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Hands from The Kite, October 19

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:09 pm
by nswedd
The hand records from our session in The Kite on October 19 are now available at
http://www.weddslist.com/skat/results/kite06/hands.xls, thanks to Patrick Phair.

I have several comments on the choice of contracts.

In Session 1 hand 9, hinderhand won the bidding for 18, picked up the Skat, and saw
J CSHD
C
S TKQ7
H Q
D Q98
This must be a Grand. After you have discarded the red queens, you can only
lose three tricks: two diamonds and a spade. You will only lose more than 59
points on these three tricks if diamonds split 4-0 and spades split 3-0 and
your opponents are awake and know what they are doing. This is less than 2%,
so it's well worth going Grand and collecting an almost certain 120 points
instead of a certain 55.

In Session 1 hand 18, middlehand won the bidding for 18 or 23, picked up the Skat,
and saw
J H
C ATK
S 98
H AT8
D Q97
Ok, this is not going to be good. You are going to have four weak trumps. But then,
given the choice between a sidesuit of ATK and Q97, which would you prefer?
The declarers who chose to make diamonds trumps and ATK as a sidesuit went off,
losing 54 points. The one who preferred clubs as trumps and Q97 as a sidesuit went
off Schneider, losing 96.
The moral is that if you have an ace, it's better for it to be at the top of a sidesuit
where it is likely to win a trick, rather than some way down the trump suit.

In Session 2 hand 238, middlehand won the bidding for 18 or 27, picked up the Skat,
and saw
J CS
C TQ7
S KQ7
H AQ
D A8
I have no opinion on whether to chose clubs or spades as trumps (in fact I was one
of the declarers, and I see that I chose clubs).
But if I had know that the outstanding jacks split 1-1, the clubs 4-0, and the
spades 2-2, I would have preferred spades. A 3-3 trump break is better than a 5-1
break, isn't it? Apparently not. The declarers who chose clubs made their contracts,
the one who chose spades failed.

In Session 3 hand 1, two middlehands won the bidding for 18, picked up the Skat,
and saw
J CHD
C T9
S AK
H AT8
D Q7
One declarer preferred a six-card trump suit including an ace to a five-card trump
suit with the ace in a side suit. The other chose clubs as trumps, perhaps simply
because clubs are worth more. My view is that a six-card trump suit is much
better than a five-card trump suit; and indeed, the declarer in hearts was rewarded
when he made Schneider, and the declarer in clubs did not.

Re: Hands from The Kite, October 19

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:04 am
by John McLeod
In Session 2 hand 23 ... if I had know that the outstanding jacks split 1-1, the clubs 4-0, and the spades 2-2, I would have preferred spades. A 3-3 trump break is better than a 5-1
break, isn't it? Apparently not. The declarers who chose clubs made their contracts, the one who chose spades failed.


Other things being equal, an even trump break is desirable. What this shows is that if you know you are going to face one bad break, a bad break in your long side suit may be worse than a bad trump break. If as here you have the top two jacks, you have some control over what happens in trumps, whereas if you make spades trumps you are helpless against the obvious lead of the ace of clubs followed by the king.

Re: Hands from The Kite, October 19

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:48 pm
by Patrick Phair
On session 1 hand 9 I agree about Grand (and was one of the two who played it).

On session 1 hand 18 a further reason to choose diamonds is that defeat is quite likely and diamonds are cheaper. But there was some chance of making on declarer's hand (breaks were bad) so it was right not to go the almost hopeless Null which would have been cheaper still.

On session 3 hand 1 I may have misdefended to let Schneider make. Does Nick (declarer in hearts) remember if he discarded CT9 or DQ7? If the former then Vorhand's lead of CA is less effective. (How obvious is this lead? It looks very good if declarer follows, but less so if not.)

Two other hands are worth noting.

Session 1 hand 2. After picking up the skat Vorhand held

J --
C AT9
S TQ87
H ATQ
D AT

All three declarers agreed that this was a Grand, but this was not their lucky day. Mittelhand had a club void and Hinterhand had a heart void, so they all scored -240. Fortunately for them we were playing Synchron, so it was a flat board.

On session 1 hand 3 one player bid to 23 as Hinterhand on

J --
C ATK97
S K
H AK8
D K

This probably needs one useful card in the skat to make a positive contract good, but there is an extra chance of Null with H7 and another low card. The skat was two low cards in the wrong suits (S7, D9) so all contracts are poor. Declarer lost 120 in clubs -- should he have tried the cheaper Null instead?

Re: Hands from The Kite, October 19

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:22 pm
by nswedd
On session 3 hand 1 I may have misdefended to let Schneider make. Does Nick (declarer in hearts) remember if he discarded CT9 or DQ7? If the former then Vorhand's lead of CA is less effective. (How obvious is this lead? It looks very good if declarer follows, but less so if not.)


I don't remember - but I'm pretty sure that I would have discarded dQ7. I'm going to make the contract either way; and if I'm lucky, keeping the guarded cT will give me schneider.

Re: Hands from The Kite, October 19

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:29 am
by Mike Tobias
Isn't session 3 hand 1 a Grand? 6 guaranteed tricks, bank the C10 and the defence can only capture 4 big ones, unless they manage to trump in before you draw the SJ.

Re: Hands from The Kite, October 19

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:46 pm
by John McLeod
Mike Tobias wrote:Isn't session 3 hand 1 a Grand? 6 guaranteed tricks, bank the C10 and the defence can only capture 4 big ones, unless they manage to trump in before you draw the SJ.
I agree - this should be a Grand - I missed it. Maybe I was preoccupied with being forced into my 5-card trump suit by the bidding. In fact it looks as though the opponents might be able to get 60 points without trumping: AATTKKKQ plus your queen of diamonds, but it must be worth the risk.