Bridge Deal of the Week (April 05 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
    1♠ Pass
2♣ Pass 2 Pass
3♣ Pass 3♠ Pass
4♠ all pass    


West has declared 4♠ after an uncontested auction. We invite you to take the South seat to defend against the contract. How many tricks is it possible to take?


During the auction one suit was not mentioned. East indicated six clubs and has support in spades. West must have six spades and at least four hearts. Thus you lead the K, which wins the trick – North discards the J to encourage you to continue (trick 1). You lead diamonds for the second time, North plays the A, the declarer ruffs and leads a small heart to dummy’s ace (tricks 2, 3).

Your side has a good suit of diamonds; and you hold four spades. You can use your long suit of diamonds to shorten the declarer’s 6-card trump suit.

The declarer leads a small spade from dummy; North plays the ♠9 and East the ♠J. What should you do? You can certainly win this trick, but you cannot lead another diamond yet – as dummy has still one spade left, dummy could ruff a diamond lead.

You duck and let East’s ♠J win the trick (trick 4). The declarer leads the ♠10 next, you take the trick with the ♠Q while North discards the 10 (trick 5).

Now you hold the ♠A7 and East has the ♠K85. You lead diamonds for the third time; East ruffs (trick 6) and leads the ♠8. You take this trick with the ♠A (trick 7) and lead diamonds again to drive out East’s last trump. East takes the trick with the ♠K (trick 8).

Now you still have one spade while East has none. East takes the next trick with the Q (trick 9) and leads the 10. You ruff with the last trump and take another trick with the Q (tricks 10, 11). As you have only clubs left the last two tricks belong to the declarer (tricks 12, 13).


 32 Deal  KJ10865
 AJ3  KQ106
 64  7
 AQJ873  K2

When defending against a suit contract the defenders can use their long suit to force the declarer to ruff in order to shorten or completely exhaust his trumps.

In this case both the declarer and dummy were void in diamonds after the first two tricks. Thus South had to duck and wait until the dummy’s last trump was played before cashing in his winner in spades. This way the contract went down by two.

If the declarer had not tried to draw the trumps but played his hearts or clubs instead offering South the possibility to ruff, the contract would have gone down only one.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this hand is 4x -1 South.

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