Four-ace hands on 22nd March

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.

Four-ace hands on 22nd March

Postby John McLeod » Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:04 pm

At the end of the tournament on 22nd March I had two of what seemed like fairly disastrous results with four-ace hands.

On board 9 I initially held in Vorhand: A8, ATK, AT98, A. Winning the bidding at 48 I picked up CQ and S7 from the skat, discarded by two tens and played Grand, losing when my ace of clubs was trumped. Maybe I should have realised that Hinterhand wanted to play clubs with 3, and that having no aces he quite likely held four clubs. Even so I didn't know there was a club in the skat and I think it would have been craven to pass 48. As it happened Nick played the same contract at the other table so we both lost 240 and the result was even.

On board 11 I was in Mittelhand.
Code: Select all
   VH    MH    HH    Sk
J: D     H     CS    -
C: K9    A7    TQ8   -
S: T98   AQ    K     7
H: TQ8   AK7   9     -
D: K     AQ    T97   8

I can't resist bidding with four aces and a jack, and I ended in 27 when Hinterhand passed. The skat was about as bad as it could be. I discarded my HK and DQ and stupidly played in spades, which really has no chance as there is no way to get the ace of trumps home. I think I should have tried Grand. That only makes 59 points against best defence, but if I win the opening lead with an ace and then lead my jack of hearts it will throw in Hinterhand (who on the bidding clearly has the black jacks) and the defence might then make a mistake.

I would probably have passed a bid of 30, which is exactly what Nick did at the other table, leaving Maxine to play the hand. With diamonds no longer available, she tried what should be an unmakeable club contract, but the defenders allowed it to make. I wonder how. On a normal lead of a low spade or heart the contract is impossible as declarer doesn't have enough trumps to keep control while setting up the diamonds. I can only imagine that Patrick and Nick opted for the short term tactic of starting with two rounds of diamonds and ruffing declarer's ten. After that it's quite difficult to get the declarer down.
John McLeod
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Four-ace hands on 22nd March

Postby Mike Tobias » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:20 pm

On board 9, the full hands were:
FH
C. A8
S. ATK
H. AT98
D. A

MH
J. S
C.
S. Q8
H. K7
D. TKQ87

HH
J. CHD
C. TK97
S. 9
H. Q
D. 9

Sk. CQ, S7

As HH, my 48 wasn't Clubs with 3, I'd decided to commit to a risky Grand, which could equally (or more likely) have been with long diamonds. From your point of view, I could also have been bidding NHO, so it would indeed have been craven to pass 48, you were simply unlucky: there's always a risk with AT,AT,A,A that one suit won't carry.

Interestingly, the Skat would have given me my Grand, and MH a (completely unbiddable) null ouvert.

In hand 11, you're right to bid that hand, you were just unlucky again. Firstly with the Skat, and secondly from the Duplikat perspective, that Maxine bid over 27 in HH, and Alban didn't. I think Alban was correct: HH needs to keep the two suit option, but Maxine committed to Clubs and got away with it.

After the hand, you said you maybe should have put the trump Ace into the Skat as it wouldn't get home otherwise; you haven't mentioned that in the analysis.
Mike Tobias
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Four-ace hands on 22nd March

Postby John McLeod » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:34 pm

Mike Tobias wrote:After the hand, you said you maybe should have put the trump Ace into the Skat as it wouldn't get home otherwise; you haven't mentioned that in the analysis.

I did say that, but on reflection I don't think it helps at all. To scrape together 61 points you need to catch something with your aces. Putting one of them in the skat just reduces that chance of doing that and leaves you with an extra loser. I suppose there might be a case for playing spades, putting the A7 of clubs in the skat and hoping to trump the ten of clubs with your ace of spades, but it looks rather unlikely that you would get that opportunity.
John McLeod
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Re: Four-ace hands on 22nd March

Postby Mike Tobias » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:58 pm

Suppose you'd played Grand, what would've been the correct lead for FH?
C: K9
S: T98
H: TQ8
D: K

I'd probably have led HQ, which would've given you 62pts running your Aces. In general, is that the correct lead against a Grand, or should you lead low under the ten? Same question for TK8
Mike Tobias
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Four-ace hands on 22nd March

Postby John McLeod » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:06 pm

I am unsure about what is best. I used always to lead the next card below the 10, perhaps because of something I once read in one of Joe Wergin's articles, but nowadays I would normally lead the 8 from TQ8 because it saves us 3 points if declarer plays the ace. From TK8 I would still be inclined to lead the king because I would be worried that leading the 8 might give away a whole trick and tempo if declarer decides to play the queen from AQ. I suspect that neither policy is correct all the time.
John McLeod
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm


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