|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Monday, April 07, 2003
Saturday night I played with Sherry as I mentioned in the previous post. Sunday I was set to play in the Swiss with Dan and two other members of our GNT team. I talked to Dan on Saturday, gave him directions, and reminded him about the time change. Gametime arrived but no sign of Dan. I got a good substitute, one of the better players from the 0-2000 GNTs which were being held simultaneously with the sectional. We had a good set and nearly blitzed the opponents. Still no sign of Dan!
We could no longer borrow players from the GNT teams as their scedule did not match ours. So I asked a five-person team if we could borrow one of their players. I did get a substitute but unfortunately we were not on the same wavelength.
Here is a defensive problem:
2nd chair, vul v. not, you hold AQ83 QJT4 JT875. RHO opens 2 weak, you double (no, I wouldn't double either), RHO bids 3N, and partner doubles for penalty.
Partner leads the 5. You play attitude, where a low leads indicate interest in the suit and high leads disinterest, with no length information. Here is the dummy:
7642 86 QJ8754 A
Let's say you win the ace and declarer plays T. What now?
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While you ponder that, consider a lead problem. You hold 3 83 QT98732 Q84. All vulnerable, the auction starts at your left and is done before you bid: 1 1 3N. What do you lead?
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On the first hand, you need to return a club to remove dummy's entry. If you played a spade or a heart, you are in too much of a hurry. There is no hand consistent with the auction where declarer can run nine tricks. My partner played back a spade, declarer won, and the diamonds were set up for +650. My hand was J95 xxxx AT96 Qx. (Not a classic double, but RHO was an overbidder and I knew she was not making it. My partner had overbid and yet we were still on for +300 or so.)
On the second hand, you have your choice of a spade or a diamond. A spade is good if your partner has good spade interiors and entries. A diamond is good if spades are not a threat, though you have so many diamonds that it seems unlikely you could ever run the suit -- declarer can hold up Ax.
If you led a diamond, you lose 12 imps. Most players I consulted led a diamond.
What was wrong with a diamond? Nothing! In fact, you find dummy with AJ and partner with Kxx. In fact, you beat the contract four tricks vulnerable. Teammates were -930; my spade lead lost 17.
(I had fun telling people that their lead blew 12 imps, but I did learn something. World champion Lew Stansby told me that "if you never led a spade on this auction you would be ahead of the game." "Do they ever fool around with you on that basis?" "No.")
When I got home I had a message from Dan. He had a blowout while driving to the sectional and the result was a multicar pileup. His car was smashed and he had to go to the emergency room. Fortunately he was not badly injured.