Interesting hand 9

This time two bidding decisions and one playing decision.

1. What would you open holding 97542 AQ 7643 AQ ? Do you open 1NT or 1 spade?

2. You pick up: void AK5 AQ109874 Q95 as dealer, so what would you open. 1diamond? 2 diamonds? 4 diamonds? 5 diamonds?

Letís have your decisions so that partner can see how you deal with these two tricky hands

3.You are playing hand 2 in 5 diamonds and lose the first two club tricks. There is no opposition bidding.The diamonds on dummy are 632.You lead a diamond and RHO plays the 5, do you finesse with the Q or play the Ace and hope to drop the King?

to help these are the diamonds:

AQ109874 and on dummy 632

Replies

Suppresing a 5 card spade suit is not my line of bidding so I would open 1 spade.The second hand presents me with no real problem opening , I would open 1 diamond, hope that partner responds. On the play hand I would play to drop the King of diamonds.

Most interesting.
On hand 1 I would open 1spade (unless I was Andrew Robson) Partner would only support if he/she had spades, which would perforce be of higher rank than mine, so unlikely to end up in a spade contract otherwise. The disadvantage on NT is that , although the AQ doubletons are protected on the initial lead, they could be set up before the spade suit, and the 4 diamonds are paltry. If partner has strength elsewhere NT contract would be played and the spade opening bid would deter a lead in that suit.
On hand 2 I would open 2 diamonds by dint of playing ace responses. One would know immediately if partner held no aces, and if an ace which one (useful when holding a void) etc. Also with an outside AK and 7 trumps it is fair to consider it as having 8 playing tricks.
Hand is very difficult. I have seen arguments in favour of both the finesse and the drop with 3 missing cards .As I see it, with K and J missing the situation could be.
KJ5 none
K5 J
J5 K
5 KJ
How can one decide. it depends who has played AK clubs. If both played from one hand I would place K diamonds with the other. Statistically I'm not sufficiently conversant with the odds. All things being equal I would go for the drop.

Comment

There is little to choose between opening 1 or 1NT, but I prefer the former. Certainly with three small cards in the suit it is likely to play much better in the suit than 1NT, as establishing the suit for no trumps might consume too many entries

Hand 2 certainly qualifies for a 2 opening under the rule of 25, but the suit is rather broken. The problem with a 1 opening is what do you rebid if partner responds 1?. That certainly does not enhance the hand. I suppose 3 serves best.Those who open 2 (either 8 playing tricks in diamonds or in an "undisclosed suit") probably have an easier ride and if you get any diamond support you can cue bid your void in diamonds

Hand 3 is simpler. In the absence of any other information take the finesse.

Wth 8 cards in the suit finesse for K and /or the Q.With 9 cards in the suit , finesse for the K but not the Q ("the saying 8 ever, 9 never")With 10 cards in the suit finesse for the K, but with 11 cards play for the drop of the K

In this case playing this hand I finessed , held my breath and it worked