21 June 2011

Impossible defense

I don't want to fill the world with sob stories but this is really a good one. Defense is hard enough when you've got all the information. When you don't it's harder but when the opponents have outright lied harder still.

Imagine you're south, listen carefully to the bidding:

- 21 Pass 4NT2
Pass 53 Pass 54
Pass 65 Pass Pass

If you're short of time I'll help you out:

  1. 5 & 4+ minor, weak
  2. Months out of tempo. Keycard Blackwood.
  3. 1 or 4 keycards
  4. Sign off
  5. ???

You stare down meaningfully at your hand and find a suitable lead like the K.
Q J 3
K Q 9 7 6 2
A Q 8
A K T 6
8 5
J T 5 3 2
J 7

Partner is a diligent soul and plays the 9 declarer plays the 5. That's reverse count and shows and odd number meaning declarer has 1 or 3 spades.

Lets summarize what we know. Partner doesn't have any hearts so declarer has the Ace and Jack. Declarer has no spade cards so either the Ace of clubs or the King of diamonds. What's the defense on these possible layouts?
7 5 2
A J T 4 3
A T 9 8 5
7 5 2
A J T 4 3
A 8 5 4
A J T 4 3
7 4
A 9 8 5 4

Hand 1 it doesn't matter a bean; this contract is doomed. Hand 2; cash the spade, or they have the rest of the tricks. Hand 3 you switch, to anything, take your hand off that spade and no one gets hurt.

You can guess which hand was at the table. Couldn't even rely on something simple like: open 12 counts at the 1 level. Next board please.

1 comment:

  1. Two aces, a king, 8 major cards, 5431 shape, very reasonable suit, first in hand!
    Laughable. I'd rather open a strong NT. More accurate description of the playing strength of this hand.

    Rest assured that 90% of the subsequent hands these goons bid against you you'll get good results. Either they'll:
    1. Miss games, or
    2. Miss slams, or
    3. Somehow manage to mess up the responses to RKCB so that they end up in the wrong spot as opposed to the right (well...) spot