Monday, January 7, 2008

Satisfaction not guaranteed

Technique in card play has its own rewards. By trying to cater for various layouts you may, or may not, get the prize. Here's a hand from this weekend that came close to making a difference in the scoring.



I played 4S after opening a 2-way Swedish 1C and getting a 1D-overcall to my left and got a K of clubs lead. How to play it?

It seems like a rather trivial deal with 5 likely spade tricks, 3 hearts and 2 aces. If spades or hearts break or a squeeze developes, we may get more. Is there any danger?

Well, if neither major breaks we may have problems. Say spades are 1-5 and hearts 4-2. So we immediately win the club, ruff a diamond, go back with a spade to the K and ruff another D. Now when I cashed a high spade, my LHO discarded a diamond. Ace of H, heart to the queen and the last diamond from dummy assured 10 tricks and an inner sense of satisfaction.

That feeling lost some luster when this was the whole layout:


With hearts breaking, anyone could take 10 tricks and you could actually make 6 by playing for hearts 3-3 before leading the last diamond off dummy (the only declarer in slam, in another match, went 2 down). Just another wash at the comparison (don't know which line the other table in our match took though).

Just beat the drum. Next time...

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