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Simple Simon

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-March-18, 17:17


A simple auction to what looks like a simple contract. LHO leads the 5 and East plays the ace, king and another (the nine). You cannot tell whether the clubs are 5-3 or 4-4. You ruff with the nine.

Simple Simon would take the trump finesse. Is there any reason to do anything else?
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#2 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 00:40

Any reason not to take the trump finesse?

No

Any reason to take it right away?

No.

Two alternative suggest themselves:

A. Cash the spade Ace, if the King drops, claim. If not, and they are not 3-0, cash the red winners and exit a spade, hoping that whoever wins it has nothing but minor cards left.

B. Strip the reds (hearts is only a partial strip) ending in dummy and then taking the finesse, hoping that it will lose, if it does, to a stiff king who has only minors left.

A is sexier. But I think B is stronger, and definitely better than the early finesse.
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#3 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 06:56

My partner played a third line, C, cashing two diamonds ending in dummy and then she took the spade finesse. She also had the chance that, if she lost to the stiff king of spades, that player had QJ of hearts with or without small cards. Sadly the sexy line worked, but I am pretty sure her line was best.
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#4 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 07:47

View Postlamford, on 2021-March-19, 06:56, said:

My partner played a third line, C, cashing two diamonds ending in dummy and then she took the spade finesse. She also had the chance that, if she lost to the stiff king of spades, that player had QJ of hearts with or without small cards. Sadly the sexy line worked, but I am pretty sure her line was best.

Hmmm....I donít think that line is one Iíd choose. Why?

The opening lead. It seems that the leader led from Qxxx(x) in clubs. With QJ9(x) in hearts, Iíd expect a heart lead. With QJx(x) some players would also prefer a heart. Hence playing west for QJ of hearts seems anti-percentage.
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#5 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 09:48

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 00:40, said:

B. Strip the reds (hearts is only a partial strip) ending in dummy and then taking the finesse, hoping that it will lose, if it does, to a stiff king who has only minors left.

In which case West must be either 1255 or 1264.

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 07:47, said:

Hmmm....I don’t think that line is one I’d choose. Why?

The opening lead. It seems that the leader led from Qxxx(x) in clubs. With QJ9(x) in hearts, I’d expect a heart lead. With QJx(x) some players would also prefer a heart. Hence playing west for QJ of hearts seems anti-percentage.

So what kind of hand with QT85(2) and either 1255 or 1264 shape would you play West for? (Note that East didn't double 3 for the lead.)
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#6 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 10:31

View Postnullve, on 2021-March-19, 09:48, said:

In which case West must be either 1255 or 1264.


So what kind of hand with QT85(2) and either 1255 or 1264 shape would you play West for? (Note that East didn't double 3 for the lead.)

Any. I donít get your point, unless you think that westís pass of 1S with a near yarb, vulnerable, suggests he cant have these shapes...a proposition with which I strongly disagree.

Iím not claiming the desired layout is high probability. But, if itís plausible, it adds a modest edge over the straight early finesse.

Put another way....explain why you think any other line is better.
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#7 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 10:53

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 10:31, said:

Any. I donít get your point, unless you think that westís pass of 1S with a near yarb, vulnerable, suggests he cant have these shapes...a proposition with which I strongly disagree.

Iím not claiming the desired layout is high probability. But, if itís plausible, it adds a modest edge over the straight early finesse.

Put another way....explain why you think any other line is better.

1255/1264 is definitely consistent with West's pass of 1. But would you ever lead a club from

K
??
????? (choose from QJT876532)
QT852

or

K
??
?????? (choose from QJT876532)
QT85

against this auction?

I'm not (yet) saying that there is a better line than your line B.
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#8 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 12:49

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 07:47, said:

Hmmm....I don't think that line is one I'd choose. Why?

The opening lead. It seems that the leader led from Qxxx(x) in clubs. With QJ9(x) in hearts, I'd expect a heart lead. With QJx(x) some players would also prefer a heart. Hence playing west for QJ of hearts seems anti-percentage.


So you ruff the 3rd club and play heart ace? What do you do if RHO drops an honor?
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#9 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 13:16

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-March-19, 12:49, said:

So you ruff the 3rd club and play heart ace? What do you do if RHO drop an honor?


What? nobody ever plays the Q or J from QJx on you? Or, here, from QJ9x....lol if you take a finesse and get a ruff with a stiff King coming back.

Obviously this may negate the partial strip in hearts (unless RHO has QJxx), but that merely gets me back to the default trump finesse.

I'm surprised that most of the comments aimed at my suggestions don't actually provide any basis for a different line. It's not as if I'm arguing that the partial strip then finesse is a sure-fire winner!

We have a simple proposition that is slightly more than 50%, in that if clubs are 5-3, there is a better than 50% chance that RHO has the spade King, since he has 10 non-clubs to LHO's 8 non-clubs, offset by the possibility that clubs are 4-4 (btw I doubt that I'd think I have no clue as to which it is, since I will know their leading agreements from length and I will have paid attention to LHO's second club. This is yet another in the seemingly endless series of posts in which we have to guess a line of play without all of the information that would be available to us were we actually playing the hand. Why posters refuse to provide full information is a mystery and an annoying one. rant ends).

So our goal is to discern lines of play that might give us a better, even a marginally better, chance of success. For all those raising arguments against my line, please do us all a favour and set out why your (not yet disclosed) alternative is better. I'd genuinely like to see a better line, since that would mean I have learned something.
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#10 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 14:10

why try to be clever? east could X 3 bid but did not. would he X with AK only or AK and K. I can not say. but pretty cardplay is not percentage play. I would eliminate suit and take finesse 50/50. hoping to drop stiff K and make endplay not knowing distribution is not percentage.
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#11 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 14:29

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 13:16, said:

(btw I doubt that I'd think I have no clue as to which it is, since I will know their leading agreements from length and I will have paid attention to LHO's second club. This is yet another in the seemingly endless series of posts in which we have to guess a line of play without all of the information that would be available to us were we actually playing the hand. Why posters refuse to provide full information is a mystery and an annoying one. rant ends).

+1,000,000

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 13:16, said:

For all those raising arguments against my line, please do us all a favour and set out why your (not yet disclosed) alternative is better. I'd genuinely like to see a better line, since that would mean I have learned something.

I didn't critcise your line (B).

But you said lamford's line C is anti-percentage, sort of implying that you your own line B, which seems to cater specifically to West having K-??-?????-QT852 / K-??-??????-QT83, is less anti-percentage. But, again, would you (or any good player sitting West) ever lead a club on this auction with such a hand? (Not a rhetorical question!)
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#12 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 16:28

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 07:47, said:

Hmmm....I don’t think that line is one I’d choose. Why?

The opening lead. It seems that the leader led from Qxxx(x) in clubs. With QJ9(x) in hearts, I’d expect a heart lead. With QJx(x) some players would also prefer a heart. Hence playing west for QJ of hearts seems anti-percentage.

I agree that QJ9x or QJ8x are unlikely. But if West has a singleton king of spades, then he is less likely to have a low doubleton in hearts. I think QJx or QJxx is more likely than xx.
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#13 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 16:33

View Postlamford, on 2021-March-19, 16:28, said:

I agree that QJ9x or QJ8x are unlikely. But if West has a singleton king of spades, then he is less likely to have a low doubleton in hearts. I think QJx or QJxx are more likely than xx.

QJx in hearts, or Q10xx(x) in clubs. We agree to disagree as to the likely lead.
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#14 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 20:21

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-19, 13:16, said:

What? nobody ever plays the Q or J from QJx on you? Or, here, from QJ9x....lol if you take a finesse and get a ruff with a stiff King coming back.

Obviously this may negate the partial strip in hearts (unless RHO has QJxx), but that merely gets me back to the default trump finesse.

I'm surprised that most of the comments aimed at my suggestions don't actually provide any basis for a different line. It's not as if I'm arguing that the partial strip then finesse is a sure-fire winner!

We have a simple proposition that is slightly more than 50%, in that if clubs are 5-3, there is a better than 50% chance that RHO has the spade King, since he has 10 non-clubs to LHO's 8 non-clubs, offset by the possibility that clubs are 4-4 (btw I doubt that I'd think I have no clue as to which it is, since I will know their leading agreements from length and I will have paid attention to LHO's second club. This is yet another in the seemingly endless series of posts in which we have to guess a line of play without all of the information that would be available to us were we actually playing the hand. Why posters refuse to provide full information is a mystery and an annoying one. rant ends).

So our goal is to discern lines of play that might give us a better, even a marginally better, chance of success. For all those raising arguments against my line, please do us all a favour and set out why your (not yet disclosed) alternative is better. I'd genuinely like to see a better line, since that would mean I have learned something.


I'm not criticizing anything - mine was a genuine question. With a honor coming down, the chance of losing no heart tricks has gone up substantially (unless RHO is screwing with you) If an honor pops from RHO, do you change your mind about the finesse? Inquiring minds, don'tch know. Trying to learn something here, too. Posted Image
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#15 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2021-March-20, 02:49

Line A has the bonus that a defender with KxQJx(x) or KxH9x(x) might (erroneously) unblock the K to avoid being endplayed.
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#16 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-March-20, 06:52

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-March-19, 20:21, said:

I'm not criticizing anything - mine was a genuine question. With a honor coming down, the chance of losing no heart tricks has gone up substantially (unless RHO is screwing with you) If an honor pops from RHO, do you change your mind about the finesse? Inquiring minds, don'tch know. Trying to learn something here, too. Posted Image

I admit that the average player almost never falsecards with QJx(x), but since the lockdown, most of my bridge has been against players quite capable of it, and there is zero chance that Iíd assume that I have a good chance of losing no heart trick if an expert defender, sitting on my right, played an honour on the first trick. Itís not as if I could have 4 hearts...Iíd be nuts to try a partial strip with a 4-4 heart fit.
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#17 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-March-20, 11:28

View Postmikeh, on 2021-March-20, 06:52, said:

I admit that the average player almost never falsecards with QJx(x), but since the lockdown, most of my bridge has been against players quite capable of it, and there is zero chance that I'd assume that I have a good chance of losing no heart trick if an expert defender, sitting on my right, played an honour on the first trick. It's not as if I could have 4 hearts...I'd be nuts to try a partial strip with a 4-4 heart fit.


Another consideration is that with an honor popping from rho you now have the added chance of dropping the stiff trump King on the left combined with endplaying Rho in trump after stripping the diamonds, provided trumps aren't 3-0.
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