Hand from this week’s Duplicate game

Wednesday night I played at the local duplicate game. Midway though the session I picked up

 SpadeQJT2 HeartJ43 DiamondAK ClubAT95

The auction went:

Part     RHO     Me

1Heart     1Spade        ?

The first decision I needed to make was whether to cue bid 2Spade or just bid 3NT. Since I had weak hearts and my spades would likely be wasted at a heart contract, I decided to bid 3NT. In general I like to show support to partner when I can, but this hand seemed like an exception. After I bid 3NT the auction continued with three passes, but my RHO paused for 4-5 seconds before passing. Wonder if he was thinking of bidding? At any rate this was the dummy:

Spade9 HeartAKQT6 Diamond853 ClubKJ62

The lead was the Spade4, my RHO won the SpadeK and shifted to the DiamondQ

My first thought is that we are on the club finesse for 6Heart. My second thought is that no one is likely to bid slam, but the field may well be playing in hearts. If  the field makes 680, I need to try and make 690.  I win the DiamondA and lead the SpadeQ; RHO ducking. His duck has now given me the chance to make 6NT although if I lose the club finesse I will get a zero since other pairs will beat my 630 with 650 or 660.

When I review the bidding I remember RHO’s  hesitation in passout seat. Since he appears to have only 5 spades, if he was thinking of bidding, he must have a two-suiter with diamonds. Since I have pretty much decided to risk the finesse and play LHO for the CQ, it can’t hurt to run the hearts first. RHO shows out on the second heart, pitching a spade. I continue with 4 more rounds of hearts pitching both my spades as he pitches 1 spade, 1 diamond and finally a club. I go ahead and cash the ClubA and run the ClubT. Making 6.

Was it necessary? this was the entire hand:

  ♠ Q J 10 2
♥ J 4 3
♦ A K
♣ A 10 9 5
♠ A K 6 5 3
♥ 8
♦ Q J 10 4 2
♣ 8 7
                 ♠ 8 7 4
                 ♥ 9 7 5 2
                 ♦ 9 7 6
                 ♣ Q 4 3
  ♠ 9
♥ A K Q 10 6
♦ 8 5 3
♣ K J 6 2

After the game when I check the results, I find no one played in hearts. Some E-Ws went for numbers.

Scores Matchpoints Pairs
N-S E-W N-S E-W  
1700   5.00 0.00  
1100   4.00 1.00  
690   3.00 2.00  
660   1.00 4.00  
660   1.00 4.00  
660   1.00 4.00  


The moral of this story is try and analyse what is happening at other tables. However realize that it is all just a guess. You never really know what is going to happen.