Minor planning

Hi all

Here’s a nice 5 from Hoek last week. The defence wasn’t really paying attention, they gave the contract away actually, but Hoek’s plan was thoughtful and solid.

North
Jxx
J8xx
K87x
Kx

South
A
ATx
AQJ9xx
xxx

West
North
East
South
 
 
pass
1
double
1
1
3
pass
31
pass
4
pass
5
pass
pass

1. Asking for a stopper

I like the 3 bid. I agree it’s on the light side, but you’ve got a suit playable opposite a singleton and offensive values, no wasted Queens and Jacks. West starts with the King. Now how to get to eleven tricks?

Let’s count first. You can see ten tricks, six , two Major suit Aces, the King and a ruff. It looks like the eleventh trick has to come from a throw in. Start by eliminating side suits. Draw two rounds of trumps (ending in dummy), ruff a and play a towards the King. West rises (doesn’t make a difference) and continues with a for dummy. Now ruff the last and ruff your loser in dummy. This is what’s remaining.

North
J8xx
8

South
ATx
Qx

Now play a from dummy to your Ten. West has to return a  now or give away a ruff and sluff. Analyze! West has shown enough for a takeout double with King-Queen of , a  honour and the Ace, so play for split  honours and finesse against the  9. Everything cool and you can write +600.

East Dealer
NS Vul
North
J6x
J8xx
K87x
Kx
West
KQ8x
K9x
T
AJTxx
East
T9xxx
Qxx
xx
Qxx
South
A
ATx
AQJ9xx
xxx

3 thoughts on “Minor planning

  1. So indeed, if West, aware of the plan plays thoughtfully the Jack of Clubs when a Club is played to the King, then East can take the Club return with the Queen and play a Heart through while West has still an exit card. Admittedly, this is not easy defense and it is not garantueed to be best on all Heart holdings, however here it beats the contract.

  2. Sure West can duck the and grant East the lead, but then it all comes down to a double finesse in . You just play low on the from East and when in dummy play a to your Ten for eleven tricks, losing just a and a .

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