Bridge Deal of the Week (July 12 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

West North East South
      1♠
3♣ 3 Pass 4
Pass 4NT Pass 5♣
Dbl 6 all pass  
       

South opened the auction with 1♠. West made a weak jump overcall. North responded 3. South bid 4 to show his other suit. North asked for aces and after getting the answer that partner has three keycards, declared 6. (The double by West was lead directing.)

West leads the ♣K. We invite you to the South seat. Can you find a way to win 12 tricks?

 

Vulnerable: both

Contract: 6

 

Solution

It looks good: you have only one sure loser – the trump ace. You have a 9-card diamond suit and both side suits – spades & hearts look promising.

You take the first trick with the ♣A (trick 1). To get a chance to discard your small club on hearts, you must first unblock hearts, so you take the next trick with the K (trick 2). Now you lead a small spade to dummy`s king (trick 3) and lead the A from dummy, discarding your club (trick 4).

Next you lead the Q (East plays the J and West 9, so the 10 is still somewhere) and discard one of your spades (trick 5). You cannot run hearts again, as the opponents have only one heart left. It is time to deal with diamonds. Dummy has Q10xx and you hold K8xxx. The opponents have AJ9.

If you lead a small diamond and East plays the 9, your king might fall prey to West`s ace, with one of the opponents still holding the J. So you lead the Q, which holds – the opponents play the 9 and 2 (trick 6). You lead the 3 from dummy hoping that the last diamonds clash together. No such luck – East wins the trick with the A and West discards a club (trick 7). East still holds the last trump (J).

East leads a club, you ruff (trick 8). You need to win all the tricks now. But there`s light in the tunnel – you have two diamonds both in hand and dummy and the ♠A. You take a trick with the ♠A; West discards a club (trick 8). So East has the remaining three spades too. You lead a spade and ruff (trick 9), lead a heart from dummy – East discards a spade – and ruff as West still has the 10 (trick 11).

Next you lead your ♠10 and ruff with dummy`s 10 as West discards the ♣Q and East`s ♠Q falls (trick 12). Now you lead dummy`s last heart and East`s J falls under your king (trick 13).

 

 

   K8  
   AQ873  
   Q1043  
   52  
 9 Deal  Q10432
 10942  J65
 2  AJ9
 KQJ10764  98
   AJ765  
   K  
   K8765  
   A3  

Unblocking hearts offered a way to discard the club loser. Of course the trump split was unfavorable, but the declarer was saved by another unfavorable split – the 5-1 split of spades. East held five spades and West only one, thus the declarer could merrily crossruff – lead spades from hand knowing East has enough spades – so dummy`s small diamonds could win tricks. Lead hearts from dummy and ruff until East`s J fell under the king.

Of course, if East had led the J after winning the trick with the A, the contract would have been defeated as the declarer would not have had enough diamonds to cross-ruff and would be forced to give up an additional trick in spades.

On the other hand, if the declarer would have known that West had a singleton spade and a singleton diamond, South could have (after winning the first round of trumps with the Q) led the ♠8 from dummy, duck and win a trick. After that South could have led a club from dummy, ruffed; led the ♠A and discarded a heart; led a spade and ruffed, led the 10 – East would have won this trick with the A. East would be left holding the J and ♠Q against the declarer`s K8.

Par Contract Analysis

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

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