Initial posting

Discussion of hands from past BSkA tournaments (or other events) and how they were bid and played. Skat problems. General discussion of strategy and tactics.

Initial posting

Postby admin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:33 pm

This is a copy of John's initial hand-discussion posting (which he sent to me and others by email). I am posting it here as a test.

On 03/03/2012 00:44, Patrick Phair wrote:
> Attached is the write-up from last Saturday’s tournament.

Thank you. I intend to write a commentary on one hand from each tournament in which I play. I would like to post these to the BSkA discussion forum, when Nick gets around to setting it up. Until then I'm just circulating them to a few players.

I hope that other players will (a) discuss my comments and (b) post comments on other hands, which I will try to respond to.

In the 25th February tournament, on hand 2 of session 1, in Mittelhand I held

S A 8
H 10 Q 9 8
D K 8

I bid up to 20 and picked up C8 and D9 from the skat, played in hearts and lost. At the other table Tom got the contract for 18, played hearts and won. (At the other table Patrick must have passed as Vorhand: in fact as the cards lie he can win a diamond game.)

The heart game is unmakeable against best defence, but declarer's best chance to win is to discard both black 8's and keep the K-9-8 of diamonds, limiting his losers to one suit. Unfortunately I can't remember what I actually did: I suspect that in desperation I may have thrown two diamonds, hoping somehow to get rid of my losers cheaply and maybe catch a ten or two.

In fact, if you throw diamonds the defence can hardly go wrong, whereas if you keep the diamonds the defence is difficult even with the 3-1 diamond split, and I think declarer is likely to win in this case. Vorhand holds A-10-7 of diamonds, three trumps and two of each other suit, so the obvious defence is to start by leading diamonds from the top.

Hinterhand holds

C K Q 7
S 10 K Q

He will probably throw the S10 on his partner's diamond 10. If Vorhand continues with a third round of diamonds, what should Hinterhand play on declarer's king? As it happens, trumping with the heart king defeats the contract, but it's far from obvious for Hinterhand to do this holding three trumps. Throwing a club gives declarer the game. If Hinterhand throws a second spade, declarer will probably lead small trump, and it is natural for Hinterhand to follow with the king, which again gives the declarer the game.

My conclusion is that K-x-x of a side suit, though quite undesirable, is more useful than I previously thought, even when the suit does not split.
John McLeod For information on card games visit

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