Bridge Deal of the Week (November 15 2017)

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Problem

West North East South
1 2♣ Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass  

 

West started with 1, North overcalled 2♣. After a moment of thinking, South bid 3NT, which became the final contract.

How can South win 9 tricks? West has led the ♠K.

Vulnerable: none

Contract: 3NT by South

 

 

Solution

The declarer counted eight tricks –North and South had three Aces and if clubs split even, South could take five tricks with clubs. The A provided an entry point to dummy's hand to run the clubs after they were established and South could hope for an extra trick in spades, hearts or diamonds as the opponents will be squeezed.

So, holding the ♠J109, South felt safe enough and won the first trick with dummy`s Ace (trick 1), led a small club from dummy to the ♣K, which held (trick 2) and led a small club again.

West showed out discarding he 9. So clubs were split 4-1 and East had the ♣A98. South played the ♣Q from dummy`s hand, which fell under East`s Ace (trick 3). After West`s signal, East led a small diamond. South played the 10 and West covered with the J.

The declarer ducked, so the J won the trick (trick 4). West cashed in the ♠Q after gaining the lead (trick 5) and led a small spade to South`s ♠J (trick 6).

South took the next trick with the ♠10 (trick 7) and led a small heart. West won this trick with the K (trick 8) and found himself endplayed – West held only diamonds and hearts and whatever he led, South could win all the tricks. West led the K, dummy`s Ace won that trick (trick 9), South took the next one with the ♣J (trick 10), led a small diamond to his Queen (trick 11) and won the last tricks with the A and J (tricks 12, 13).

   A54  
   Q  
   A62  
   QJ7653  
 KQ82 Deal  76
 K93  87652
 KJ987  43
♣ 10  A984
  J1093  
  AJ104  
  Q105  
  K2

 

 

 

 

3NT was a bit tight, for the declarer`s side had 24HCP and the only promising fit was clubs. All suits had uneven distribution, not a single one offering a break. But South had one advantage – West had opened the auction, therefore West must have had an opening count.

South added mentally West`s opening count – 12 HCP – to the 24 HCP the declarer`s side had and came to the conclusion East couldn`t hold much points.

After East won the third trick with the ♣A, South was sure West held the missing red Kings and decided to endplay West by forcing the lead upon him.

By letting West win the fourth trick with the J, West was endplayed– after winning the trick with the ♠Q, he faced the choice of leading the spades again or having to under lead either the K or King. West led spades, accidentally also removing an entry point to South`s hand.

But West was endplayed again, as the declarer led a small heart and after West`s K won the trick, there really was nothing to do. If West had ducked and let dummy`s Q win the trick, the declarer could have led the ♣J from dummy, West would have become squeezed and faced with a choice whether to discard a hearts or diamonds.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3NT by South.

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