Bridge Deal of the Week (December 21 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
  1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass ?

 

 

North opens the auction with 1, you respond with 1♠; North repeats – 2 meaning a six card suit of hearts and you must decide what to bid. As you have two-card support and 13 HCP you could declare 4. On the other hand, you could repeat too as you have a strong suit of spades. How are you going to continue?

Solution

You continue with 2♠, North shows indeed a three card support with 3♠, so you declare 4♠. West leads the ♣Q, you take the trick with dummy`s ♣A (trick 1).

Although it seems quite an easy hand to play as you have a foolproof trump suit of 8 spades plus an 8-card side suit of hearts, your clubs are wide open after the first trick with no defense and diamonds are a weak spot too as you miss the A.

Also you need to play it wise considering the transportation as you hold only two hearts; so you must keep a back door open to dummy in case one of the opponents has three hearts including the queen.

You lead a small spade from dummy and take the next trick with the ♠Q (trick 2). Next you take two tricks with the K (trick 3) and then the ♠J (trick 4). Now the opponents have only one spade left, but you cannot take it down as the ♠K provides entry to dummy`s hand and precious hearts.

So you lead the 9, taking this trick with the A to dummy (trick 5) and lead a small heart from dummy. East plays the Q, to be safe you know you must ruff with a higher spade than the remaining spade in opponents` hands, so you ruff with the ♠10; West discards a small diamond (trick 6).

Now you can lead a small spade to dummy`s ♠K taking down the last spade East still had (trick 7) and win three consecutive tricks with hearts, pitching both of your clubs and a small diamond (tricks 8,9,10).

The opponents will win one trick with the A (trick 11), while the last two tricks belong to you as you have the K and ♠A (tricks 12 and 13).

 

  K93  
  AJ8732  
  Q8  
  A10  
862 Deal 75
64 Q105
5432 AJ106
QJ62 K854
  AQJ104  
  K9  
  K97  
  973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It`s a pity you didn`t Blackwood as you managed to take 12 tricks with spades as a trump. How would you have fared if you had declared 4?

Could you have finessed the Q? Even if you would have led the J, East covered with the queen and you had won the first trick with the K, East would still have had the 10 and the 5 guarding the ten against your ace. So losing a trick in hearts would have been unavoidable if hearts were the trump suit.

After gaining the lead with the 10, East would have certainly cashed in the A and the ♣K, so overall the opponents could have won three tricks.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this hand is 6♠ by North-South.

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