A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 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.

A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby Mike Tobias » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:27 am

I've never considered that there are circumstances where one should announce Schneider in a suit game before, but in Middlehand I held:

J. S,D
C. A.10,K,Q
S. A,10,K,9

First thought: I want the Skat to try for Grand, but can bid to 36 and play Clubs Hand. When HH bids 40, I suspect Null Ouvert, I don't want to let this hand go, agonise over whether to risk going for Grand, before realising that Clubs will almost certainly make Schneider. I duly bid on, get the hand at 46, play Clubs hand, make schneider and feel very smug until John tells me I should have announced the Schneider as I needed it to win anyway.

Although this only cost 12pts, in a very close session it meant 4 match pts and the tournament. Not thinking about announcing schneider also means I would have passed at 48 had HH been bidding Null hand ouvert (distinctly possible with my holding) instead of bidding on to 60..

At the other tables, HH bid to 23 and 35. Had I won the hand at 35, without needing to agonise, I'd probably have failed to notice the insurance that Clubs would make Schneider had the Skat not helped, and would immediately have played Clubs hand, missing out on a Skat of HJ and HA, The player who got the game for 35 did pick up the Skat and got his Grand Schneider, but also hadn't considered the Clubs Schneider insurance, and could have gone off badly in Grand (even Schwartz) had the Skat been unhelpful. The player who got the hand at 23 and could have picked the Skat up, didn't, and also played Clubs hand, so although we all played and won the hand, I think we all played wrongly, or at least with wrong thinking.
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby Mike Tobias » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:41 am

Re HH's null bids, thefull hands were:

VH:
C. J,9
S. Q,7
H. 10,9
D. A,K,10,8

MH.
C. A,K,Q,10
S. A,K,J,10,9
D. J

HH
C. 8.7
S. 8
H. K,Q,8,7
D. Q,9,7

Skat
HJ, HA

so null ouvert would have been cast iron, but the null hand would depend on the play.
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby John McLeod » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:30 pm

I was HH at Mike's table. At the time I thought that the Null Ouvert was against the odds, but I could tell that Mike was really eager to play the hand, so I carried on bidding up to 46 in the hope of pushing him into a contract that he could not make.
I was thinking that the KQ87 of hearts was a weakness, but looking at it again I see that it is not that bad. If the other hearts are all with the opponents you are safe it they split 2-2 or if they split 3-1 with 3 hearts to the ace on my right - that's a 67% chance at least. So in retrospect the 46 bid looks sounder than it seemed at the time - maybe not really sound but not crazy either. If the skat enables me to make my diamonds safe I will have a reasonable chance to win it. The only really dangerous cards are the AKQ of clubs and the AKQJT9 of spades, and so long as the skat does not contain two of these nine cards I will be fairly happy.
Incidentally, the idea of announcing Schneider with Mike's hand was inspired by one of the examples in Wolfgang Rui's book - see my other post. It's just a pity that I only got the chance to suggest it to Mike, rather than profiting from it myself!
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby Patrick Phair » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:49 pm

So far I have only written up session 1.

I agree that hand 7 is likely to make Schneider, so it is reasonable to bid to 60.

Given that Mike needed to make Schneider to fulfil his bid it is probably right to announce it since the odds have changed. But if the Schneider fails Mike would lose an extra 24 points, which would be twice as likely to cost the tournament as the actual missed 12 points.

The hand expects to lose two tricks, and if these contain all four jacks the Schneider is secure. There are two ways the Schneider can fail against 4-1 trumps:
(a) the defence holds up on declarer's early trump leads, thereby catching KQ of clubs
(b) the defence keeps leading small red cards and declarer loses control
On the day I only thought of (a) which is a hard defence to find, but (b) is quite plausible.

Two other hands from this session are also interesting.

Hand 10. As Vorhand I held

J: CSD
C: AT
S: AT7
H: -
D: TK

This is a solid Grand, and the chances of making Schneider playing Hand are good enough that it seems pointless to exchange. In fact DA was in the skat and all declarers made Schwarz. Hinterhand had an almost impossible defensive problem to stop the Schwarz (against Grand hand): what do you discard on a trump trick from

J: -
C: K7
S: Q98
H: K9
D: Q97 ?

Hand 15. Vorhand held

J: SHD
C: -
S: AT
D: A
C: AT98

Two declarers played Grand Hand and one exchanged. All made Schneider, but isn't it a 100% shot to announce it?

Patrick
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby Mike Tobias » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:51 pm

Patrick Phair wrote: (b) the defence keeps leading small red cards and declarer loses control
On the day I only thought of (a) which is a hard defence to find, but (b) is quite plausible.

Two other hands from this session are also interesting.

Hand 10. As Vorhand I held

J: CSD
C: AT
S: AT7
H: -
D: TK

This is a solid Grand, and the chances of making Schneider playing Hand are good enough that it seems pointless to exchange. In fact DA was in the skat and all declarers made Schwarz. Hinterhand had an almost impossible defensive problem to stop the Schwarz (against Grand hand): what do you discard on a trump trick from

J: -
C: K7
S: Q98
H: K9
D: Q97 ?

Hand 15. Vorhand held

J: SHD
C: -
S: AT
D: A
C: AT98

Two declarers played Grand Hand and one exchanged. All made Schneider, but isn't it a 100% shot to announce it?

Patrick


re (b). I can't lose control with the 5 card sequence, defence only get 3 leads.
(a) I guess my correct play is to trump in with the 10 first time, as I don't mind being overtrumped, but don't want to lose a big one if they duck the Jacks, and using the 10 rather than the Ace would make LHO think his partner has the Ace, and make him less likely to duck.

Hand 10. As the Grand hand is certain, it's pointless exchanging even if schneider isn't so likely.

Hand 15. Yes it is, but you must lead a low Diamond if the first round shows a 3-0 split.
Mike Tobias
 
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby Patrick Phair » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:53 pm

Mike wrote:

re (b). I can't lose control with the 5 card sequence, defence only get 3 leads.

Three leads is enough if the trumps are 4-1. At the start you have six trumps, and to hold them to two tricks you must draw trumps. You will need four of your trumps to do this, plus three more to win the three leads.

Patrick
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby John McLeod » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:06 am

Patrick Phair wrote:
Hand 15. Vorhand held
J: SHD
C: -
S: AT
D: A
C: AT98
Two declarers played Grand Hand and one exchanged. All made Schneider, but isn't it a 100% shot to announce it?

Mike Tobias replied:
Hand 15. Yes it is, but you must lead a low Diamond if the first round shows a 3-0 split.


I don't understand Mike's comment (presumably he means clubs not diamonds). In Grand Hand you presumably start by leading a Jack, and then win whatever they lead back. After that it doesn't matter which diamond you lead - if they are 3-0 you can lose a trick to the king, but in any case you can't lose more than 29 points: two jacks, the diamond king and an ace and a ten smeared. If you make the mistake of leading an Ace first instead of a Jack, you risk having your Ace trumped while the other defender plays the king, and then also losing a diamond trick. That way you could lose 31 points (11+2+4) + (0+3+11).
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby Mike Tobias » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:42 am

John McLeod wrote:
Patrick Phair wrote:
Hand 15. Vorhand held
J: SHD
C: -
S: AT
D: A
C: AT98
Two declarers played Grand Hand and one exchanged. All made Schneider, but isn't it a 100% shot to announce it?

Mike Tobias replied:
Hand 15. Yes it is, but you must lead a low Diamond if the first round shows a 3-0 split.


I don't understand Mike's comment (presumably he means clubs not diamonds). In Grand Hand you presumably start by leading a Jack, and then win whatever they lead back. After that it doesn't matter which diamond you lead - if they are 3-0 you can lose a trick to the king, but in any case you can't lose more than 29 points: two jacks, the diamond king and an ace and a ten smeared. If you make the mistake of leading an Ace first instead of a Jack, you risk having your Ace trumped while the other defender plays the king, and then also losing a diamond trick. That way you could lose 31 points (11+2+4) + (0+3+11).

I meant whichever suit is the last one listed; normally that would be diamonds, in this hand it seems to be the second of the two club suits :o)
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Re: A lesson learned. Jan 4th Session 1 Board 7

Postby John McLeod » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:50 pm

We now have the hand write-up and it was in fact diamonds, but that wasn't the point of my post. You wrote that having announced Schneider you "must lead a low Diamond if the first round shows a 3-0 split". Why? Leading them from the top seems equally effective.
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