Well, do ya, punk?

Hi all

Last night I gave advanced course again. I like to see my students struggle with the problems I serve them. The discussion afterwards and the insight and alternatives they offer, it surely makes me feel rewarded.

This game I just asked for their opinion, the diversity in answers, plans and ideas surprised me.

South
x
J8x
AJ8
J9xxxx

Your LHO opens 1, partner (Dennis) doubles and RHO jumps to the game. Now what? To make things a little bit more complicated: you’re vulnerable against not.

I cannot stand it, I just have to bid 5, passed out. After discussion last night, I think I have to agree that pass is the long time winning decision. Partner just has to have the perfect set of cards to make 5 the right decision. But it’s definitely not clearcut.

So play 5:

North
Ax
Axx
K9xx
ATxx

South
x
J8x
AJ8
J9xxxx

West led the King. I took it, ruffed a  and played two rounds of trumps, East on lead. A small entered the arena and I hesitated for a moment before I played the Jack (I wanted to suggest I was taking a finesse). West covered with the King (ducked in dummy), but my hesitation was noticed and West returned the Queen. 

Now it all comes down to the suit. It has to split 3-3 with the Queen onside. It’s not big a chance, but apart from a reverse finesse or dropping Queen-Ten doubleton it’s all I got. I took the straightforward finesse and ended up down two.

West Dealer
NS Vul
North
Ax
Axx
K9xx
ATxx
West
KQJxx
KQ9x
Qxx
K
East
Txxxx
Txx
Txx
Qx
South
x
J8x
AJ8
J9xxxx

One of the suggested options was to let West have his King of , to give him a feeling of being thrown in. Maybe he opens up the  suit, you can’t tell. One other suggestion I’m very happy with is to play the Jack from hand. If covered then finesse the Ten on the way back. But that’s not all, now there’s another distribution you can tackle: East holding  Ten-doubleton. And it’s true gallery play, that too!

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