Bridge Deal of the Week (August 30 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
Pass 2 Dbl 4
4♠ all pass    


North opened with weak 2. East doubled. South raised to 4. West declared 4♠, which became the final contract.

We invite you to take the South seat. Can you see a way to defeat the contract?

North leads the ♣10 and the declarer plays a small club from dummy.


Vulnerable: East/West

Contract: 4♠


You take the first trick with the ♣Q wondering why North didnВґt lead diamonds (trick 1). You have a 4-card suit of clubs and so does dummy. If the rest of clubs are split 3-2, North might have a doubleton. But it is clear – with your cards – that you won`t regain lead soon enough to offer North a chance to ruff clubs. The declarer will pull the trumps long before that.

North must have six diamonds, you hold three and dummy has a singleton. This means the declarer has three diamonds. As you have the Q, could West hold the K and that`s the reason your partner was reluctant to lead the A? You lead the Q, which holds (trick 2).

Diamonds would be ruffed, leading hearts might offer a free finesse – dummy has the AQxx and you donВґt want to underlead your ♣K. Limited choice – you lead the ♠8, West plays the ♠10, North wins the trick with the ♠K (trick 3) and leads back the ♠2. West wins this trick with dummyВґs ♠6 (trick 4) and leads spades from dummy again.

You donВґt have any spades so you must discard. You have the same number of hearts and clubs as dummy – you cannot discard from either suit as dummy`s last heart or club might become a winner. You discard the 7. West`s ♠A wins the trick (trick 5).

After that the declarer leads a small heart to dummy`s Q – which holds – and takes the next trick with the ♣A (tricks 6, 7). Then West leads the ♣5 from dummy`s hand. You win this trick with the ♣K (trick 8).

It seems probable North has the K. But leading clubs or diamonds will force the declarer to ruff. You lead the ♣9, West ruffs (trick 9).

West leads the 10 next and North`s King falls under dummy`s Ace (trick 10). The declarer exits from dummy with a small heart and takes a trick in hand with the J (trick 11). Then West leads a diamond and ruffs in to dummy (trick 12). But from dummy West is forced to lead a small heart, so you win the last trick with the 9 (trick 13).



 AJ104 Deal  Q765
 J106  AQ54
 K64  3
 J73  A852

The defense was able to take the contract down by two tricks. The choice of the opening lead – the ♣10 – was crucial. If North would have led the A, the declarer could have won a trick later with the K and discarded from dummy. The way it was played defense won three tricks before the declarer could gain lead.

South`s lead of Q followed logically and it was the best choice to lead spades after that. If South had for instance led clubs back, the contract would have gone down only one – as leading clubs would have offered the declarer a free finesse.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 4 Dbl-1 by North/South.

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