Roman Key Card Blackwood

Normal Blackwood 4NT or even Gerber (4C) will work well enough in most situations but there will be times when the RKC asking bid is crucial to being able to find the best final contract, which of course will nearly always be a slam, though sometimes it may be a five level contract when you find that a slam is unlikely or even impossible.

Double Dummy 06

Earlier, we saw how EW can best defend a 1NT contract given ‘double dummy’ vision. Now let’s look at what might happen if WEST is the dealer and opens 1NT, which is passed out.

Dealer W Nil Vul

765
742
743
AKT7
983
AQ85
AQ6
864
KJ4
T93
KT852
J2
AQT2
KJ6
J9
Q953

Double Dummy 05

Before we start reviewing ‘double dummy’ problems from play in 2024, I would like to take another look at an interesting deal that I have reviewed some time ago, because it features one of my pet ‘likes’, the opening lead of an ace from specifically AQx against a No Trump contract.

Dealer N Nil Vul

765
742
743
AKT7
983
AQ85
AQ6
864
KJ4
T93
KT852
J2
AQT2
KJ6
J9
Q953

Double Dummy 04

Here is an easy double dummy problem. Easy double dummy but it proved far from easy when played at X-Clubs
Board 25 from Tuesday 5/12/23
Dealer N EW Vul

T9
AKJT
J975
AJ5
K6543
765
863
T6
AQ72
Q84
QT42
98
J8
932
AK
KQ7432

Double Dummy 03

Heart in Mouth Stuff:
This one might possibly have been bid to 6H but never was. It might have made 6H but almost never was, in fact only three Souths made six on the obvious queen of diamonds lead. That is a good double dummy exercise in itself, how to make six the obvious and only sensible way, or how to make 6H the more risky Deep Finesse way. And finally we will have the real double dummy problem that would never occur in play, or in fact going to be executed by any declarer unless he was Deep Finesse or was clairvoyant or maybe obsessed with finessing everything that can be finessed!

Board 15 From Friday 8/12/23
Dealer S NS Vul

642
KQ8
K632
J86
73
J6
QJT987
543
KJ95
973
A5
T972
AQT8
AT542
4
AKQ

Double Dummy 02

This one is a double double dummy problem. You get two for the price of one in the same deal! At the table, it appears that neither double dummy problem was solved easily, though they don’t seem too difficult. This one consists of a declarer problem for both NS and EW. Really, it should be a problem only for NS because when EW bid to 4H, 4S seems to be the obvious answer. Despite the vulnerability, because 4H is likely to make and 4S is sure to be a good sacrifice. But, double dummy, both 4H and 4S should make. Let’s see how, and why.

Board 19 from Monday 4-Dec
Dealer S EW Vul

AKQJ84
T65
AK
J6
T932
A2
Q9
AK843
KQJ9743
872
952
765
8
JT6543
QT7

Double Dummy 01

Double Dummy Fun - Deep Finesse at its best

From Monday 20/11/23 at X-Clubs
Board 6 Dealer E EW Vul

K765
Q
QJT9873
J
Q43
KJ965
62
AK8
T982
874
K8
9763
AJ
AT32
A4
QT542

This was the bidding at most tables:

SouthWestNorthEast
---Pass
112Pass
2NTPass3NTPass
PassPass

You are WEST. You have “Deep Finesse” as your partner sitting East. How will you defend, from the opening lead right through to the end?

Loveblock NZ-Wide Pairs

The scoring team went home about 11:45pm on the Friday night with just two clubs outstanding of the 51 that succeeded in running their session.

Left Field 07

But wait! There’s more! Let’s now look at the case where West has doubled South’s 2S rangefinder and then, when South has put North into 6NT, doubled again to ensure a spade lead. East leads the three (we saw what could happen if East leads the ten), ‘low from three to an honour’ as our lessons recommend. Now that we know what would happen if declarer puts in the queen for a futile finesse, let’s try again. Declarer puts up the ace and proceeds as before: takes some hearts and then the diamonds reveal the fact that East had 3172 and West 5404. Now the play is an open book. West has to keep all four clubs when declarer plays the top three diamonds, therefore is down to the king of spades on its own. The queen now puts West in and West must open the club suit up. No matter which club West exits with, four club tricks for declarer add up to a well played 6NT!

Board 13 Dealer N All Vul

742
AKQJ
97
KT62
KJ986
8763
Q973
T53
5
JT86543
84
AQ
T942
AKQ2
AJ5

Left Field 06

Now we can take another look at the deal in my previous article, but when East leads the three of spades against 6NT. If there has been a lead directional double by West when South has bid 2S as a rangefinder, declarer will almost certainly not make because what appears to be a ‘safe’ lead of the diamond jack will give declarer enough clues to make, as we saw in our previous analysis. The lead of the spade three puts declarer under immediate pressure and there is no reason not to put in the queen in the hope that East has the king, or that the clubs behave, or a squeeze develops. Thus, the queen loses to West’s king and West then returns a low spade, taking out dummy’s ace and leaving declarer in an awful spot. How should declarer proceed?

Board 13 Dealer N All Vul

742
AKQJ
97
KT62
KJ986
8763
Q973
T53
5
JT86543
84
AQ
T942
AKQ2
AJ5

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