Bridge Deal of the Week (November 23 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
      1
2♣ 2 Pass 3
Pass 4 all pass  

 

After an uneventful auction, where the opponents only chip in once, you declare 4, which becomes the final contract.

West leads the ♣K. How many tricks can you take?

 

Solution

Immediately after seeing the dummy’s hand you realize you have three losers in spades and miss the K. You win the first trick with the ♣A in dummy.

Diamonds offer the only possibility to discard one of the spades from your hand, so you decide to test your luck with the distribution of diamonds. You lead a small diamond from dummy and take the trick with the K in hand (trick 2). Next trick you win with the A (trick 3), lead a small diamond and take this trick with the dummy’s Q (trick 4). Now you lead diamonds for the fourth time from dummy and as East ruffs, you discard one of your spades playing loser on loser (trick 5 belongs to opponents). West discards a small club.

East wins the next trick with the ♠A, West plays the ♠J into the trick (trick 6). After that East leads the ♣J, which you ruff in hand (trick 7).

The opponents have won two tricks thus far and you still have one sure loser – a spades trick on your hands. Of course you miss the K too, so with nothing to lose you lead the A, hoping that the split was 2-2 and as East ruffed once, the king has become unprotected.

Much to your surprise West plays the K and East another small heart (trick 8). Now you can pull down the last trump leading a small heart and winning this trick with the Q in dummy (trick 9), lead clubs from dummy and ruff (trick 10). Next you lead a small spade from hand, West wins this trick with the ♠K (trick 11) and the last two tricks belong to you as you have only trumps left.

 

  974  
  Q82  
  QJ72  
  A95  
KJ Deal AQ1062
K 1054
954 1063
KQ87432 J10
  853  
  AJ9763  
  AK8  
  6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an interesting hand, although your side has four losers, it is actually quite easy to make 4. West led clubs – the top of touching honours of his longest suit.

Had you played it otherwise and first finessed the trump, West would have gained lead with his singleton K, and would have probably led clubs again offering you the possibility to ruff. After that you could have pulled the trumps and played four rounds of diamonds, discarding one of your spades. The outcome would have been the same – the opponents winning 3 tricks and you 10.

In hindsight 4 +1 could be makeable too – if you had started by pulling the trumps first leading the ace, then the opponents would have won only two tricks in spades. But catching a singleton king is easy only for the spectators.

Of course if West had led spades and the opponents would have won the three first tricks, you would have been in quite a spot.

 

Par Contract Analysis

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

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