Friday, December 21, 2012

Combined chances turn out to be worse

I was playing an online IMPS tournament. Going into the last set, we were 25 imps positive and on Table 3. The way these things work is that Table 1 are the leaders, so Table 3 indicates that we have a decent shot to win the tourney.

The last board of the tournament was this hand:

What do you think of the auction (we are playing 2/1)? I opened my rule-of-20 hand as 1H, thinking it too strong for either pass or 2H. Partner forced to game with 2C and now I had a choice. I could bid out my pattern with 2D and then later bid 2H or I could limit my hand with 2H. I decided to limit my hand. Partner now temporized and I showed my 4-card minor and partner put us in the slam.

They led a low spade and when the dummy comes down, I feel pretty good. Players at my level simply do not bid minor-suit slams and this one seems to have several possible lines.

How would you play it?

There were two possible lines that I could see at the table:

 Line 1: I could make this thing by reversing the dummy, and ruffing out the spades. I would make if diamonds were 3-2 or if the club finesse worked.

 Line 2: I can play two rounds of clubs and ruff the third club with the 10. If it gets over-ruffed by the Jack, I can pull trumps and claim. This will make as long as clubs are 3-2.

My ability to gauge the odds is rather poor, but it seems that Line 1 has the chance of line 2 (a suit breaking 3-2) plus a 50% chance of a finesse. So, probably 80% vs. 68%.  So Line 1 is the line I took (click Next to see my play).


Is there a better line? Am I thinking about this right?

1 comment:

  1. Periodically, I have been checking back to this post to see what any of the (many) better declarers than I would suggest as a declarer line. Sadly, none have yet responded.

    I would have been inclined to duck the opening lead. That puts me in great position should the SQ actually win the trick. But even if it loses, it seems I am in reasonable shape. The most damaging return by South is a heart through the KQ, but: (1) he might have the HA making that return not so damaging; or (2) he might not foresee how that lead will be damaging.

    Assuming I lose a spade at Trick 1 and a spade is returned, I can pitch a club and win in dummy. I can soon take a club ruff in my hand and hope to pick up both minor suits for no losers: that is two spades, four diamonds, one club ruff, and five clubs for twelve tricks.

    I am betting that there are better lines ... And I hope some out there will post to present them.