Sunday, 8 January 2012

Hands Of Note From The Scotland-England Camrose Match

The following are some hands from Saturday's Camrose match between Scotland and England:

Costly Non-Costly Lead:

Forrester played in 3NT and North led his fourth highest diamond. Leading the beer card instead of the J has no effect on the play except to complicate defence. South did well to apply the Rule of 11 and played low. Forrester won the A and cashed the AK♣. When he found the bad break he led a low diamond. North did not read his partner's duck and inserted the T. Forrester played low from dummy and the defence's goose was cooked. South switched to a heart, won by North who continued with two more rounds, the final one into declarer's AT. The fourth round of hearts squeezed North for an overtrick.

Panther Double:

The panther double is made when you have a surprise for declarer. It did not work out here for Gold but he was hoping for some of the following things:

  1. North would be minimum: the panther double is often made on invitational auctions.
  2. South would have only 4 trumps for the stayman bid.
  3. South would misplay trumps - expecting him to have the length.
  4. South to be have spade honours making a finesse in that suit offside.
  5. North to have the red suit honours putting those finesses offside.
The double did not work out well for England.

Tough Slam To Bid:

Slam wasn't bid at either table on this one. The West hand is a difficult to judge. Opposite a doubleton you have 7 tricks 52% of the time. East having three spades is a big holding. The diamond holding is also boosted by the A - the West hand is worth 10 tricks.

Not sure what the best way to bid this is and I would be curious to hear others' comments.

Solid Defence:

With a good and well-placed holding in Declaer's suit, Gold found the correct lead of a trump. Declarer is stuck for an entry back to hand. He plays a low club to the ten. I wondered if he should go up with the King but would a strong East ever duck with the A♣. It makes no difference on this hand whether West leads a trump or a diamond but he showed good form by leading the A. Partner encouraged (reverse attitude) with the 6 and the defence cashed two diamonds before returning to trumps. Declarer was stuck for 2 down.

Invite Opposite 3♣ Preempt:

This would have been a good hand to be able to invite. It is an interesting discussion as to how valuable a 3 bid is against the ability to find out if partner has a strong suit. One con may be that you run the risk of being doubled in 4♣ when the trumps are breaking poorly.
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