Bridge Deal of the Week (September 28 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
      1NT
Pass 2♣ Pass 2
Pass 3♣ Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass ?

 

 

You open the auction with 1NT instead of 1, North responds with 2♣ – Stayman and you answer with 2. North continues with 3♣ indicating 5+ clubs and 0-2 hearts, you repeat hearts and bid 3. North calls 3NT, meaning at least 10 points.

You have a singleton club, but North has a long suit of clubs, so 3NT seems a reasonable choice. Should you go higher?

How are you going to proceed?

 

 

Solution

As you have 15 points (4 quick tricks) and 6 hearts, 4 would most probably be a reasonable contract too, and would also grant more points if successful.

But if you bid 4, it will probably close the auction and your side will lose the possibility to explore slam opportunities. In addition to hearts you have a 4-card spade suit. As North responded to 1NT with Stayman, North should have 4 spades too – as he has denied hearts – so your side should have an 8-card side suit, which always comes in handy. North has also showed a long suit of clubs, all in all your side has three long suits, so 6NT is a possibility.

You decide to ask for your partner’s aces with 4NT. North responds with 5♣ – no aces.

What has been started must be completed, so you ask for kings with 5NT. North responds with 6♠ – 3 kings.

Your side has 3 aces and 4 kings, so you declare 6NT.

West leads the Q to dummy’s king, which wins the first trick. You must get rid of the ♣A, after that it will be a piece of cake. You lead the ♣K, West takes the trick with the ♣A and leads the ♠J. You take this trick with the ♠A as you will need the ♠K as an entry point to dummy’s hand later.

Then you lead the 3 to dummy’s Q, lead the 8, take this trick with the A and lead the K. As the opponents have no hearts left, your small hearts are all winners and you take three more tricks with hearts, discarding a small spade and two small clubs from dummy’s hand. Now you cash in the A, lead a small spade to cross over to the dummy and take two more tricks with the ♣Q and ♣J.

  K1042  
  Q8  
  K  
  KQJ952  
J Deal Q876
92 J54
QJ975 86432
A10763 8
  A953  
  AK10763  
  A10  
  4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 would have been makeable too, but after North responded to Blackwood for Kings, the only option that remained was 6NT.

In hindsight it was a right choice to open the auction with 1NT. If you had opened with 1, West would have probably interfered with 2NT – Unusal – meaning 5+ clubs and 5+ diamonds as West had two long minor suits.

After that North would have had no choice but to Dbl to show strength, as he could not have showed his clubs.

As East had 5 diamonds too, East would probably have responded with 4 and the auction might have looked like that: 1-2NT-Dbl-4.

Thus the opponents could have taken up a lot of bidding space and made it real difficult for your side to reach game or slam contract (or in the worst case any contract at all).

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract is 6NT by North/South.

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