Bridge Deal of the Week (June 14 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
1 2♥ * 3 4♠
5 5♠ 6 ?

* – Michaels cuebid

The auction has been quite competitive, as both sides have found a fit. West opened with 1, North chimed in 2, showing a two-suited hand with 5+ spades and at least five cards in a minor suit. East jumped to 4, South needed no encouragement and bid 4♠, West went to 5 and North called 5♠.

East has bid 6. We invite you to take the South seat – what are you going to bid?

Contract: ?

Vulnerable: North/South



You have four spades and North’s overcall of 2 promises 5+ spades and a minor (5+ clubs or 5+ diamonds). Thus you have a good trump fit and maybe a fit in major, as you also hold four diamonds.

East and West seem sure in their fit. It definitely feels like East/West believe they will make 6 as the opening bid by West found immediate positive response by East and they have not hesitated in going on. You decide to sacrifice and declare 6♠.

West doubles and leads the ♣A (trick 1), then a small club to East’s ♣K (trick 2). You have a good fit – besides the two club losers you have a 9-card trump suit plus 10-card suit of diamonds.

East leads the ♣Q next; you discard one of your hearts and ruff in dummy (trick 3). Then you lead the ♠10 from dummy and duck after East plays a small spade, the ♠10 holds (trick 4).

Next you lead the ♠9 from dummy and East’s ♠K falls under your ace (trick 5). As the opponents have no more trumps, you can take all the rest of the tricks – six with diamonds (tricks 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) and two with spades (tricks 12, 13).


 87 Deal  K3
 KQJ852  A1043
 -  763
 A8765 KQJ4

This deal offers an interesting mirror image; both sides had two possible options for slam – North/South spades and diamonds, East/West hearts and clubs. But neither side could discover the minor fit as the auction fast forwarded to four level first round. Added to that West had a diamond void and North was void in hearts.

It was not easy for North-South to get into the auction; only thanks to North’s Michaels cuebid did they secure the contract. And it was a good sacrifice as East/West clearly had better slam options – one down, doubled and vulnerable is 200 points. (If East had guessed West’s void and led diamonds, the contract would have gone down more.)

If East would have become the declarer of 6, there would have been no way to defeat the contract, as South would have had to lead – and South could have taken only one trick with the ♠A (6 nonvulnerable yielding 980 points).

With West as the declarer, the opponents could have made the contract of 6 with any other lead than spades. And North might have easily led his long suit of diamonds allowing West to ruff the first trick, pull the trumps (tricks 2, 3, 4), take four tricks with clubs (tricks 5, 6, 7, 8), lead a diamond from dummy and ruff (trick 9), lead the last club and discard a spade from dummy (trick 10). West could then have given up a trick in spades (trick 11) and won the last two tricks by ruffing.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 7 North/South Dbl -2.

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