Bridge Deal of the Week (December 28 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

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

 

West opens the auction with 1, North overcalls with 2♣, you respond 2NT and North declares 3NT. West leads the Q. How many tricks can you take?

Solution

Your biggest hopes of making this contract are your 8-card suit of diamonds and 7-card suit of clubs, which offer the possibility to promote smaller cards into winners. As you hold only two clubs, you might need your A as an entry point to table.

Besides, West probably has the K too, so if you win the first trick, hearts will be a vulnerable suit. 3NT is all about control, so you duck and let West win the first trick (trick 1).

West leads the Q next, you take the trick with the A (trick 2) and lead a small club. West plays a small club and the ♣ Q from dummy takes the trick (trick 3). From dummy`s hand you lead the ♠Q, which wins this trick as both East and West play a small spade (trick 4). Next you lead the ♠3 from dummy and as East plays a small spade again, the ♠J takes the trick (trick 5).

If West has both hearts and diamonds, as can be deduced his leads, to lead diamonds yourself is not a good idea. You lead a small club again; West takes this trick with the ♣A (trick 6) and leads the 3. You play the 6 from dummy, East discards a small heart and your 7 wins the trick (trick 7).

Now you take a trick with the ♠A (trick 8) – East discards a small club while you pitch a small heart from dummy`s hand. Then you lead a small heart to dummy`s ace (trick 9) and lead the ♣K (trick 10). You take two more tricks with clubs and finally lead a diamond to your K (tricks 11, 12, 13).

 

  Q3  
  A62  
  862  
  KQ954  
106 Deal K98742
KQ109 854
QJ53 4
A82 J103
  AJ5  
  J73  
  AK1097  
  76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever – after unsuccessfully playing 3NT – been left wondering why didn`t you collect this foolproof trick you had, keeping a certain card as a stopper, when in reality the opponent who had the suit in question never regained the lead?

Guessing the distribution and the whereabouts of missing honors is extremely important to decide which opponent to give the lead. In this deal your side had 24 HCP. West opened the auction, which indicates at least 12 HCP, leaving East with something like 4 HCP. East obviously had the ♠K and not much more, making it safe to lead spades. West had 12 points and four hearts & diamonds, but every time he gained the lead he was basically endplayed as his leads gave you a free finesse.

 

 

 

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3NT by South (North).

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