Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sacrificing at IMPs (Red on White)

Byung commented on Board 117 that he'd be worried about the opponents making 6 hearts holding my hand. Since partner never acted and I only have 1 ace with a very distributional hand he has good reason to be worried. It's possible that ace doesn't even cash what with there being only 6 outstanding spades between 3 hands. (Especially if partner refuses to bid with 4 of them. I asked Andrew what he would have done and he would have done everything Jack did on that hand, including the low spade lead. *sigh*) My only other chance at a trick is the diamond king, which is only a trick when West doesn't have AQ and when they don't have 11 tricks outside of diamonds. With me have stiffs in both hearts and clubs that isn't very unreasonable at all, especially with the amount of bidding they did.

Assume they make it to 6 hearts at my table. (I did consider bidding 5 spades off the hop to put them to one heck of a guess, after all, and partner saccing 5 spades over 5 hearts is often a bad idea but could happen anyway.) At IMPs, I need to compare my potential actions against what the other table is going to do. They could end up stopping in 4 (or 5). They could play 5 spades doubled. They could play 6 hearts. They could play 6 spades doubled. I can't imagine stopping in a part-score or in just 4 spades. As far as my potential result, I can either leave them in 6 hearts or I can play 6 spades doubled. Also I need to look at how many tricks are actually there in spades and in hearts, represented by X/Y. Realistic numbers are, I think, 10/12, 10/11, 9/12, 9/11, 8/12, and 8/11.

IMP result if I pass 6 hearts.
tricks in S/H4 or 5 hearts5 spades doubled6 hearts6 spades doubled

IMP result if I bid 6 spades (doubled).
tricks in S/H4 or 5 hearts5 spades doubled6 hearts6 spades doubled

IMP gain by bidding 6 spades (doubled) compared to passing 6 hearts.
tricks in S/H4 or 5 hearts5 spades doubled6 hearts6 spades doubled

Now, each of these cells will have different odds of actually occurring, so it's not as straightforward as simply summing all the potential results. Given the information we have let's try to come up with some reasonable odds for the different outcomes. The information we have is East has a maximum pass with clubs and hearts, longer clubs. West has a hand good enough to both takeout double 1 spade and penalty double 4 spades. He has longer hearts than clubs, likely significantly so, since he pulled 5 clubs to 5 hearts. He also has longer hearts than diamonds since he skipped 5 diamonds. Partner is broke. He has either very few points, or very few spades, or both.

How many tricks can I take in spades? Well, partner definitely doesn't have any aces, so 10 tricks is certainly the max. I only get to 10 tricks when I can set up or ruff my diamonds with no additional losers. Which requires Qx and 2 extra spades to ruff with, or Qxx and 1 extra spade, or xx with a correct diamond finesse and 2 extra spades, or xxx with two correct finesses and 1 extra spade. Or Qxx with diamonds 3-3 or Qxxx with diamonds 3-2, and so on. If partner has long diamonds then they're massively double fit in the round suits and must be making. If partner has the extra spades and the Q of diamonds they're again massively double fit. If partner has neither then my A of spades should cash, maybe the K of spades too, and partner may have a long trump trick.

Certainly I think their odds of making go way up when our odds of taking 10 tricks go up. 10/11 actually seems pretty unlikely, unless partner somehow has the A of diamonds. The other /11s could happen when partner has a round trick and I have no way of knowing if he does or not. If he does, we shouldn't bid on. If he doesn't, and has either spades or diamonds then we should bid. I have no way of knowing that, so I can't ever make the winning play.

There is a way I could gain that information, though. After an auction of P-P-1S-X partner actually gets a turn to bid. Even with the 4-3-3-3 3 count that he had, I want him to bid 3 spades. And I believe I can infer he doesn't have long spades when he doesn't do so, really making pass over 6 hearts the right play from my hand. I probably should have seen the problem coming in the first place and bid 3 diamonds and not 4 spades, trying to find out if we're actually double fit or not.

At any rate, saccing red on white at IMPs is pretty hard to justify. We really needed a perfect storm to set up to actually make it a super-winning play on the actual board (10/12 was the actual layout). And the opponent actually never found their slam at either table anyway, so it's really a moot point. Just interesting to look at, I thought.

No comments: