Bridge Deal of the Week (February 08 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
Pass 1NT Dbl 3♠
Pass 4♠ all pass  

South has opened the auction with 1♠, North responded with 1NT – forcing (0-3 spades, 4-12 HCP). East doubled (4+clubs, 4+diamonds, 4+hearts.) South jumped to 3♠ (6+ spades, 14-21 HCP).

North declared 4♠. West leads the J.

We offer you to take the South seat and plan the play to win ten tricks.


West leads the J to East`s king (trick 1).

You have and 8-card suit of spades, however, you miss the ♠KQJ64, so depending on the distribution you are going to lose some tricks in spades.

The best solution in a situation like this is to pull the trump, hoping that the opponents’ trump honors collide.

You also have the AKJ and a solid suit of clubs, missing only the ♣K – but you have no entry points to the dummy’s hand to take a trick with the K or finesse clubs.

Thus your options are limited, but the choice of tactics clear – you must try to take down the trumps and hope that the opponents will provide an entry to dummy’s hand.

East leads the A, you ruff (trick 2) and lead a small spade. West takes this trick with the ♠Q (trick 3) and leads the 10, you ruff (trick 4).

Next you lead the A – to secure an entry point to the dummy’s hand, if the opponents happen to lead hearts (trick 5). Then you led the ♠A, East’s ♠J falls, but one of the opponents still has the ♠K (trick 6).

Now you face a choice of going down by one voluntarily – if you lead clubs, one of the opponents takes the trick with the ♣K and as the opponents still have the ♠K, you will not make it.

The second choice is to lead spades in the hope that the opponent who wins the trick and is put on lead is forced to lead in your favor.

You lead the ♠10, West takes the trick with the ♠K (trick 7) and leads the ♣3. You play the ♣J form dummy’s hand, East covers with the ♣K and you win the trick with the ♣A (trick 8).

As you have the ♠8 and the ♣Q10xx, you can take four more tricks with the clubs and one with your last trump (tricks 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13).


 KQ6 Deal  J4
 Q1062  9754
 J104  AK83
 873  K62

By leading the trumps (7th trick), West was endplayed – after winning this trick and gaining the lead, West had only hearts and clubs left. As West held the Q, he could not lead hearts, so he chose to lead clubs thus providing a free finesse to the declarer.

South had nothing to lose by deploying endplay – if the opponents would have led hearts, it had not only provided the desired entry point to the dummy’s hand, it might also have provided a free heart finesse.

If the opponents would have led diamonds, then the lead would have been put in dummy’s hand too, enabling to cash in tricks with the K, 7 and to finesse clubs.

If the opponents would have led clubs, then either they would have provided a free finesse (as happened in reality) or – if the king had been offside – South might have lost another trick and gone down. But as leading clubs would have enabled to defeat the contract anyway, it was certainly worth a try.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ by South-North.

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