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BillJacobs (44K)

Test Your Slam Play


from Bill Jacobs

bill.jacobs55@gmail.com

A 5 4
A Q J 7 6 2
A
K 10 2
N
WE
S
3 2
4 3
K Q J 8 6 3
A 8 7
WestNorthEastSouth
 1 Pass2 
Pass3 Pass3 
Pass4 NTPass5 
Pass6 PassPass
Pass   
6  by South

S6 is led. Plan the play

(i) playing for IMPs
(ii) in a match point duplicate


Solution

North Deals
E-W Vul
A 5 4
A Q J 7 6 2
A
K 10 2
Q 9 7 6
K 10 8 5
10 4 2
J 3
N
WE
S
K J 10 8
9
9 7 5
Q 9 6 5 4
3 2
4 3
K Q J 8 6 3
A 8 7

This is going to need a following wind to make. A winning heart finesse should see us home, but the hand contains a trap.

You will win SA, clear the DA, come to your hand with CA, draw trumps, and take the heart finesse which had better work. What then?

If hearts are 3-2, you can cash HA, ruff a heart and enjoy an overtrick. But if West has HKxxx, you need to find a way back to your hand to repeat the heart finesse. And the only way back is by trumping a spade.

So whilst drawing trumps, you must keep dummy's precious S54. When the heart finesse wins, play a spade and subsequently trump a spade and play another heart to repeat the finesse.

This is clearly the way to go about the hand if playing for IMPs. What about in a matchpoint duplicate? After the heart finesse wins, the odds are that hearts divide 3-2, and you can get an overtrick by playing HA and trumping a heart.

Nevertheless, I am sure the right play is to give up a spade trick and forego the likely overtrick. Just how many pairs are going to be in 6D? Not too many, I would say. More likely people will play in game, or perhaps in 6H or 6NT. In either case, your potential overtrick in 6D will make no difference to your score.

Risking your contract for likely overtricks only makes sense when you are in a contract everyone else will be in ... that is hardly the case here!

The moral: Playing for overtricks at matchpoints can be overrated.



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