Join Bridge Winners
Bean Counting
(Page of 11)

In a semi-final match in the Senior trials, you have to choose the best opening bid.

None vul, West deals. As West, you hold

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
W
N
E
S
?

Your opening 1NT range here is 10-12. 1 followed by 1NT would show 13-15.

Your call?

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
W
N
E
S
?

It is true that your hand contains 12 Goren HCP. But there are 12-point hands and there are 12-point hands. This hand is huge. A good 5-card suit. An ace and two kings. The queen in the 5-card suit connected to a king. This hand is worth well more than 12 points. Opening 1NT is an example of bean-counting.

You choose to open 1NT. The bidding continues

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
2
?

2: Majors

Your call?

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
2
?

It must be right to show your diamond suit. This may be necessary to compete over a likely enemy 2 of a major. The danger of going for a number is very small.

You bid 2. The bidding concludes

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

Your lead. Standard honor leads. Third and fifth.

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

What is partner doubling on? Some high cards, of course. Certainly 3 trumps. In addition, partner is likely to have 4 spades. Otherwise, things will be splitting well for the opponents, and they will figure to be making even if short on points.

What are the opponents bidding on? Partner has some high cards. You have a maximum. The opponents must be bidding on distribution. South figures to be 5-5. North figures to have a stiff spade. It all adds up.

The ace of hearts should be jumping out of your hand. If you can prevent the enemy ruffs, you figure to do very well against this contract.

You choose to lead the king of diamonds.

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
North
10
Q43
J963
K9863
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

Partner plays the 8, and declarer wins the ace.

You play suit-preference at trick 1. After that, UDCA.

Declarer leads the 2. Which club do you play?

West
K86
A5
Q752
1075
North
10
Q43
J96
K9863
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

You might as well signal honestly. The distributional information in the club suit figures to be more important to partner than declarer. However, the 10 could be an important spot card, so you don't want to waste that. The 7 is fine.

You play the 7. King from dummy, and partner wins the ace. Partner returns the 2 to your ace, declarer playing the 6. What do you play now?

West
K86
5
Q752
105
North
10
Q4
J96
9863
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

It is clear to return a heart. This will cut down on spade ruffs in dummy. That has number one priority now.

You lead back a heart. Dummy wins the queen, partner playing the 8 and declarer the 7. Declarer now leads the 10 to the jack, queen, and king. What do you do?

West
86
Q752
105
North
4
J96
9863
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

All the evidence points to declarer's shape being 5-5-2-1. Partner clearly has good clubs, so from 1084 of diamonds he would have played the 4. Declarer's early attack on the club suit looks like a singleton.

If you lead a club, you should lead the 10 of clubs. It appears that partner has the rest of the clubs, and you don't want to block the suit.

You can't prevent a spade ruff in dummy. However, you need to be concerned about getting stuck in your hand with the queen of diamonds later in the play. This is a good time to get the queen of diamonds out of your hand. Presumably, everybody will follow. You can then exit with the 10, and declarer and partner can fight it out. Dummy's diamonds are not a threat, since after declarer ruffs a spade in dummy partner will have a trump left to ruff when declarer leads a good diamond from dummy.

You choose to lead the 5. Partner plays the queen, and declarer ruffs with the 10. Declarer ruffs the 3 in dummy, partner playing the 2. Declarer ruffs a club with the jack of hearts. Declarer cashes the king of hearts. You discard a diamond, and partner follows. Declarer cashes the ace of spades, partner playing the 9. Dummy discarded clubs on the spade and the heart so dummy is left with J96 of diamonds. Declarer now leads the 4. What do you do?

West
Q75
North
J96
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

Declarer is out of trump. All you have to do is duck. He will win the jack, but dummy will be end-played and you will get the last two tricks.

You foolishly play the queen of diamonds. Dummy has the last two tricks, for down 1. The full hand is:

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
North
10
Q43
J963
K9863
East
J972
982
108
AQJ4
South
AQ543
KJ1076
A4
2
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
7
K
A
2
1
1
2
6
A
3
0
1
2
5
Q
8
7
1
2
2
10
J
Q
K
0
2
3
5
3
Q
10
3
3
3
3
6
4
2
1
4
3
6
4
J
10
3
5
3
K
2
8
9
3
6
3
A
8
9
7
3
7
3
4
Q
11

How was declarer's line of play?

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
North
10
Q43
J963
K9863
East
J972
982
108
AQJ4
South
AQ543
KJ1076
A4
2
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
7
K
A
2
1
1
2
6
A
3
0
1
2
5
Q
8
7
1
2
2
10
J
Q
K
0
2
3
5
3
Q
10
3
3
3
3
6
4
2
1
4
3
6
4
J
10
3
5
3
K
2
8
9
3
6
3
A
8
9
7
3
7
3
4
Q
11

Declarer has an almost sure count of the hand as soon as dummy comes down. West must have 5 diamonds for his 2 call. East certainly has 3 trumps for the double. West has to have at least 3 spades, since East didn't bid 2. East probably has 4 spades in order to justify the double. Thus, the distribution is likely to be what it is.

Declarer could set up a diamond trick by playing a diamond at trick 2, but that won't help him. He will always need to ruff a spade in dummy, and once he has ruffed a spade the third round of diamonds won't live. His club play has the advantage of possibly scoring the king of clubs, as well as telling declarer where the high cards are which might help him play the spade suit right.

Declarer was rather unlucky with what he found out. West had opened a 10-12 1NT, and had shown up with KQ of diamonds and ace of hearts. It was almost certain that East had the king of spades.

At the end, declarer knew the whole hand. He did well to strip West out of black cards, so when he led a diamond up he would definitely score one diamond trick. He got a bonus when West erred at the end.

Do you like the N-S auction?

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
North
10
Q43
J963
K9863
East
J972
982
108
AQJ4
South
AQ543
KJ1076
A4
2
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
7
K
A
2
1
1
2
6
A
3
0
1
2
5
Q
8
7
1
2
2
10
J
Q
K
0
2
3
5
3
Q
10
3
3
3
3
6
4
2
1
4
3
6
4
J
10
3
5
3
K
2
8
9
3
6
3
A
8
9
7
3
7
3
4
Q
11

It was reasonable. North might have bid 2 immediately, but he was happy defending 2. South's 2 call looks best. Now North's hand is looking better, so he felt it was worth a raise. South had primes and a 5-5 hand, so bidding game seemed right. Game isn't very good, but this will happen sometimes.

Do you like East's double?

West
K86
A5
KQ752
1075
North
10
Q43
J963
K9863
East
J972
982
108
AQJ4
South
AQ543
KJ1076
A4
2
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
P
2
2
P
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
8
A
3
1
0
2
7
K
A
2
1
1
2
6
A
3
0
1
2
5
Q
8
7
1
2
2
10
J
Q
K
0
2
3
5
3
Q
10
3
3
3
3
6
4
2
1
4
3
6
4
J
10
3
5
3
K
2
8
9
3
6
3
A
8
9
7
3
7
3
4
Q
11

East knew the opponents had at most 22 HCP. It is often wrong to make this sort of high card double against a voluntarily bid game, since the opponents may have the distribution or source of tricks to make. Here, however, East had more information than just the high cards. He knew the opponents had only an 8-card heart fit, since West had opened 1NT. He had good secondary stuff in declarer's side suit. West is marked with 5 diamonds, so the opponents aren't getting any tricks there. The opponents simply don't figure to have a way to find 10 winners. 4 figures to go down, and it could go down a lot. If West had led ace and a heart and declarer had made the same losing spade guess, the defense would have collected 500.

At the other table, West opened 1 and East bid 1. South overcalled 2, and the same 4 contract was reached but not doubled. Here declarer had different information from the bidding, so when East showed up with the ace of clubs declarer properly placed West with the king of spades, so he didn't take the spade finesse and was down only 1.

It is so important on opening lead to try to form a picture of the hands and estimate how the play is likely to go before making your lead. Had West done so, it would have been clear that ace of hearts and a heart figured to be the winning defense.

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