Bridge Deal of the Week (May 03 2017)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
Can you guess how the auction proceeded and what contract was declared?
After the bold 1♦ opening by South, West passed, North responded with 1♠ and South advanced to 2♦. Everyone passed.
West won the first trick with the ♣A (trick 1), led the ♣K next (trick 2), then a small spade to East’s ace (trick 3). East led a small spade, South won the trick with the ♠K and the next one with the ♦A (tricks 4, 5). The declarer led a small diamond to dummy’s ♦K next (trick 6).
South led a small spade then from dummy and ruffed, both opponents played spades (trick 7). Dummy’s spades were winners.
After that South led a small diamond and East won the trick with the ♦Q (trick 8). East led clubs, the declarer ruffed (trick 9) and led the ♥K. East won the trick with the ♥A (trick 10) and led hearts back – the last three tricks belonged to the declarer as dummy had winners in spades and hearts and South still had a diamond left (tricks 11, 12, 13).
This hand shows how important it is to compete effectively for part-score contracts. South opened the auction with a light hand. As West passed and North responded with 1♠, South advanced to 2♦ and stole the opponents` obvious NT contract. If West had overcalled with 2♣, then East (with 12 HCP) would have probably declared 3NT.
What would the outcome of 3NT by E have been? This would have depended on defense, for here is a deal where NT could only be defeated if the defense didn’t focus on their suit – diamonds. East had only 8 quick tricks – six in clubs plus the ♥A and ♠A. To defeat 3NT South-North had to bring down the ♥A before giving up stoppers in diamonds.
If after leading the ♦A South would have led the ♥K, then no matter whether East would have ducked the first round or not, the declarer would still have been limited to only 8 tricks. After six rounds of clubs and one trick of spades, East would have been forced to lead either diamonds or spades and thus North could have won the last four tricks with the ♦K, ♥Q and ♥4.
If South had started by leading diamonds either way – a small one to North’s king, North had led diamonds back, South won the trick with the ♦A and led diamonds third time, East would have gained lead with the ♦Q. After that East could have taken 6 tricks with clubs, 1 with the ♥A and another with the ♠A – a total of 9 tricks.
If South had led the ♦A first, then a small diamond to North’s king, North would have been forced to lead some other suit, as North’s diamonds would have been exhausted. If North had led the ♥Q to East’s ace, East could still have taken six tricks in clubs, one with the ♠A and the ninth trick with the ♦Q.
Thus 2♦ was a very good save against the opponents’ certain contract of 2NT. And as it would not have been easy to guess that the only way to defeat 3NT would have been to lead diamonds once and then switch to hearts – East and West could most probably have made 3NT.
Par Contract Analysis
The par contract on this deal is 2NT by West/East.
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