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Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:54 pm
by Mike Tobias
This hand was played at our October tournament. My interest was sparked during the bidding. As FH, I held:

C 10
S 98
H A10987

and after passing MH's 22, watched MH and HH continue beyond 46 and 48 and wondered what was happening. With my JS they can't both be without 4? Null Hand Ouvert was unlikely but possible despite my low Hearts and Spades, but not when the bidding reached 60.

This was the full holding:

S A10
D 98

C 8
D A10K7

Unsure of the bidding at this point, HH passed at 60, MH picked up the Skat (SQ,S7) and duly went off.

The question afterwards was "Should HH go for Grand Hand or should he have stopped at 48?"

Re: Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:21 pm
by nswedd
As HH, I would pass. My grand hand is probably making (I assume that my jack of spades is really the jack of clubs). But MH's grand is almost certainly going off, so I would just take the 48 (which turns out to be 120).

Re: Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:27 pm
by Mike Tobias
[quote="nswedd"](I assume that my jack of spades is really the jack of clubs) It is. Now corrected.

Re: Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:50 pm
by md2474
Was a very frustrating 18 hands full stop for me with two aggressive/good players haha. But alas I just never got any hands bar this one and one other and each time Maria outbid me and went off both times too!

Re: Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:21 am
by John McLeod
If the ace and ten in two of your three suits are divided between the opponents, Grand Hand is liable to go down, and other things being equal this distribution happens nearly 50% of the time. I think bidding Grand Hand is only justified if either (a) you judge that the bidding indicates that the A-10's in these suits are sitting together or (b) you are prepared to rely on inaccurate defence or (c) you need the points to win a prize and don't care so much about the cost of losing.

Re: Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:22 am
by Mike Tobias
Interesting. Opinion on the day agrees with you. I seem to be the only one who'd unhesitatingly carry on to 72 if necessary, on the basis that, although the hand can go off, the defence still have to find the correct play. We did miss the fact that with K and Q singletons, only 5 big ones are needed to defeat the contract though.

Patrick pointed out a defence with this distribution: after the first 3 tricks (54pts), MH leads S10 (or CK) and FH can overtrump, but again, they need an element of luck finding the right play.

Taking Nick's point about preferring to probably defeat MH rather than risk going off, I can see a case for bidding to 60 to rule out Null Hand Ouvert.

Re: Grand Hand?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:51 am
by John McLeod
It has to be the club, doesn't it? FH has two spades so leading the S10 would be no good. A plausible real world defence would be for FH to lead the ace of hearts first and then the ten. Now MH has to throw the S10 on the H10, to make the trick expensive enough that HH has to trump it rather than throw a loser. But then HH can draw the outstanding trump and the contract will make. I think it's unreasonable to expect FH to switch to a black suit after cashing the HA. However, if FH does find the inspired switch to the C10, it's fairly obvious for MH to continue with the CK, possibly after cashing the SA. MH doesn't actually need to cash the SA in this line, because if MH continues immediately with the CK and HH throws the SK, FH can throw the H10, which is enough compensation. They are then on 57 points (18+21+18) and leading the CQ to promote FH's SJ will defeat the contract.