Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jennbridge: An Inferential Squeeze

In last week's team game, I had a chance to do something neat - make a hand because the bidding and play strongly suggested that an opponent had been squeezed.  I was dealt, in second seat:

♠   63
♥  KQ875
♦  AT
♣  KQT3

Neither side was vulnerable.  RHO opened 1 Diamond, I overcalled 1 heart, LHO passed, Jenn bid 2 Clubs and RHO rebid 2 Diamonds.  I raised to 3 Clubs and Jenn bid 3 Spades.  She probably had 5 or 6 clubs and 4 spades.  I trotted out Hamman's Rule and bid 3NT, which ended the auction.  LHO led the jack of diamonds, and Jenn tabled:

♠  AKJ2 
♥  A9
♦  76
♣ J9654

♠  63
♥  KQ875

♦  AT
♣  KQT3

Not quite what I was hoping for (the ace of clubs instead of all these spade honors would have been enough; with what she gave me, I would have rather been in 5 Clubs, which would have been an easy make.  In 3NT I had to have some luck.  I won the second diamond and took stock. 

I couldn't just knock out the club ace, since RHO would run her diamonds.  So I needed the hearts to run, then I had to find a ninth trick either in clubs or spades.  RHO had to have the club ace in order to have opened the bidding and bid again.  If she had the queen of spades as well, she would have a hard time discarding down to 6 cards on the run of the hearts.  So I played the A then K of hearts, and RHO luckily obliged by having the doubleton JT.  On the next three hearts, she pitched a club; then, after some thought, two diamonds.  (She might have made things a bit dicey by pitching one or 2 spades, but she would have to do this in tempo, a hard thing to do.)  I decided that her bidding and plays indicated that she started with

♠  Qxx
♥  JT
♦  KQxxxx
♣ Ax

So after discarding two diamonds, she only had two remaining winners.  Thus, I was able to knock out the club ace and come to 9 tricks once she took her two remaining diamond winners.  We won 6 IMPs as they played in 3 Clubs at the other table. 

Good luck!