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0004 - Listen to the Bidding

Playing Intermediates #004 – This deal initially looks a lot like the playing intermediates deal 0001 – Find the Jack where declarer needs to find the  J and the  A will take care of itself. But, listening to the bidding places the  A and logic says don't finesse for the  J.

This deal (rotated) was played by Dave McClintock with Marvin Shatz August 12, 2014 / Okatie Creek DBC.

There is nothing special about the auction, 2  is a reasonable contract. West's 2  overcall vulnerable (VUL) should show opening values (12-15 hcp) and a good suit - one West wants lead, if partner is on opening lead. 

West leads the  A and when East encourages with the  8, continues with the  K and then the  10. 

When dummy is faced holding the  Q9, the first question should be what kind of diamond suit does West have to overcall 2 ? Missing the  KQJ97 of diamonds the best suit West could hold would be  A10865, not the best diamond holding, so West probably holds 6-diamonds. West also shows up with  AK10. Without the  Q, West must hold the  A to have the values to make a 2-level overcall vulnerable. So, West should hold something like:


With so much information now available, how should Dave (South) play this hand?

So here is the complete deal.

In fact, West's hand just may be the  J away from doubling first and then bidding diamonds with 16-18 hcp.

When Dave ruffs the third round of hearts in hand he analyzes the hand and counts his winners of 3 spades + 2 diamonds + 3 clubs = 8 tricks. So, if Dave can win 4 spades – limit spades to one loser – he can make 3  for an overtrick.

So how does Dave play the spades? West must have the  A so first lead up to the  K, now what? So if spades are split 3-2 (53.3%) and if West has 9-red cards, West likely has shortness in spades ( Ax), so therefore, Dave leads the  6 back planning to duck to West's  A. Fortunately, the  J now pops which Dave covers with the  Q limiting spades to one loser.

Often, very often, the right play produces the right result even if it is not exactly the planned the lie of the cards. 

To obtain a printable PDF file of this post click here " 20140812 0004

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