Bridge Deal of the Week (October 04 2017)

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Problem

West North East South
      1♣
2 Dbl 3 3♠
Pass 4♠ all pass  

 

South started the auction with 1♣. West bid 2 – a weak jump overcall. North doubled (+9 HCP, 4+, 4♠). East responded with 3, South bid 3♠, West passed and North declared 4♠.

West won the first trick with the A (trick 1) and led a small club.

The declarer misses the ♣A, the ♠Q and the KJ10 – which means South could lose four more tricks. We ask you to take the South seat – can you see a road to 10 tricks?

Vulnerable: both

Contract: 4♠ by South

 

Solution

South has to play the ♣Q from dummyВґs hand – East wins this trick with the ♣A (trick 2) and leads back a club. Now South has to play a small club from hand – as West opened, he can have about 10 HCP and it would be preferable later on to be able to lead from hand. West plays a small club, dummy`s ♣J wins this trick (trick 3).

Next South has to right guess trump Queen. A guess with a lot at stake. South has to play the ♠A from dummy (trick 4) and then the ♠10. East plays a small spade and the declarer has to duck. Right decision, the ♠10 holds! (Trick 5). Now South can lead another spade from dummy and East`s ♠Q falls under the King (trick 6).

Next the declarer can lead a small heart and ruff into dummy (trick 7) and lead dummy`s ♣9 to the King (trick 8). But South has one more moment of truth to face.

South now holds the ♠J, the K and the Qxx. Dummy has the Axxxx. The opponents have the KJ10, but South desperately needs two tricks in diamonds.

It might not be a bad idea to squeeze the opponents a bit – and lead the ♠J (never be afraid to lead your last trump!). West discards a heart, East a diamond (trick 9). Then the declarer can cash in the K (trick 10) and lead a small diamond.

West plays the 10. Now the only possibility is to endplay West and force the lead on him. South has to play a small diamond from dummy, so West`s 10 wins the trick (trick 11). West, who has two diamonds leads the K back, so South can take this trick with the dummy`s A (trick 12) and lead a small diamond to his Queen smothering WestВґs J (trick 13).

 

 

   A1075  
   2  
   A9543  
   QJ9  
 84 Deal  Q32
 AQ8763  J109
 KJ10  82
♣ 63   A10875
  KJ96  
  K54  
  Q76  
  K42  

Two key moments made the contract – South had to guess the trump Q and handle the diamonds right.

But the declarer was not clueless though. West started with six hearts and after the first three tricks were played South knew West also had two clubs. West chose not to lead diamonds, which indicated that West held a high diamond. West`s choice to lead clubs after winning the first trick could be read as a doubleton in clubs.

So the declarer had to play West to hold two spades and three diamonds and East for three spades and two diamonds.

The last touches – when the declarer led his final trump, the opponents were squeezed. As East discarded a diamond, South could be almost sure that West held the KJ10 and there was no hope to use the intra-finesse.

If the declarer had led the K first and then the ♠J, West could have discarded one of his diamonds keeping the Q – the last trump was out of the way. And after gaining the lead with diamonds West could have taken another trick with the Q.

But the way it was played, West discarded a small heart on the ♠J and the Q fell under the King.

Par Contract Analysis

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

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