Bridge Deal of the Week (July 19 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

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

 

After an uncontested auction North and South have reached the contract of 4♠. West led the 4 to East`s ace, taking down dummy`s singleton queen (trick 1). East has led the ♣J. Can you help South – how to win 10 tricks?

 

Vulnerable: none

Contract: 4♠ by South

 

Solution

You have two more quick losers – the ♠A and ♠K. After East`s lead of the ♣J you also face a problem what to do with potential losers in clubs. If you could win this trick with the ♣Q, and another trick in clubs with dummyВґs ♣A, you could discard the two small clubs remaining on the table on the hearts you hold – which are winners now.

You play the ♣Q. West covers with the ♣K so you have to take this trick with the dummy`s ♣A (trick 2). Now dummy has three club losers and even if you pitch two of them on hearts, it won`t be enough.

But dummy has a solid suit of diamonds – if you could get rid of the K, you might get a chance to discard clubs from your hand on diamonds. You lead the Q from dummy, hoping that East covers. Again, no such luck and as you hold only a singleton ace; you take the trick with the A (trick 3).

It seems a good plan to lead again diamonds from dummy to catch the K. But alas, you do not have an entry point to dummy. The only chance to get across to dummy is to lead your heart winners and ruff them!

You lead the J and ruff (trick 4) and lead the J. East covers with the K and you ruff (trick 5). Now with any luck you can lead diamonds from dummy and discard your clubs. You lead the K , ruff and lead the 10 from dummy discarding one of your clubs as both opponents play a diamond (tricks 6, 7).

Next you lead the 9 from dummy and discard your last club. East plays a diamond, but West ruffs with the ♠A (trick 8) and leads a small club. Too late! You ruff in hand (trick 9) and lead a small spade to dummy`s ♠10. East wins this trick with the ♠K (trick 10) and leads the ♠2. You hold only spades now, while the opponents have none and can claim the last three tricks (tricks 11, 12, 13).

   J1084  
   Q  
   QJ109  
   A742  
 A Deal  K3
 108642  A953
 843  K7652
 K963  J10
   Q97652  
   KJ7  
   A  
   Q85  

Here, transportation between the hands offered the greatest challenge – dummy had four diamonds, while the declarer held a singleton ace. The declarer could not cross to dummy using spades (to play diamonds and ditch clubs on them) as West would have taken the spades trick with the ♠A and led clubs immediately, taking the contract down.

But as South held three hearts and dummy had only one, the declarer found a way to cross over to dummyВґs hand – by ruffing his winners. Leading diamonds from dummy was the only way to get rid of the club losers.

Even if the opponents ruffed, the declarer could still discard his clubs. As the opponents had two highest honors in spades, they would probably ruff with high cards and South was bound to lose two tricks in spades anyway.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 5 Dbl by West -1.

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