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Safe clubs or shaky null

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:42 am
by John McLeod
Here is board 14 of session 3 of last Satuday's tournament in Oxford.

Code: Select all

Vorhand      Mittelhand   Hinterhand			
J: --        J: C S H     J: D
C: A Q       C: K 9 8     C: 7
S: K Q 9 8   S: 7         S: A 10
H: A K       H: --	     H: 10 Q 8 7
D: A K       D: 9 8 7     D: 10 Q 
Skat: C10, H9
On table 1 Hinterhand bid up to 40, which looks highly optimistic to me, but Mittelhand held and played clubs, which is very safe so long as the trumps don't split 4-0. In fact Schneider was made (presumably the defence took 28 points in diamonds and nothing else).
On table 2 Mittelhand bid 18 and both opponents passed. Perhaps impressed by his diamond suit or perhaps through unresonable fear of 7-card trump suits, Mittelhand opted for a very doubtful Null.
This Null can be defeated, but can Mittelhand's opponents reasonably be expected to find the defence? At the table Vorhand started by leading out all his winning diamonds, hearts and clubs, after which the Null was safe. What should he have done?

Re: Safe clubs or shaky null

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:24 pm
by Mike Tobias
The third option for MH is Diamonds, keeping Clubs TK98 as the side suit, for exactly the same reasons as this hand from the same event: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=454

I definitely wouldn't play Null

Re: Safe clubs or shaky null

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:32 pm
by John McLeod
Here it is surely better for MH to choose the 7-card club suit as trumps. The contract is rather safe - only a 4-0 trump break or a 6-0 break in hearts or spades can defeat it - and even if the diamond contract makes schneider (45) the club contract without schneider scores more (48).