Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jennbridge: Squeezing in Monterey

It's always better than I remember: the weather, the seafood and the beauty of Monterey Bay.  Throw in some good competitive bridge and you have a winning combination!

Margie Michelin and I had a nice 58% game to make it to the barometer finals.  Here's a fun hand from the first session. Bd. 7, both Vul.

2
J 6 4
A K Q 10 9 7 2
6 5

Partner opened 1, RHO overcalled 1 and I bid 2. The bidding became rather long and tortuous after that, but we eventually landed in the nice contract of 5.

8 6 5 4
A 9 8 7
8
A K 8 3

2
J 6 4
A K Q 10 9 7 2
6 5

A diamond was led and I studied the hand. Clearly I had a spade loser--could I avoid losing two hearts? Like most players, I usually can't visualize the whole hand at trick one, but this much I know: Once I start running my long suit, the hand will generally come into focus.

It was possible that LHO needed to guard both clubs and hearts and that she could be squeezed.  To prepare for this possibility, I rectified the count by ducking a heart early in the hand:  I led a heart which lost to the 10 in RHO's hand. A spade was cashed and I won the next spade.

Sure enough, LHO started getting uncomfortable making discards on the run of the diamonds On the penultimate diamond she pitched the Q and on the last diamond she discarded the K!  She wasn't able to guard both clubs and hearts and I scored up my game. 

Hand rotated--I sat North.

Board 7
South Deals
Both Vul
2
J 6 4
A K Q 10 9 7 2
6 5
A K Q 10 9 7
10 5 3
5 3
Q 2
N
WE
S
J 3
K Q 2
J 6 4
J 10 9 7 4
8 6 5 4
A 9 8 7
8
A K 8 3

Making 5 was worth 36.5 matchpoints out of 38. 

See you at the table!

2 comments:

Jeffrey.Lehman.MA said...

I like the idea of losing an early heart ... but I think I am inclined to do so by floating the H9 (rather than playing toward the A987, which at the table lost to the T). With some single suit combinations, floating the H9 will produce two heart tricks when you next play the heart suit and the spade overcaller is short in the heart suit.

If the 9 is covered by the ten and jack and a royal, I will probably later choose to finesse against the remaining royal. I can also play to fell or pin a missing honor if a royal (probably mistakenly) rises before the J, or if the nine is ducked to a royal.

If the H9 is ducked to advancer's ten, I can later try to play for the rounded suit squeeze as you did at the table.

Anonymous said...

I think the early heart duck by starting from the hand was good. What you really don't want is the winning defender continuing a second heart, possibly after cashing a spade. You would survive with the given hand since the clubs are 5-2; but to cater to the more likely case of 4-3 clubs, you would like to play 3 rounds of clubs before cashing out all the trumps. Then you would need the heart ace as an entry to the club threat.