Bridge Deal of the Week (August 02 2017)

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Problem

West North East South
1 Pass 1 Dbl
4♣!* 4♠ 4NT Pass
5♠ Dbl 6 Pass
7 Dbl Pass ?

* - Splinter bid

 

West opened with 1, North passed and East responded with 1. South doubled – a takeout double to show 4+ spades and 4+ clubs. West bid 4♣ – a splinter bid, meaning 0-1 clubs and 17-21 HCP, showing slam interest. North showed support for spades with 4♠. East bid 4NT to ask for aces. South passed, West responded with 5♠ (2-5 keycards and the trump queen). North doubled for penalty.

East bid 6, South passed and West declared 7. North doubled, East passed. We ask you to take the South seat. Are you going to pass?

Vulnerable: both

Contract: ?

 

Solution

It is quite clear the opponents have a slam. Especially West has been very confident. Although you hold the ♣AK, West`s splinter bid of 4♣ and subsequent declaration of a grand slam contract means West has a void in clubs. This means you cannot defeat the contract despite the fact that North`s double was for penalty – you don`t hold a single honor in spades.

But you have a void in hearts, which means East and West might have found a particularly long trump suit in hearts. In this situation it is best to sacrifice – you and North have found a fit in spades, besides you hold a nice side suit of clubs. You declare 7♠. East doubles.

As North becomes the declarer, East leads a small diamond to West`s J. It doesn`t look too bad as you have a 9-card trump suit and a 10-card side suit of clubs. The opponents have the ♠AQJ, but your side might lose only 3 tricks. You have a void in hearts and North has a void in diamonds, which means North can cross ruff hearts and diamonds.

North ruffs the diamonds, leads the J and ruffs (tricks 1,2). Then the declarer leads the ♠10 from dummy. West plays a small spade and so does North, East wins this trick with the ♠A (trick 3) and leads a small club. North plays the ♣9 from dummy, West ruffs (trick 4) and leads the A. North ruffs and leads the ♠K, taking down the last trump opponents have (tricks 5, 6).

Then the declarer cashes in four tricks in clubs, starting by leading the ♣Q, then a small club to dummy`s ace (tricks 7,8,9,10). After that North leads a diamond from dummy and ruffs, then leads a heart from hand and ruffs (tricks 11, 12). As the lead is in dummy, North leads the 10, so West wins the last trick with the K (trick 13).

 

   K9642  
   J82  
   -  
   Q7532  
 QJ5 Deal  A
 KQ96  A107543
 AKQJ42  765
 -  1064
   10873  
   -  
   10983  
   AKJ98  

East and West had a grand slam; in fact, they could have taken 13 tricks with either hearts or diamonds as the trump. So South`s decision to make a sacrifice bid of 7♠ saved lots of points to North-South. 7♠ down 3 doubled is -800, while a grand slam doubled would have brought 2470 points to the opponents.

This is an interesting hand, where all except East had a void. And although it is improbable that South and North would have discovered the right leads, both grand slams could have been taken down. If East had played 7 and South led diamonds – then North could have trumped the first trick. If West had played 7 and North had led hearts – South could have trumped the first trick.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 7♠ Dbl by North/South -3.

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