Hearts and bid 4H, partly in case partner had a short suit somewhere, and partly to see if partner could make a move knowing I had real Hearts.
Partner bid 5C over 4H, and I bid 5D. Partner retreated to 5H, but now expecting a Spade Lead, which would improve my hand, I tried the pushy 6H. This went all pass and I got the 4 of Spades lead. Partner put down this hand for me.

The Spade lead took care of the pointed suit loser, now I had to bring in Hearts and Clubs for only 1 loser. Wanting to keep some flexibility for later, I played low in the Spade, and the K appeared on my right. That now left some interesting possibilities in Spades for later.

I cashed the A of Hearts, and both opps followed low, now I went across to the A of Clubs, with RHO dropping the 8 of Clubs. RHO was not a person to make a false discard too often, so the 8 could be treated as an honest card, giving even more interesting options. I now played a Heart off table, and when RHO played low, I inserted the 8, on which LHO pitched a small Diamond. So now I had a Heart loser and had to bring the Clubs in for no losers to make this. There looked like 2 basic options to do this, play RHO for Q8 or T8, but then I would have to guess which. Or play LHO for the 10 of Spades for the small Spade lead.

I finally decided that I did not want to guess what magic holding to play RHO for in Clubs, so played a small Spade to the 9, which held the trick. I now cashed the J of Spades, which RHO ruffed, but I could now claim, pulling the last trump when I got in next trick, and pitching the 2 Club losers on the good Spade and Diamond. Turns out RHO had T8 of Clubs, so playing the J of Clubs out of my hand also would have worked.

This was not bid at the other table, they played in 4 Hearts, so we were able to win 11 IMPS on the hand, which was the margin of victory. The other team, although relative newcomers to the IMPS League, played very well and will be heard from.

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