Vil Gravis's blog

Double Dummy 18

This deal from the archives is particularly significant to me because it was played in the days when we had no modern tools like computer deals or Deep Finesse analyses. Back to the future about 40 years ago, but even in those days some of the players knew how to defend without the help of Deep Finesse. At least, I would like to think so.

Dealer West All Vul; Teams

982
A852
2
QT653
5
6
AQJT75
AKJ94
KQT63
QJT7
K96
2
AJ74
K943
843
87

This was the bidding in a teams match:

SouthWestNorthEast
-1Pass1
Pass3Pass3
Pass4Pass4
Pass5PassPass
Pass

What is the ONLY way for the defence to defeat 5D and why should the defenders defend that way?

Double Dummy 17

This deal comes from the archives because I had a question from one of my regular readers, Sam, who asked about opening leads of singleton trumps. He has heard me say often enough that the lead of a singleton trump is one of the worst imaginable, because a) the first thing every declarer does when playing a hand is to draw trumps, so why do it for him and b) it is almost certain to solve any two way finesse problem if there is one. However, just to put it into context, I always add the proviso that there should always be a reason for doing what you do, especially when you make an opening lead, because the opening lead sets the scene for the rest of your defence, and the opening lead should tell your partner what you are hoping to achieve on defence. I then dug out this particular deal from my archives, a series I labelled “Ultimate Defence”. The reader may like to look at the deal and treat it as a double dummy problem before I continue the story in DD18.

Dealer West All Vul; Teams

982
A852
2
QT653
5
6
AQJT75
AKJ94
KQT63
QJT7
K96
2
AJ74
K943
843
87

Double Dummy 16

Most of the time, you shouldn’t need to be Deep Finesse to make the best opening lead. Nor should you have needed to have read some of my earlier articles stressing the need to have a full set of agreements with your partner as well a full repertoire of opening leads, including the opening lead of the ACE when holding specifically AKx or AQx against a No Trump contract.

Board 11 from Thursday 14/03/24
Dealer S EW Vul

Q
32
K86
AJ98752
8752
AQ8
QT54
QT
JT96
KT654
97
63
AK43
J97
AJ32
K4

Double Dummy 15

This defence should not have needed to be ‘double dummy’ but escaped quite a few NS pairs when East played in 4S after a competitive auction. I suggest that NS should bid to 4H and EW take the sacrifice in 4S, which should be doubled. But let’s not talk about the bidding because there are lessons to be learnt about defence.

Board 20 from Tuesday 5/02/24
Dealer W All Vul

J
T9853
AT86
A82
K642
KQJ
4
KQJ95
Q98753
7
Q52
763
AT
A642
KJ973
T4

Double Dummy 14

The obsession with No Trumps has the potential to either win in a big way, or deservedly crash in flames. Why do so many bridge players have this obsession with bidding No Trump slams rather than the far easier to make minor suit slam? I don’t have a ready answer for that, but Deep Finesse does, because DF can see all the hands and knows that 7NT can be made by NS on this deal. So can 7D but 7D does not require the same virtually impossible layout that 7NT requires.

Board 19 from Wednesday 28/02/24
Dealer S EW Vul

A6
A964
KQ76
AJ7
J532
KQJT53
J9
5
T74
72
83
Q98642
KQ98
8
AT542
KT3

Double Dummy 13

What can we learn from Deep Finesse on the following deal?

Board 19 from Tuesday 20/02/24Dealer S EW Vul

763
K764
76
9843
AQ
A5
AT9853
752
J2
QJT32
QJ2
KQ6
KT9854
98
K4
AJT

Double Dummy 12

What can we learn, if anything, from this deal, which tells us that Deep Finesse can make 4S EW but not 4H! So, what’s the difference? When you see the deal for Board 5 you’ll see little difference between the hearts and spades: both have a 5-3 fit but there appear to be two heart losers and only one spade loser. Yet, DF says EW can make 4H but not 4S. Let’s see if we can work out why, then, 4H makes but not 4S.

Board 5 from Wednesday 14/02/24
Dealer N NS Vul

QJ7
QT9
KQ9
A952
A8543
A6432
Q73
KT6
J87
AJ5
KJ84
92
K5
T876432
T6

Double Dummy 11

This deal was reviewed in my previous article but wasn’t done explicitly enough and needs some more analysis.

Board 6 from Tuesday 30/01/24
Dealer E EW Vul

9
Q9742
T73
A985
KJT7653
J86
AQ
4
Q2
3
J9642
QJT32
A84
AKT5
K85
K76

Double Dummy 10

As South, how would you play 4H when West leads the four of clubs? Let’s say South has opened 1H and West has bid spades quite strongly. We can look at the full deal to make the problem into another double dummy one.

Board 6 from Tuesday 30/01/24
Dealer E EW Vul

9
Q9742
T73
A985
KJT7653
J86
AQ
4
Q2
3
J9642
QJT32
A84
AKT5
K85
K76

Double Dummy 09

Double dummy problems seldom arise in part score situations, because there are too many variations to go through, but this one is worth taking a look at.

Board 16 from Tuesday 23/01/24
Dealer W EW Vul

42
AK986
K75
K52
T973
Q53
QT93
J9
AKQ5
J2
AJ86
Q76
J86
T74
42
AT843

You are sitting West and North opens 1H and partner doubles. South bids 2H. Do you bid 2S or not?

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