Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not necessarily surrounded

Playing a team match against competent opponents, I open 2NT (22-24 in our Precision system) and find myself in a rather routine 4S contract. North leads the King of diamonds and this is the dummy that comes down:

How do you play?  This is board 14 of a 16-board match and we are 2 imps behind. So no heroics.

I take the diamond Ace, pull two rounds of trumps and exit with a diamond.  North plays the 10 of diamonds but South overtakes with the Jack and leads the 9 of hearts.

I try the queen of hearts. It loses to the queen and a small heart comes back. Now what?

I had given up on the hand at that point. South overtaking the diamond and leading the the heart looked very much like a surrounding play. He must have lead from the J98 of hearts.  I played low from dummy, South played the 8 of hearts and I had one more heart and a club to lose. Down 1.

Unfortunately, this was the hand:

At the other table, they went down 2, so we actually gained 2 imps on this deal. However, had I made, we'd have gained quite a bit more imps.

The mistake? Not playing to make.  Yes, South's play looked suspiciously like a surrounding play, but he may have simply wanted a heart ruff -- he'd play the 9 of hearts from 98 hoping his partner had the AQ of hearts.  Put another way, if South had J98, I was toast no matter what, so I had to put the 10 up from dummy.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't thinking clearly. If I thought South was leading from J98, I need to play low from hand. On this hand, North takes the Jack but is now end-played. Whatever he leads gives me either a heart trick or a heart discard.

    So two mistakes on this hand:
    (1) playing the queen of hearts.
    (2) not playing the ten of hearts.