Bridge Deal of the Week (August 31 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1
Pass 1♠ Pass 2♣
Pass 2♦! Pass 2♠
Pass 3NT Pass Pass

 

You are North and after your game-forcing bid of 2 – Fourth Suit Forcing – South replies with 2♠ indicating 3-card support for spades.

You declare 3 NT and East leads the J to dummy’s Ace. How are you going to make it?

 

Solution

It appears six or seven more tricks are available – two spades, two diamonds and two or three clubs depending on the distribution. You need more.

There’s no hope to promote small diamonds into winners, as this suit is too short. If spades were distributed 3-3 you might score an extra trick, but if not, the opponents will gain two tricks with spades if they gain lead.

The best way seems to lead a small heart and hope that West has the A and plays low – so your singleton K can win this trick.

Saved by the Second Hand Low rule you succeed and take the second trick with the K.

How to play clubs? You might start by offering a club trick to opponents. If clubs a distributed 3-2 then you can take three tricks in clubs afterwards. Or you might try to pull and then finesse.

You lead the ♣2, East plays the ♣8, dummy ducks, East wins that trick and leads the ♣J. You cover with the ♣K and lead a small club from table, West plays the ♣Q, you take this trick with the ♣A (East discards a diamond) and take one more trick with the ♣10.

Now you take two tricks with the K and Q – East has no diamonds left, thus your 8 does not become a winner.

No worries, you can still take two more necessary tricks with the ♠A and ♠K while the last four tricks belong to the opponents.

 

 

  A875  
  K  
  KQ85  
  A1042  
Q3 Deal J1092
A5 QJ972
1097643 J2
Q97 J8
  K64  
  108643  
  A  
  K653

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other possibility to plan the play is to lead a small club from dummy after taking the first trick with the A and hope that West plays a high club – this way you can take four tricks with clubs and do not need the trick with the K.

And the third possibility: if after taking the first trick with the A, you would have taken two tricks with the ♠A and K, and then led spades for the third time, East could have then won two tricks with the ♠J and ♠10. After that East would have probably led the Q, West covered with the A and led hearts back again. East would have taken this trick with the J and dummy`s 10 would have become a winner!

With no other options East would have had to lead the ♣J, giving you the option to capture the ♣Q with finesse and take four tricks with clubs. The rest of the tricks you could have taken with the 10 and the K and the Q.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this hand is 3♠ by North/South.

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