Bridge Deal of the Week (December 14 2016)

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The Auction:

West North East South
1♣ 2♠ 3 3♠
4 Pass Pass Pass


After a rather lively auction, 4 by East-West becomes the final contract. You debated rather long, whether or not to bid 4♠ as a defensive bid and now you feel you must justify your “Pass” by defeating the opponent`s contract. Your partners 2♠ was surely a weak jump overcall, but as you have nine HCP, you feel the situation is not hopeless.


You can count on two quick tricks in diamonds as you hold both the A and K. If your partner has the A♠, you might score the third trick, but this won`t defeat the contract yet. With luck, you might promote your Q ♣ to be a winner.

If your partner has six spades, you have ten spades altogether and the most probable split of the remaining spades is 2-1. So you might get only one trick in spades (if your partner has any power in spades). At the same time, spades might be the only way to enter North`s hand, so you decide not to lead spades before seeing the dummy hand. As you have both the AK in diamonds, you deem it safe to lead the A as the opening lead and get a glimpse of the dummy.

4 Deal  

As you suspected, there is only one spade in dummy`s hand. But equally important – there are only two diamonds on the board. Therefore it is vital to play both spades and diamonds rather early, before East can discard one or both of them.

After seeing the dummy hand, your hope of promoting the Q ♣ dies. The only chance to win the extra trick here must be ruffing. As your partner`s 2♠ was weak, you cannot count on much support in terms of points, but he might have a short suit. So you decide to lead spades, to give the lead to your partner (still assuming your partner holds the A♠!)

You lead the 10♠ and your partner wins the trick with th A♠, promptly leading back the 9. You take the trick with the K.

It`s now or never as you donВґt really know if your partner has led back diamonds because diamonds were your opening lead or is it possible he has no diamonds left either and in can therefore ruff, winning the fourth trick. You lead the 6, East discards a small club from dummy and your partner wins the trick with the 3 , making the opponents go down by one.

4 Deal ♠K6
K1065 AQ72
J10 Q8754
AK10763 85

In this defensive problem it is vital to take the tricks and run, never giving up the lead as the opponents could – after removing all your trumps – win all the rest of the tricks fairly easily as they have long suit of clubs and their diamonds are promoted to winners too. Of equal importance is the sequence in which the cards are played. You must hand over the lead to your partner after the first trick. If you play the A and K consecutively and then lead the spades, you can only win three tricks as you wonВґt be able to get the lead back and lead diamonds the third time.


Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ X

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