Leading trumps (March 19th 2/7)

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.
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John McLeod
Joined:Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm
Leading trumps (March 19th 2/7)

Post by John McLeod » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:48 pm

As Vorhand I picked up the skat after two passes and held
J: S D
C: 10 Q
S: A 8
H: K
D: 10 Q 9 8 7
Feeling quite confident with my seven trumps and an ace, I discarded the C10 and HK and led the DJ. I felt even more pleased when Mittlehand covered with the HJ and Hinterhand was forced to win with the singleton CJ. But in fact I was doomed. In the course of the play I lost three more tricks: a club trick with the Q-K-A (18), a spade trick with the 8-K-10 (14) and a second trump trick won by Mittelhand's ace, on which Hinterhand smeared the ace of hearts (22). Together with the 6 points for the first trick that made 60 for the defence. With hindsight the result was somewhat predicable.

The solution would have been to lead a small trump at trick one rather than a jack, saving two points and keeping the DJ as a threat against the ace. The player with HJ-DA-DK has to play the ace on the first trick or lose it. Next time I lead the SJ followed by another small trump, so the opponents' two trump tricks should be 7-A-CJ and 8-HJ-HA for 26 points instead of 28. If the jacks had been the other way round, the first trick would be 7-A-HJ (13) and later they would score 15 for S/DJ-CJ-HA which is at least no worse than the actual game.

In fact now that I think about it the small trump looks like a better lead in almost every way. So far as I can see it only costs a trick when one opponent has the singleton ace and in some cases it may gain a trick.

The diamond contract made on both the other tables - in fact at one table the declarer made diamonds hand, which is impressive.

Mike Tobias
Joined:Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location:Kent, UK

Re: Leading trumps (March 19th 2/7)

Post by Mike Tobias » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:35 pm

Don't you just love those 7-trumpers?

Without looking at the full hand, I might have kept the C10CQ and put away the S8HK, giving myself the chance of another trick, but with a maximum loss of 28pts for the two tricks instead of 32 if the spades are split 3-2.

Regardless though, I'd have led the JD just as you did.

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