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BillJacobs (44K)

Test Your Slam Play


from Bill Jacobs

bill.jacobs55@gmail.com

A K 5 4
Q 9 2
7 4 3
J 8 6
N
WE
S
3 2
A K J
A Q 10 5 2
A K Q
WestNorthEastSouth
   2 
Pass2 Pass2 NT
Pass6 NTPassPass
Pass   
6 NT by South

SJ is led. Plan the play

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


Solution

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

Playing Aussie-rules football, they talk about doing the "one-percenters". This deal is a "three-percenter".

(a) At IMPs, you simply want to make your contract. It is worth sacrificing a potential overtrick if it improves your chance of making. Win the spade in dummy and play a diamond to the queen. 3% of the time, West will follow with the singleton jack. You can now cross to dummy's HQ and finesse again in diamonds.

This lovely little play does not risk the contract in any other layout. If West wins the DK, then you will need to hope that East has DJ, and the suit breaks 3-2: you take a second finesse. (You must accept that you will go down if West started with DKJ doubleton.)

If West follows with a small diamond, then go to HQ and play a second diamond. If East plays low, finesse the 10. If East plays an honour, duck it, just in case East started with DKJxx. West would show out, and you can use your final entry to dummy to finesse East's remaining honour.

(b) If you are playing for matchpoints, you cannot really afford to play diamonds this way. There is a solid chance (over 10%) that East started with DKJx, in which case you can make an overtrick by playing a diamond to the 10. Since your 6NT contract is normal, the 10% chance that you can make an overtrick trumps the 3% safety play for making your contract.

The moral: (as distinct from last month's moral ...) playing for overtricks at matchpoints is not necessarily over rated.



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