Bridge Deal of the Week (November 16 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
      1
Pass 1 Pass 1♠
Pass 2♣ Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass 4NT
Pass 5 Pass 6NT

 

After your partner has bid 2♣ – 4th suit forcing to game – you answer with 3 to show length in diamonds. North declares 3NT indicating 13+ HC and a stopper in clubs. You Blackwood for aces; North responds with 5 (2 keycards, no trump queen) – you declare 6NT as the final contract. How are you going to make it?

Solution

East leads the ♣J to dummy`s K (trick 1). While you have two promising suits – hearts and diamonds, you miss the J and Q. If the distribution is unfavorable and finesses won`t work you might be forced to give away one trick to promote the rest of your cards into winners. The trouble is, this might apply to both suits, but you can only give one trick.

On the other hand, the probabilities are promising. You have an 8-card suit of diamonds, the most common split being 3-2, so if the queen is in doubleton, you might catch it. You heart suit is a 7-carder, most common split being 3-3.

You lead the 5 from dummy`s hand to collect clues and explore a bit. West plays a small heart, you take this trick with the A (trick 2). Next you lead the 8 to dummy`s ace (trick 3), win a trick with the K (trick 4) and lead the J from dummy`s hand – West takes this trick with the Q (trick 5). You discard a small spade and East discards the 9. (You are mentally keeping keen track of hearts.)

West leas the ♣Q, you take the trick with the ♣A and discard another small spade from dummy (trick 6). You cross over to dummy by leading the ♠J and while East covers with the queen, you take the trick with the ♠A (trick 7).

Now you can take three tricks with the dummy`s diamonds, hopefully squeezing the opponents out of their hearts.

You lead the 10 and as no one has diamonds left, everyone discards a spade. Next you lead the 6, West discards a small club. You have a choice whether to discard a club too or a heart. It seems logical to discard the ♣6 as it will never become a winner, but as opponents still hold three hearts you need to persuade everyone to discard hearts, so you discard the 6; East discards the 7. (This was trick 8.) 8.)

You lead the last diamond from dummy`s hand and this time discard the ♣6 (trick 9). West discards another club and East a spade. (Trick 10.)

After the squeeze only five hearts remain and as you hold three, even if the remaining two hearts are in the same hand you can win the last three tricks with hearts.

 

  J73  
  AKQ106  
  87  
  A64  
85 Deal KQ109
4 J9873
Q43 95
Q1087532 J9
  A642  
  52  
  AKJ1062  
 

 K

As you hand no trump fit, 6NT was safest.

With NT as contract North became the declarer, so West could not see his hand and discarded a heart to save his ♠K.

If South had declared 6, West would have seen the hearts on the table and thus it would have been impossible to establish the hearts, the contract would have gone down by 1.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this hand is 5NT by South (North).

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