Bridge Deal of the Week (June 21 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1
Pass 1♠ Pass 2
Pass 3♣!* Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass ?
       

* – 4th Suit Forcing to Game

South opened the auction with 1, North responded 1♠. South’s rebid – 2 – showed diamonds. North answered with 3♣ – 4th Suit Forcing to Game. South showed diamonds again, confirming length in side suit. North bid 3NT.

We invite you to take the South seat. Are you going to pass or continue?

Contract:?

Vulnerable: both

 

 

 

Solution

You have a two-suited hand with five hearts, six diamonds, two spades and a void in clubs. North has shown a 5-card suit of spades has not shown support for hearts and feels he has sufficient strength in clubs to declare 3NT.

It seems either you haven’t found a fit or you don’t have a fit. Although notrump might be a tempting solution in such a case, playing NT with hands that don’t match at all is problematic as communication will be very difficult.

The question is what to bid? If stick to your suits and declare 4 or 5 and North has only one heart or one diamond or worse still – a void in the suit you choose, you will be in trouble.

The safest contract seems to be 4♠, as you have two honors in spades and can be sure of (at least) a seven-card fit. You declare 4♠. East leads the ♣6.

North discards the 2 from dummy, West plays the ♣10, so North’s ♣J wins the trick (trick 1). North takes two more tricks with the ♣A and ♣K, discarding diamonds from dummy both times, East’s queen falls under the king (tricks 2, 3).

Next the declarer leads a small spade to dummy’s ace (trick 4) and leads the ♠J. West takes this trick with the ♠Q (trick 5) and leads the ♣5. North plays the ♣7, East ruffs and North discards another diamond from dummy (trick 6).

East leads the A, North ruffs (trick 7), takes the next trick with the K (trick 8) and leads a small heart to dummy’s ace (trick 9). North leads the Q from dummy (West discards a diamond, so East has one more heart) and then the J ditching clubs both times (tricks 10, 11).

Next North leads the 6 from dummy, East ruffs (trick 12) and leads diamonds. North ruffs (trick 13).

 

   108654  
   K7  
   -  
  AKJ972  
 Q3 Deal  K972
 103  9854
 KJ764  A8
 10543 Q86
   AJ  
   AQJ62  
  Q109532  
   -  

What a misfit for North and South – with both void in the partner’s side suit and only a two card support for partner’s major. 4♠ was a good choice as North also had two hearts 4 could have been an equally good contract. But 5 would have been suicidal as West had five diamonds and only two hearts, thus making it difficult to establish either suit.

3NT would have gone down. If East had led spades, dummy’s ♠J would have fallen under West’s ♠Q and East-West would have scored (depending on the play) 2 tricks in spades and 3 in diamonds or 2 tricks in spades, 2 in diamonds and 1 in clubs.

Par Contract Analysis

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

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