Sunday, February 11, 2018

Counting Endplay


Here is another endplay where the bidding helped me get a count on the hand.

Playing teams, RHO opened 2, described as 11-15 HCP with either a 6-card club suit, or, if only a 5-card club suit, then a 4-card major on the side.

I held this hand so I overcalled 2NT.

Kxx
KJx
Kxx
AK10x

Partner bid 3NT which ended the auction. A club was led and I beheld the dummy.

Qxxx
A10x
Qxxxx
x

Kxx
KJx
Kxx
AK10x

If I can bring in the diamonds, I should be OK. Otherwise, the contract will take some work. I won the J with the A and started on diamonds. There were potential problems no matter how I played the diamond suit, so I started with the K from my hand. RHO won the A and returned a club which I won with the 10, pitching a spade from dummy. Now at least I have 3 club tricks. I next led a diamond from my hand and when I won the Q—disaster—RHO showed out, pitching a club. 

Now I have 3 clubs, only 1 diamond, probably 3 hearts and one spade--8 tricks--not good enough. Well at least I’m starting to get a count on the hand.

I cashed the A and led a heart to my J which held.  With nothing better to do, and to complete the process of getting a count on the hand, and perhaps also to strip RHO of his exit card, I cashed the K and RHO followed with the Q. It is looking like his initial distribution was 4-3-1-5, or possibly 3-3-1-6.

Either way I’ve got him. How do I execute the endplay to make the hand?
Here are the remaining cards.

Qxx

xxx


Kxx

x
Kx

If you're trying to learn endplays, stop here and try to figure it out.

Hint: You've got to force RHO to lead spades for you.

Answer: I first cashed the  K and then threw RHO in with a club. As he had already discarded a club, he could only cash at most one more before exiting with a spade. He led a low spade and I let it ride around to my Q. I then led a spade back toward my hand and he couldn't prevent me from scoring a second spade trick--my 9th trick! We won 10 IMPs and the match.

See you at the table!