Bridge Deal of the Week (March 29 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 4NT Pass 5♠
Pass 6 all pass  

South opens the auction with 1, North responds with 1. South repeats – 2, North asks for the aces with Blackwood. South answers with 5♠ (2 keycards and the trump queen).

North declares 6. We invite you to take the South seat and find a way to take 12 tricks.

Contract: 6 by North/South


West leads the ♣Q to dummy’s ace (trick 1). Your 10-card suit of diamonds is long enough to ruff clubs. But loser count shows you have two losers – one in hearts and another in spades. You must find a way to get rid of one of them. The best way to accomplish this is to set up an extra winner in a side suit – if you could establish hearts, then you could get rid of your small spade on one of dummy’s hearts.

You take the next trick with the A (trick 2) and lead a small heart. East plays the 9 and you play the Q. West wins this trick with the K (trick 3) and leads spades. You take the trick with the ♠A, and lead the 10 to dummy’s A (tricks 4, 5).

Eight hearts have been played; two remain in opponents` hands. You lead a small heart, East discards the ♠J and you ruff with the 5 (trick 6). West has one more heart, so you need to trump hearts once more.

Luckily you have enough entries to dummy’s hand, so you can still set up your last heart. You lead clubs and ruff, lead hearts from dummy and ruff (tricks 7, 8). At last! Dummy’s last heart has become a winner, so you lead the 10 to cross over to dummy and take down the last trump (trick 9). After all this work you can now take a trick with dummy’s 8 (trick 10), discarding a spade from your hand.

Now you can lead a spade from dummy’s hand, ruff, lead a club, ruff, lead a spade and ruff (tricks 11, 12, 13).

 942 Deal KQJ65
 KJ76  94
 82  4
 QJ108  K9653

This deal demonstrates the usefulness of establishing a long side-suit. If dummy has a 5-card suit – it can be set up, even if the split is 4-2, the last of the five cards will become a winner. Of course this is valid only in the case where there are sufficient entries to the hand which holds the suit you are establishing. Here the declarer needed four entries to dummy in order to promote the last heart into winner.

When establishing a long suit it is often necessary to give up a trick (or two), so don’t be afraid of losing a trick. In fact it is better to lose that trick sooner than later. Also pulling the trumps must be sometimes postponed in order to establish a side-suit – if trumps present a much needed entry to the hand that has the suit you are establishing. If South had drawn trumps, he would have lost one entry to dummy.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 5 by North/South.

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