Bridge Deal of the Week (August 23 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
Pass Pass 1 2
2♠ 3 3♠ ?


East opened 1♠, South overcalled 2, West supported spades – 2♠ and North diamonds – 3. East advanced to 3♠.

We ask you to take the South seat – what are you going to bid? You have 13 HCP, six diamonds; stoppers in spades and hearts, but only a singleton club.


Vulnerable: none

Contract: ?


North supported your diamonds, but 5 seems out of the question – you have three quick losers as you miss three aces. You can count on five tricks in diamonds plus three tricks -- the A and ♠KQ. That is to say you can count eight tricks, and North must hold some honors for being able to respond – which means 3NT could be possible.

Although you have a singleton club, judging by bidding East has an opening count and five spades, and West at least three spades. If you declare 3NT, West will probably lead spades and you will regain lead to run your diamonds. You declare 3NT.

West leads the ♣5. The ♣KJ109x are laying on the table, and you reckon if West led the fourth best, the ♣9 is sufficient from dummy. East wins the trick with the ♣A (trick 1).

North does not have a single ace, so you can count on five tricks in diamonds, two in spades, one in hearts and one in clubs. Although you hold the ♣KJ you doubt that the opponents lead clubs to give you a free finesse as West obviously holds the ♣Q. Your weakest suit is hearts, so your first priority is to take down the A, run the diamonds and cash in your winners in other suits before the opponents discover hearts.

East leads the ♠5 next, you play the ♠7, West plays the ♠9, thus dummy`s ♠10 takes the trick (trick 2). Diamonds now. You lead a small diamond to your J – to keep a communication line between two hands open. West wins this trick with the A (trick 3) and leads a small spade to EastВґs ace (trick 4).

East leads a small heart. You can take eight tricks now. You win this trick with the A, and the next one with the ♠K, discarding a heart from dummy`s hand (tricks 5, 6). Then you lead a small diamond to dummy`s Q and lead the ♣K from dummy, discarding a small heart (tricks 7, 8).

After that you lead a small diamond from dummy to your K, take three more tricks with diamonds (tricks 9, 10, 11, 12) and lead your last heart. East`s K wins the last trick (trick 13).

 942 Deal  A8653
 Q10  KJ976
 A84  5
 Q8654  A3

3NT was a gambling on the declarer part, which paid off.

West realized that the declarer must have a decent stopper in spades and holding only three small spades, the opponent chose to make the opening lead from his 5-card suit of clubs. But South was saved by the school bell as North had a decent five-card suit of clubs too.

The opponents had to choose between three suits to defeat the contract – spades were obvious, but actually weak and clubs were a no-no after the opening lead. The defenders missed leading the declarer`s weakest suit – hearts – until it was too late and so South was able to keep the initiative and promote his diamonds, the ♠K and ♣K into winners before that and limit the opponents to only four tricks.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ by East/West.

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