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What would you play?

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:46 am
by Mike Tobias
Just dealing some hands out, I came across this holding in MH
J:
C:
S: A 9 7
H: A T 9
D: A T 9 7

Exploring outrageous possibilities, the SA, DA, HA,HT catch a minimum of 56pts if all they carry; a captured 10 or 6 pts in the Skat makes Clubs Hand, (possibly without 11), which you'd never play, but as the cards lie, it wins (without 1) against any defence

Here's the full deal:
VH
J: C H D
C: T 7
S: Q
H: K 7
D: K Q

MH
J:
C:
S: A 9 7
H: A T 9
D: A T 9 7

HH
J:
C: A K Q 9 8
S: T 8
H: Q 8
D: 8

Skat: SK,SJ

if you're sensible, and pick up the Skat, Clubs is still the only unloseable contract, but would you ever play it?

Diamonds: horrendous split, and in any case, it's ruled out if Forehand holds 18 with the guarantee of a 6 card suit.

Null: good chance, just a singleton H9. FH leads SQ and then has to choose between three 3 card suits. A club lead and you win, H7 or Diamonds and you're off.

Grand: you would expect to have a better chance than the ridiculous Clubs, because of the possibility of trumping a CA lead, but it loses if CJ is led followed by a club lead which HH must take with the K.

Clubs: only one trump, unplayable but unloseable.

Assuming Diamonds were ruled out, I think I'd have played Null.

Re: What would you play?

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:55 am
by John McLeod
It reminds me of a deal that came up in Sunday's tournament. After the draw I held in VH something like:
J:
C: A 10 8
S: A 10 8
H: Q 9
D: A K 9 8
I discarded my two black tens and played hearts without 7 reasoning as follows:
In order to make this all my aces have to go round, so I will catch the DQ for 56 points and I need two pictures to fall on my black aces.
If I play hearts and lead a trump they will probably return a suit and may give me an extra picture that I would not have caught by leading my aces.
In fact the D10 was singleton so grand would also have made.
In hearts they can in fact save the D10 by leading trumps - the trumps split 5-4 with the D10 in the 4-trump hand - but if they do that I will throw my 8's on their trumps and then win the rest of the tricks!

Re: What would you play?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 9:22 am
by Mike Tobias
I think I'd have discarded one ten and the King, hoping the other A,T carried. If the trumps were K,9, I'd discard the two Kings, because only one of the A,T pairs needs to carry for 61pts.

Re: What would you play?

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 9:21 pm
by John McLeod
... and would you play Hearts or Grand? With your discard they have about the same chance of making but that chance is only about 50%. Your expected score is therefore negative, and if you're trying to maximise your expected total you should probably play Hearts. On the other hand if you're trying to win the tournament it's probably better to play Grand and hope.

Re: What would you play?

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 3:49 pm
by Mike Tobias
My default thinking has been to play this type of hand in Grand as Forehand, but looking at this one, Hearts may give you a second chance even if one suit is trumped.

I generally don't play differently in duplicate, but one consideration might be whether I think other players would have bid, or bid as high, with the original holding.

If I had the exact hand tomorrow, I'd play Hearts.

Re: What would you play?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 10:54 am
by John McLeod
Thanks to Patrick we now have the actual deal - board 3 of session 3. The clubs split 3-1 and the spades 2-2. Leading the black aces fetches only pip cards.

So if I had followed Mike's strategy of discarding a 10 and the DK but guessed the wrong 10 to keep I would have lost. I lead a trump, Patrick returns the singleton D10 as he did on the day, and despite catching the 10 I end up with only 57 points (3 aces, 2 tens and a king). This is a vindication of Patrick's singleton 10 lead, which does not risk giving away any points that the declarer would not have won anyway.

At the other table Maxine bid a suicidal 18 in Middlehand with two jacks and no aces and Mike passed with this hand. I would probably have done the same - I think I only played it because both my opponents passed and I hoped for something better in the skat.

Re: What would you play?

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:03 pm
by Mike Tobias
The singleton D10 means a discard of DK,HQ would probably have won, because of the likelihood of getting a second chance if one A 10 pair doesn't carry. Another alternative is to discard the Hearts and play Diamonds, which stands a good chance as the cards lie:

FH (inc Skat)
J
C A 10 8
S A 10 7
H Q 9
D A K 8 7

MH
J C D
C K Q 9
S Q 9
H K 7
D 10

HH
J S H
C 7
S K 8
H A 10 8
D Q 9