Bridge Deal of the Week (October 26 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
  1 Pass 1
Pass 1NT Pass Pass

Pass

     

 

You have reached a contract of 1NT with no opposition bidding. A humble part score, but part scores are worth fighting for. It is up to you to make the contract. East leads the 5. How many tricks can you take?

Solution

You play a small heart – the 6, West wins the first trick with the Q and leads the 2. Again you play it low – the 8, East takes this trick with the Q. East leads the 9 next, you cover it with dummy`s 10 and West wins the trick with the K.

Then West leads the 7 to dummy’s ace and finally you gain the lead after opponents have won three tricks. As an extra bonus the last of your hearts becomes a winner.

With 22 HCP 1NT should be makeable; it will not be easy however. You have won 1 trick and can count on 1 more with hearts, 2 with spades and then you have the ruutu A and risti A. You definitely need more and as you have a 7-card suit of spades and a 6-card suit of clubs you look for the opportunity of some more long suit establishment.

The lead is in dummy now and as leading clubs offers the possibility to finesse, you lead the ♣5 from dummy. West plays a small club and you lose your queen to East`s ♣K. East leads clubs back – the ♣4, you play ♣7 from dummy, West plays the ♣2, you win the trick in hand with the ♣A.

The last of your hearts is a winner and you lead the 8 to squeeze the opponents a bit – East and West discard a small diamond, while you discard a small spade from dummy.

Next you lead the A and discard another small spade from dummy.

Now you have won four tricks and can count on three winners – the ♣J and ♠AK. You can only hope for additional tricks if the clubs or spades are distributed luckily for you – if one of the opponents has a doubleton ♠QJ or if one of the opponents has the ♣10 with no protection left.

You win the next trick with the ♠K and lead a small spade; East plays the ♠8 and you play the ♠A, the ♠Q falls from West. You win the next trick with the ♣J and lead clubs; West takes the last two tricks with the ♣10 and K, while East had the ♠J9.

  K3  
  8432  
  A10984  
  AQ  
Q4 Deal J986
KQ7 J95
KJ62 Q73
10632 K84
  A10752  
  A106  
  5  
  J975

 

Sometimes in NT contracts there comes a deciding point, where declarer has to choose whether to take the tricks and run or try to go for an extra. Sadly this was not the case here, as any lead or tactic would have led to the same result: the declarer gets three tricks out of the last five and the opponents two.

You managed to take 7 tricks. Could more tricks have been taken? With this lead only if West had played the ♣10 to the second clubs trick, promoting your ♣9 into winner – then you would have scored an extra trick in clubs.

If East had led a small diamond – so West would have lost his K to your Ace – you could have taken two more tricks with diamonds. After letting the opponents win tricks with the Q and J, your 98 would have become winners and 1 NT +2 could be possible.

If East had led a small club, offering a free finesse and a further possibility to take three tricks in clubs –1NT +1 could be made.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ by South.

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