Bridge Deal of the Week (May 17 2017)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
South opens the auction with 1♣, West overcalls 2NT (the Unusual notrump, showing at least 5-5 in the two lowest unbid suits). North asks for aces with 4NT, South responds with 5♥ (two aces). Next North asks for kings with 5NT and South responds with 6♦ (one king).
North declares 7NT. We offer you to take the North seat and find a way to 13 tricks.
East leads the ♦6.
You take the first trick with dummy’s ace, no stopper in diamonds now. You can count five tricks in clubs; to make 7NT you need all four tricks in spades and three in hearts. But you only have the ♠AKJ and ♥AKJ, both queens are missing.
Luckily you can make guesses based on the information from auction. West’s overcall 2NT – the Unusual convention – means that West has at least 5+ diamonds and 5+ hearts. So it can be assumed West has the ♥Q. With a two-suited hand, West can only have a short holding in spades/clubs, so East probably holds most of the missing spades.
You take the next trick with dummy’s ♣J, and then lead a club from dummy to your ace (tricks 2, 3). West discards the ♥9.
Now you take a trick with the ♣K, West discards the ♥7 (trick 4). The next two tricks you take with the ♣Q (both opponents discard spades) and with the ♣9, this time both opponents discard diamonds (tricks 5, 6).
With two spades down the opponents have only three spades left. You lead a small spade, West plays the ♠4, you play the ♠J from dummy, which holds (trick 7). West discards another heart – East has the last two spades.
If West had five hearts, only two should be left now, so next you can lead a small heart from dummy. West covers with the ♥Q, your king wins this trick (trick 8).
The next trick is won with the ♥J, then you lead the ♠8 to dummy’s king (tricks 9, 10). Dummy’s ♥A wins the next trick; you discard the ♦J and lead the ♠9 to your ace (tricks 11, 12). As East’s ♠Q falls under your ace you take the last trick with your ♠5 (trick 13).
A real choice of slams hand, alternatively South/North could have played 7♣ or 7♠, although the declarer misses a king and three queens.
There was actually one more way to take all 13 tricks playing 7NT. After taking the first three tricks (with the ♦A, the ♣J, then the ♣A), North could have taken the next two with the ♠A and ♣K.
Next the declarer could have led a small spade to dummy’s 9 (guessing that East holds the last three spades) and a small club from dummy to the ♣Q (tricks 6, 7). Now the declarer could have led a small spade towards dummy’s ♠KJ and won two tricks in spades (tricks 8, 9).
Played this way – North leads spades four times and clubs four times, West, who held a single spade and single club, is forced to discard six times. West would have probably kept the ♥Qxx and the ♦K as the last four cards.
Now if the declarer would have led a small heart from dummy and finessed the ♥ J, then led the ♣9, West would have been squeezed and had to give up either the ♦K or the small heart protecting the queen. Either way North could have won the last three tricks.
Par Contract Analysis
The par contract on this hand is 7NT by South/North.
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