Friday, March 23, 2007

Think first

Here's another 3NT from Italy, day 2 of the teams. We bid 1S-1NT; 2D showing 11-13 with 54+ and I jumped to 3NT, a bit aggressively (my favorite Kokish qoute: 'You can't cut it too fine' ;). West led a low H (attitude).



Not exactly a 'claimer' ;-) RHO inserted the 9 (queen would, of course, have been better for me) and I won with the J and attacked diamonds. RHO won the 2nd round as LHO followed with the ten (good) and returned a low H. I played the K and West won the ace and tanked. This meant that the ace if clubs was onside as he would've had a hard time not continuing hearts with a sure entry.

After about 2 minutes, he emerged with a low spade which I won in dummy as East contributed the T. What's going on?

I cashed 2 diamonds in dummy discarding clubs as West pitched a club and a heart. After a club to the K felling the J, I decided that LHO was 4-5-2-2 and led a spade to the K, dropping the queen, making 4. Why? Well, this particular East wouldn't play the T from Tx, in my view. Once I got a clue of the opposing distribution, this became the indicated line.

Think first? Yes, West made the classic mistake of scooping up the K of H first (on partner's return) and THEN started thinking. If he had followed low, keeping defensive communications alive and establishing a long H, it's very likely that I would hook the spade immediately as it wouldn't be possible to try a high spade first. I'd be 2 down instead.

Winning a trick is good - knowing what to do after that is even better.

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