Bridge Deal of the Week (August 10 2016)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1NT
2♣!* 2NT!** Pass 3♣
Pass 3♠ Dbl 3NT
Pass Pass Dbl all pass

 

* Cappeletti

** Lebensohl

You open the auction with 1 NT after West, North and East have passed. West intervenes with 2♣ (Cappelletti 2♣ shows a one-suited hand, usually 6+ cards). North answers with 2NT (Lebensohl 2NT, which forces the opener to bid 3♣). East passes, you bid 3♣ and North switches to 3♠. East doubles. You declare 3NT. East doubles.

West leads the ♣7. Plan your play.

Solution

West`s lead offers a free finesse; your ♣J takes the first trick. Although you have only four immediate losers, communication could be a problem.

West led clubs, indicating length in clubs. You have an 8-card spade suit, but East doubled spades, so it seems logical East has the missing five spades (or at least four). Diamonds look promising – if the KJ can be finessed against. But to finesse you need to lead from dummy.

You lead a small heart. West wins the trick with the K (trick 2) and leads a small club to your ace (trick 3).

So West has long clubs and probably the A, while East has long spades. To create an entry to dummy`s hand you lead the ♠K next. The opponents duck, so the trick belongs to you (trick 4). Next you lead a small spade and cover with the queen, which loses to the Ace played by East (trick 5).

East leads the 2 and you decide to try a double finesse – when the opponents have two honors you should finesse against both, so you duck and dummy`s 8 wins the trick (trick 6).

Conveniently the lead is in dummy`s hand now and you can go for the diamond finesse as both the K and J seem to be favorably placed. You lead a small diamond, East plays the 7, so you play the 9, which wins the trick (trick 7).

You cannot play diamonds now because you don’t want to offer a free finesse to East, instead you give the lead East by leading the pada ♠10. West discards a small heart; East takes the trick with the ♠J (trick 8) and leads the J.

Your queen wins the trick, West discards a club, and you ditch a spade from dummy (trick 9). Now you can take the next two tricks with the A and 10 (tricks 10, 11) keeping an eye on what West discards. As West discards the ♣Q, you ditch the ♣K from dummy.

You lead a small heart, West wins the trick with the A (trick 12) and leads a small heart to dummy`s queen (trick 13).

  Q9652  
  QJ8  
  84  
  K95  
- Deal AJ873
AK 1075
63 KJ72
Q1087432 6
  K104  
  632  
  AQ1095  
  AJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not an easy hand to play 3NT. How would 3♠ by North have fared? It could have been made too, if the declarer kept in mind the possibility that East might have five spades and managed to limit his losses to two tricks in hearts and two in spades.

East would have probably led the 2, if dummy ducked, 8 would have won the first trick. If North would have led diamonds again and East ducked, dummy`s 9 would have won the second trick.

If North would have led hearts from dummy now, West could have taken two tricks with the AK (tricks 3, 4), while the third hearts trick would have belonged to North (trick 5). If North would have led the ♠9 next, East would have probably covered with the ♠J, so dummy’s ♠K would have won that trick (trick 6). As East didn`t have any spades, East would have ditched a club. From this point North would have known for sure that East had all the rest of spades (and probably diamonds too). Having lost only two tricks thus far North could have led the ♣A from dummy (trick 7), then the A, discarding a small club (trick 8), then the Q, ruffing (trick 9).

Now North would have led the ♠6 and if East ducked, the six would have won the trick (trick 10). As East held three spades, North should have led the ♣K. East would have ruffed and won that trick (trick 11), taken the next one with the ♠A (trick 12), but the last trick would have belonged to North with the ♠Q.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 2NT by South.

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