Bridge Deal of the Week (January 04 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

 

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

 

This was a competitive auction, although the final contract is a humble partscore. East opened with 1, West responded with 1, North passed and East bid 1NT. As no one is vulnerable you seized the opportunity to chime in and bid clubs. West answered with 2, North raised to 3♣ and East doubled.

West leads the ♠4. Plan the play to score nine tricks.

Solution

You play the ♠Q from dummy, which wins the first trick.

Not bad at all: you miss the ♣A, the AK and most probably the opponents will score a trick in diamonds.

However, it is vital to set up hearts before losing entry points to the dummy‘s hand and stoppers in other suits – even more so because the first trick did not provide information about the whereabouts of the ♠K.

So next you lead the 2 from dummy, East wins this trick with the K (trick 2) and leads a small diamond to your ace (trick 3). You lead the 8, West plays the 9, you cover with the queen, East takes the trick with the A (trick 4) and leads diamonds again. West wins that trick with the 10 (trick 5) and leads diamonds for the third time, you ruff (trick 6) and lead a small club.

East takes the trick with the ♣A (trick 7), then leads spades. You play a small spade from dummy, East plays thev♠10, you take the trick with the ace (trick 8).

Now you can lead a small club to dummy`s king, lead the J and pitch your remaining spade (tricks 9, 10). The last three tricks belong to you as you have better trumps than the opponents (tricks 11, 12, 13).

  QJ73  
  Q742  
  976  
  KQ  
954 Deal K102
10963 AK
QJ1052 K84
A 87543
  A86  
  J85  
  A3  
  J10962

 

 

Partscores are worth fighting for, as the outcome of this competitive auction is very good indeed. 3 could have been made by East/West, which would have provided 110 points, but instead you made 3♣ doubled and your yield was 470 points ( the difference of 580 points makes 11 IMPs).

The outcome depended on your ability to set up the extra winner in hearts before the opponents could set up theirs as both sides were forced to periodically give up lead to each other.

It was a reasonable decision to set up hearts, as spades lead was suspicious. Indeed, if you had finessed spades, East`s ♠10 could have been promoted into a winner and the opponents could have scored another trick.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3 by East-West.

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