Bridge Deal of the Week (July 26 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
  1 Pass 1♠
Dbl 1NT Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Dbl Pass Pass Pass


North opened the auction with 1, South responded 1♠. West doubled – showing 4+ hearts and clubs. North bid 1 NT. South jumped to 3, North declared 4. West doubled and led the 9.

We ask you to take the South seat – plan your play to score 10 tricks.

Vulnerable: East/West

Contract: 4 by South


You have an 8-card suit of hearts. A double and heart lead by West means West has a long suit of hearts. The question is – how long?

You play a small heart from dummy. East discards the 2, you take the trick with the 10 (trick 1). As West has four more hearts drawing trumps is out of the question.

You have one quick loser – you miss the ♠A. Dummy has a singleton spade, you have a singleton diamond. You could play a merry crossruffing game and you have a strong side suit of clubs. You miss only the ♣K, if you could retain an entry point to dummy to run dummyВґs clubs after locating the king, you could discard some spades on clubs.

You lead the ♣A, then a small diamond to dummy `s ace (tricks 2, 3). Next you lead a small spade. East plays the ♠9, you play the ♠Q, West`s ♠A wins the trick (trick 4).

West leads the K, you play a small diamond from dummy and ruff (trick 5). Next you lead the ♣J, West wins the trick with the ♣K (trick 6) and leads the Q. You play a small diamond from dummy and ruff (trick 7).

Then you lead the ♠K, which wins the trick as West discards a small club, you discard a diamond from dummy (trick 8). You lead a small spade, West discards a club again, you ruff (trick 9), lead the ♣Q from dummy`s hand and ruff with the A – knowing West has only hearts left (trick 10).

Then you lead a small spade. West ruffs, you overruff with dummy`s J (trick 11) and lead the ♣10. As you donВґt hold any hearts now, West` s 7 wins the trick (trick 12). West lead his last heart to dummy`s K (trick 13).

 A Deal  J10975
 KQ10  J9642
 K752  864

The declarer faced very unlucky distribution – West had five hearts – the probability of such a split is 4%. West also held all the missing winners, which meant every time a trick was lost, West gained the lead. If West had led hearts every time he got the lead, the contract would have gone down.

Although West held five hearts, the defenders won only three tricks. After the declarer won tricks with the ♣A and A, West`s ♣K and KQ became winners and West tried to cash in his winners.

It was crucial that the declarer ruffed the ♣Q despite the fact that the queen was a winner. If South hadn’t ruffed, West would have won this trick with a small heart and led hearts – taking down two of declarerВґs high hearts. The declarer used his remaining three hearts (which were higher than West`s) wisely playing them in separate tricks and thus winning three tricks.

If West had led the K, South would have made the contract with an overtrick.

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

Par Contract Analysis

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

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