Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 10/01/2011
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Last month, you had a chance to try your hand at four deals from the first half of the 2011 Grand National Team finals.
Here are four more:
5) You are West, on lead against 5X after this auction:
Now that you've doubled twice, what do you lead?
6) You hold: A 9 6
A J 8
A Q 9 7 4
. You are vulnerable against not and it goes 2--Pass-4 to you. Your call?
7) At favorable vulnerability, you hold: 10 9
A J 10 9 6 3
K 10 2
. At your favorable vulnerability, Jeff Meckstroth opens with a strong, forcing, Precision 1 on your left. Partner passes and RHO bids an artificial 2NT, showing a game-forcing hand with 4-4 in the majors and a singleton in a minor. Your call.
8) Vulnerable against not, you hold: K 7 4 3
9 8 3
A Q J 7 5 3
. RHO deals and opens 3. You boldly double (I agree--the hand with shortness needs to be aggressive against preempts). LHO raises to 4 and partner makes a card-showing double. And you?
5) I hope you selected a trump. Where else can the opponents possible get tricks other than by ruffing? At the table, a heart was led (by a former world champion) and declarer easily ruffed three diamonds in dummy to make 11 tricks. It turns out that the contract can still make on a trump lead (declarer sets up spades), but I still consider it a huge blunder not to lead a trump.
|J 7 6 4 3
10 7 5 3
Q 9 7 4
|K Q 9 5
K Q 9 8
J 8 2
A J 4 2
K Q 9 5 4 3
A 10 7 6
A K 6 5 3 2
6) Our hero (so far, five of the six errors in this two-part article were made by a long-time expert pair) passed. Double would show cards/values. I think he was worth it. Passing resulted in collecting a bunch of 50's. Doubling would get 500 or 600 in 5 (or 650 in 5) if partner pulled. Partner held: Q 5
K Q 4 3 2
K 10 5 3
7) Were you a man or a mouse? I don't like being mousy when I am white versus red. Against maybe the world's best pair, why give them space to unleash their 800 pages of notes and surely reach the right contract? I would interfere by bidding 3 (maybe even 4!) and try to derail them. At the table, the player with these cards jumped to pass (as I like to sarcastically put it), and of course his opponents found the right contract.
8) I was always taught to leave in such doubles with flat/ordinary hands. With shape, I pull. This hand has SHAPE! (As my friend Marty Bergen likes to say, "the magic of voids"). I would pull (to 5). The result would be 5 doubled down one. Passing led to -590 (no way to beat 4X). In my opinion, one of the top-5 players of the world passed with this hand--so don't feel too badly if you did the same.