Last ditch defence against Null

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
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Last ditch defence against Null

Post by John McLeod » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:29 pm

In Vorhand you hold:
C: A Q
S: K Q 9 8
H: A K
D: A K
Mitteland bids 18 and both other players pass. Mittelhand takes the skat and plays Null. The prospects for the defence look pretty dim, but rather than just give up you would like to go for any chance of victory, however remote. What is your best shot?

Mike Tobias
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Last ditch defence against Null

Post by Mike Tobias » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:12 pm

The instant reaction is to play Spades and hope declarer has AJT7

John McLeod
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Last ditch defence against Null

Post by John McLeod » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:01 pm

Leading spades also works if declarer has J-7 of spades and partner has A-T, which would have been the case in the actual deal if declarer had not discarded the SJ. Is this still the best chance or are there any other ideas? What about voiding yourself in at least one of the other suits first?

Mike Tobias
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Last ditch defence against Null

Post by Mike Tobias » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:28 pm

It could also go off if MH has three of another suit, missing the seven, so picking the right suit and voiding it would help, but the wrong suit risks declarer being able to discard from SJS7. Leading a Spade first at least ensures defeat in Spades if it's possible, but may prevent HH getting the lead to play the third trick of another vulnerable suit.

I think I'd lead S8.

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