DISCIPLINE & DEFENSE

Maritha Pottenger

Hands are from the La Jolla Unit Game, October 28, 2018.

Hand #24

East: A9642 J7 A109862

West: 7 Q108752 Q1083 KQ

Most of my students know that I prefer disciplined Weak Twos when vulnerable and sensible Weak Twos in first and second seat. The problem with undisciplined Weak Twos is that your partner rarely knows what to do with a decent hand, and you may be in the wrong spot. Partner can also end up sacrificing when it is wrong—expecting you to have a good suit and very little outside defense—and then you show up with a bad suit and enough defense to set the opponents against whom your partner took the phantom sacrifice.

West opened 2 with a horrible suit and THREE outside cards, the KQ and the Q. Plus, the hand is two-suited (six hearts and four diamonds) and almost three-suited with tolerance for clubs. Everyone passed.

I led the Q. Declarer took A in dummy and unblocked his K and Q. Then he led a low diamond to the J. Kent (my partner) wisely figured out that Declarer had a horrible suit, given what he had shown up with on the outside. [The Q is likely in the West hand since I did not hop up with that card.] So, Kent led a heart to Declarer's 10 and my J. I returned a club so that Kent could ruff away Declarer's the A. Declarer overruffed and played the 10 to Kent's A.

Kent returned the K which Declarer had to ruff. He could get the Q, but Kent owned the 9 and all my hearts were better than Declarer's hearts. Down two. If West passes, East will probably open 1 in third seat and E/W will get to 2, making 3 for +110.

Hand #26

North (Dummy): 8 J1032 J KQJ8652

West: J73 8754 K107 1074

East (your partner) opens 1 and South doubles. You eke out a 2 call. This is marginal but a major suit raise can be shaded after a takeout double. North makes a free bid of 3 and partner bids 3. South jumps to 4 and all pass.

Your heart lead is covered by the J in Dummy, partner's Q, and ruffed by Declarer. Declarer cashes the A. Partner gives count (showing a doubleton), so you know that the A was a singleton. Declarer now leads a low diamond. What should you do?

West fell from grace at our table. He rose with his K, wanting to cut down on any ruffs in Dummy. West led a spade. The problem was, he led the 3, and Dummy's 8 won! West had to lead the J to defend optimally. Declarer was able to discard two diamonds on the K and the Q as West followed helplessly, and East could not ruff because she started with a singleton spade. West could trump the fourth round of clubs but declarer threw his last diamond loser on the that trick.

If West had led the J, Kent would be held to only 10 tricks—losing three diamonds tricks.

Hand #15

North opened 1 in third seat and East overcalled 1. South bid 2 and North bid the last suit with 3. East now rebid 3 and South and West passed. What should North do?

I doubled. This is a DSIP double: “Do Something Intelligent, Partner.” Partner duly did something intelligent—he passed. With accurate defense, we set Declarer two tricks. Double-dummy we can make 4 on the 5-2 fit and combined 23 HCP, but we are unlikely to reach that contract, so +300 was a great result (94%).

In some sense the DISP double is a four-suited bid! The other three suits are options but so is passing.