Bridge Deal of the Week (January 18 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

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

 

* Michaels cuebid

East opens the auction with 1. After your Michaels cuebid indicating spades and a minor suit, West supports hearts by bidding 3. North calls 3♠ (3+ spades) and East asks for aces using Blackwood (20-21 HCP). You pass; West responds with 5♣ (0 keycards) and East declares 6. What are you going to bid?

Solution

 

Judging by the opponents` bids, they have abundance of hearts, and as East went straight to Blackwood – lots of HCP too. If they make the 6, you will lose points. You have only 8 HCP, but with 6-5-2 distribution and your partner`s support in spades you might hope not to lose more than four tricks immediately, depending on the lead.

It is certainly time to make a sacrifice bid to prevent the opponents getting their slam! You declare 6♠.

East doubles and leads the A.

Your hands match well, as you have a 9-card suit of spades and ten clubs. You miss the ♣KQ, but with any luck you will lose only one trick in clubs. Diamonds are dangerous as you could lose two more tricks there and spades depend on finesse.

You ruff the A led by East (trick 1) and lead the ♠Q from dummy. West plays a small spade, you duck and East plays a small spade (trick 2). Now you face a choice of leading spades again or trying your luck with clubs. If the split is 3-1, West has two more spades. You would still be able to pull the trumps, but you might need dummy`s spades to ruff hearts.

So you lead a small club, West plays the ♣ Q (trick 3) and East discards the 9. West then leads diamonds. East takes the trick with the K and leads the A (tricks 4, 5). Next East leads the K and you ruff (trick 6).

West probably has both the remaining clubs and spades, so do not have any good choices left. You lead the ♠10 from dummy`s hand, which wins the trick (trick 7). Next you lead the ♣J – as you need the remaining trump on table to ruff hearts – West takes the trick with the ♣K (trick 8) and leads the ♠K. You win this trick with the ♠A (trick 9), take the next three tricks with dummy`s clubs (tricks 10, 11, 12) and the last one with the ♠J (trick 13).

 

  AJ62  
  854  
  Q5  
  8743  
K98 Deal 5
Q1063 AKJ972
632 AK10974
KQ5 -
  Q10743  
  -  
  J8  
  AJ10962

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your sacrifice was justified, vulnerable doubled down 3 tricks you lose 800 points.

How would the opponents` 6 have fared?

Most probably you would have led the ♣A and East ruffed (trick 1). After pulling the trumps – three rounds of hearts, the ♣K and ♣Q from dummy could be led, East discarding his sole spade and one diamond (tricks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Then East could have taken five more tricks with diamonds, as both you and your partner had a doubleton in diamonds (tricks 7, 8, 9, 10, 11). After that East would have had two trumps in hand (tricks 12, 13). The opponents could have made 6 +1.

Even if you would have led spades and North won the first trick, East would have made 6, as he held six hearts and six diamonds, making 12 tricks.

6 would have given East/West 1430 points.

 

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this hand is 6♠ x by South -3.

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