Bridge Deal of the Week (February 15 2017)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
West has led the ♠5. You can count on four (hopefully one more) tricks in spades, two in hearts and diamonds, three in clubs. You miss the ♥Q and ♦Q, and although a chance of winning a single finesse is 50 %, the probability of two finesses both being successful is only 25%. Besides – you cannot afford to lose a trick as you have just declared 7 NT.
West has led the ♠5 to dummy’s Ace (trick 1).
You lead a small club to the ♣A (trick 2) and take the third trick with the ♠K, ditching the ♥3 from dummy’s hand. Then you lead the ♣Q, a small club is played by West while East plays the ♣10 (trick 4).
At this point, the opponents have three spades (10xx) and three clubs (Jxx) left. If the remaining spades would be distributed 2-1, you could hope for an extra trick in spades, but somehow you doubt it – there must be a reason why West chose spades as the opening lead. And since East dropped the ♣10, it seems probable that West has the rest of clubs.
Next you lead the ♥9 to dummy’s ace (trick 5), then the ♣K – East discards a small diamond and so do you (trick 6). West does indeed hold the remaining two clubs.
After that you lead a small diamond to your king (trick 7) and lead the ♠Q. West discards the ♥7, you ditch the ♥2 from dummy (trick 8). Now that the opponents have only two hearts left, so you lead the ♥10, West plays the ♥8, you play the ♥K from dummy and West’s ♥Q drops under the king (trick 9).
You lead hearts from dummy to your ♥J, the opponents have no hearts left, so East discards the ♦9 and West the ♣8 (trick 10). Now you can take a trick with the ♠J, West ditches the ♦10 and you discard dummy’s ♣9 (trick 11).
The opponents have two diamonds left and as West still holds one club and East one spade, you can safely lead the ♦6. West plays the ♦Q, you win the trick with the ♦A (trick 12) and take the last trick with the ♦J.
Smoke and mirrors (and a successful grand slam!). It appears West chose his shortest suit as the opening lead. If you had known the overall layout of cards, you could have led the ♥AK and won five tricks in hearts. Instead of focusing on your longest suit, you discarded a small heart early in the game. East followed suit and pitched a heart too, making it easier for you to lead the ♥AK – if the queen had not dropped, you could still have tried to guess and finesse the diamond queen.
During the last tricks both East and West were squeezed – they had no hearts left and chose to discard diamonds and preserve their (potential) winners in clubs and spades.
7♠ or 7♥ could have been successful too, although 7NT vulnerable of course yields the most points (2200).
To make 7♠, you would have to use trump coup, which would have been easy as West would probably have led his longest suit – clubs. After winning tricks with the ♣AQ, ♠A, and ♥AK, you could have led the ♣K and East would probably have ruffed. After overruffing you could have pulled the trumps and cashed in the ♥J. West would be squeezed and to preserve the ♣J would have discarded a diamond, so you could have taken the last tricks with the ♦AKJ.
If 7♥ would have been played, North would have become the declarer. East would have led spades (longest suit), so after taking the first trick with the ♠A, North would have needed the nerve to lead the ♥A and ♥K successively.
Par Contract Analysis
The par contract on this deal is 7NT by North-South.
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