Bridge Deal of the Week (May 31 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

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

 

East opens with 1♠, South doubles (for takeout). West responds with 2♠ and North doubles. South bids 3, West passes and North declares 4.

West leads the ♠4. We ask you to help South and plan the play to score 10 tricks.

Contract: 4

Vulnerable: none

 

 

 

Solution

East wins the first trick with the ♠A (trick 1) and leads a spade back. West takes this trick with the ♠K (trick 2) and leads a small spade to East`s ♠Q, you ruff (trick 3).

The hand seems promising – although your trump suit is short, it is strong and now you have only one quick loser left – the ♣A. You can count on four tricks in hearts, two in clubs and three in diamonds, if diamond finesse is successful.

You miss six hearts and with six outstanding cards the most probable split is 4-2, which occurs nearly half the time (48.5 %), thus pulling the trumps might exhaust all your trumps.

So instead you decide to establish your diamonds and clubs first. You lead the 8 and finesse the Q, which holds, so West probably has the K (trick 4). Next you lead a small club from dummy – East takes this trick with the ♣A (trick 5) and leads a small club. You play the ♣9, West covers with the ♣J and dummy’s ♣Q takes this trick (trick 6).

Now you can safely lead small heart from dummy to your ace and play four rounds of hearts (tricks 7, 8, 9, 10). West discards clubs two times, so indeed, the split was 4-2, while you discard two diamonds from dummy.

Then you take a trick with the ♣K (trick 11), lead a small diamond to dummy’s ace 8 (trick 12) and win the last trick with dummy’s ♣10 (trick 13).

 

 

   J85  
   82  
   AQ103  
   Q1074  
 K64 Deal  AQ973
 73  10964
 K764  52
 J653 A2
   102  
   AKQJ5  
   J98  
   K98  

The declarer was wise to set up the side suits – diamonds and clubs – before drawing the trumps. It is extremely dangerous to let the defending side lead when all the trumps are down and the declarer doesn’t` have stoppers in all suits because this way the control might be completely lost.

If South had decided to pull the trumps four times and had then led clubs, East could have taken three more tricks – one with the ♣A and two tricks with spades, making the contract go down by two.

Even if South had led diamonds first (after pulling the trumps), and scored three or four tricks with diamonds (depending on what West discarded on hearts), East would have taken the last two tricks with the ♣A and a small spade, making the contract go down.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this hand is 4 by North/South.

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