Bridge Deal of the Week (October 12 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
      1
Pass 2♦! 2♠ 3♣
3♠ 4 4♠ 5
all pass    

 

 

You open the auction with 1, North responds with 2 – Strong inverted minor raise (8-11 HCP, 4+ diamonds). North intervenes with 2♠, you show your clubs bidding 3♣, West chips in with 3♠ and North responds with 4. East goes on to 4♠ and you declare 5, which becomes the contract. How many tricks can you take?

 

Solution

West leads the ♠A, taking your K with it. Next West leads the ♠9 to dummy’s 4, East plays the ♠10 and you ruff.

You have a magnificent 11-card suit of diamonds and a good side suit of clubs. The only things missing from total happiness are the K and Q.

As the rule states – with eleven cards in the combined hands, do not finesse – the odds are that East and West have one diamond each and that they will drop on the ace. So you lead a small diamond and as the K drops from West you cover it with the A, while East obligingly plays the Q.

Now you face the perspective of losing only more one trick in hearts, but as you have eight clubs, you should be able to discard one of your hearts. You lead a small club from dummy’s hand and take this trick with the ♣A, then you lead the ♣K – East discards a small spade. This means West has the ♣J and ♣10.

You take the next trick with the ♣Q, lead a small club and as West covers with the ♣J, ruff. Now you cross back to your hand using diamonds and lead the last club discarding the 6 from the table.

The last four tricks are yours to claim – you have the A and all the rest are trumps – so the outcome is 5 +1.

  42  
  A6  
  A97643  
  964  
A986 Deal QJ10753
K542 Q10973
K Q
J1082 5
  K  
  J8  
  J10852  
  AKQ73

 

A small slam – a contract quite impossible to reach as overall you have only 22 HCP. A long side suit always helps.

If the missing diamonds would have been in one hand, the slam would have been impossible.

Overall this hand is a perfect example that you can rely on percentages. If you miss two cards the most common split is 1-1 with the chance of occurrence 52%.

Although the distribution of clubs was not as favorable, if you miss five cards, the chances that the split is 4-1 are 28%. So this occurs nearly in one-third of cases!

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 6♠ Dbl -2.

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