Was there a way to win this one?

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.

Was there a way to win this one?

Postby Gustavo » Sun May 07, 2017 12:21 am

This hand was not great, but it seemed quite OK after I picking up the Skat. I thought I played by the book, but was still short of 10 points. Should I have led diferently? I thought of leaving the H10 in the Skat but that wouldn't make it any better. Did I go off just because of card distribution, mistake, or was the hand not good enough after all?

Thanks!

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Re: Was there a way to win this one?

Postby John McLeod » Sun May 07, 2017 6:42 pm

The hand is OK to bid and the skat is OK but not wonderful. It's often a bit tricky when you have only five trumps. You have enough strength outside to make this a reasonably good prospect but not a certainty. Definitely don't put the H10 in the Skat - then you would have to keep a small spade, which is worse.

The play is OK up to trick 4. Your mistake is at trick 5. You should lead a small trump, not the H10.

There are just two trumps out and if the opponents have one each, as in the actual deal, you will be safe once you have drawn the both. Even if one oppponent has both remaining jacks your chances are pretty good. Maybe you are worried that your small trump will lose to the jack of diamonds and the winner will then lead the SJ and draw your last trump. But what can they do after that? Unless the player with two jacks also has all the remaining spades, they can take just two spade tricks on which you will throw your losing heart and diamond, and then they will have to lead a heart or a diamond and you will win the last two tricks with your H10 and your DA.

Now see how many points you will have. After trick 4 you already have 37, and the H10 and DA make 58. The opponents will have to contribute four cards to last those two tricks and they only have three empty cards left (the samll diamonds) so you will catch at least a queen for 61.

There are ways the opponents can defeat you if FH has both outstanding jacks at trick 5. But to do that, FH will have to resist the temptation to draw your last trump and must attack diamonds instead. I think FH is unlikely to find that defence.
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Re: Was there a way to win this one?

Postby Gustavo » Sun May 07, 2017 11:34 pm

John McLeod wrote: Maybe you are worried that your small trump will lose to the jack of diamonds and the winner will then lead the SJ and draw your last trump.


That was exactly my reasoning.

John McLeod wrote:But what can they do after that? Unless the player with two jacks also has all the remaining spades, they can take just two spade tricks on which you will throw your losing heart and diamond, and then they will have to lead a heart or a diamond and you will win the last two tricks with your H10 and your DA.

Now see how many points you will have. After trick 4 you already have 37, and the H10 and DA make 58. The opponents will have to contribute four cards to last those two tricks and they only have three empty cards left (the samll diamonds) so you will catch at least a queen for 61.


True. It again comes down to counting points. My instinct was to keep trump control by trying to draw one of the remaining trumps with my H10. Had I fully analysed the hand (and counted the points) as you did I would have realised that I could still make 61...
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