Bridge Deal of the Week (August 16 2017)

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Problem

West North East South
Pass Pass 1 Pass
2♠ Pass 4♣!* Pass
4♠ 5♣ 5♠ Dbl
all pass      

* - Splinter bid, 0-1♣, 17-21HCP

West and North passed, East started with 1♠. South passed. West responded 2♠, North passed and East bid 4♣ – a splinter bid showing 0-1 clubs. South passed. West declared 4♠. At this point North suddenly interfered and called 5♣. East went on and bid 5♠. South doubled. We invite you to take the South seat – how are you going to defeat the contract?

Vulnerable: East/West

 

Solution

You have two aces and the ♠QJ8, so it seems like three tricks are granted. But North`s sudden interference bid of 5♣ means North has at least six clubs and as you hold five, East`s splinter bid might mean East has no clubs.

So the ♣A drops from the list of the best opening leads. You have a singleton diamond and could lead it hoping to get a chance to ruff diamonds later, but as you hold two trump honors it seems a better idea to use them to bring down the declarer`s trumps.

This leaves you with the choice between leading the A or trumps. You lead the A, which wins the first trick (trick 1). Dummy has the KQ, which are winners now and the ♣Kx, so you donВґt want to lead hearts or the ♣A.

You have only one diamond and dummy has three, so there are nine diamonds between North and East. North might hold some top card, in which case you don`t want to give a free finesse to the declarer. This leaves you with only one choice – to lead trumps. You lead the ♠J. East takes the trick with the ♠K and leads the ♠A, North discards the ♣8 (tricks 2, 3).

East leads spades third time – your ♠Q wins the trick (trick 4). You have won two tricks thus far, to defeat the contract, you must find one more. It seems weird East has not led hearts to cash in dummy`s winners. You had four hearts and dummy five – if North held three, then East had a singleton heart and holds only spades and diamonds now. Leading hearts is out of the question and as you still donВґt want to give East a free finesse in diamonds, you lead the ♣A to force the lead back to East.

East ruffs as expected and leads the A (tricks 5, 6). Next the declarer leads a small diamond, you discard a club, North wins this trick with the J and cashes in the K (tricks 7, 8). North leads hearts now and finally the declarer gains entry to dummy`s hand. East cashes in dummy`s KQ and ♣K, discarding three diamonds (tricks 9, 10, 11) and claims the last two tricks with two spades (tricks 12, 13).

 

   2  
   876  
   KJ7  
   QJ10853  
 943 Deal  AK10765
 KQ953  2
 962  AQ8543
 K7  -
   QJ8  
   AJ104  
   10  
   A9642  

With the A, ♣A and decent holding in trump suit, South`s double was justified. But it was not an easy job to defeat the contract. The key points of defense were that South`s didn`t lead diamonds, thus avoiding giving a free finesse to East and that South didnВґt let the declarer gain entry to dummyВґs hand.

Although by leading spades third time and forcing the lead upon South the declarer tried to endplay South, South found a way to force the lead back to East by leading the ♣A.

The declarer made a mistake then by leading the A, going for an even split in diamonds, but unfortunately North held the KJx and East lost two tricks in diamonds.

 

 

 

 

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 5♣ Dbl N -2

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