Bridge Deal of the Week (November 29 2017)

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Problem

The Auction:

West North East South
  1♠ Pass ?

North has started the auction with 1♠. East passed. What should South bid?

Vulnerable: both

Contract: ?

 

 

 

 

Solution

With 7 HCP a simple raise to two spades might seem sufficient. But South does have a 4-card support and a doubleton in diamonds, which offers ruffing potential.

South`s hand is too weak for the Jacoby 2NT convention, which promises opening count, but South could use a Bergen raise to notify partner about four spades. South`s response of 3♣ (a constructive Bergen raise) describes exactly the kind of hand South holds – 4-card trump support and 7-10 HCP.

South responded with 3♣. West passed. North`s rebid was 3, which (after the Bergen raise of 3♣) showed game interest. East passed and South answered 3♠. North asked for aces with 4NT, South responded with 5 – 1 ace. North declared 6♠.

East led the ♣7. North played a low club from dummy, West won the first trick with the ♣A (trick 1) and led back a club. The declarer could count on taking all the rest of the tricks, if spades were not split extremely unevenly – North might need spades to trump clubs.

North ruffed the second club and led the ♠K (trick 2). Both opponents followed, so North led the ♠Q and again both opponents followed suit (tricks 3, 4). Now North could cash in the A and K, lead diamonds for the third time and ruff into dummy (tricks tricks 5, 6, 7). As both opponents followed, North`s last two diamonds were winners.

The declarer led a heart from dummy to the Ace (trick 8) and took two more tricks with diamonds, discarding dummy`s clubs (tricks 9, 10). After that North took another trick with the K and holding two spades, claimed the last two tricks (tricks 11, 12, 13).

   KQ1097  
   AK  
   AK974  
   3  
 J4 Deal  32
 10863  9542
 J62  Q108
AQ65  KJ87
  A865  
  QJ7  
  53  
  10942

 

 

 

 

North/South had a very good slam, which was tough to bid though. With South`s hand, it was difficult to see a slam coming. But North, who had 19 HCP, a 5-card suit of spades and double stoppers in hearts and diamonds, needed only one positive signal from South to go for it.

South provided the necessary encouragement by showing 4-card trump support. With the same HCP – but only a 3-card support – a raise to 2♠ would have been enough. The extra trump provides ruffing potential, but to use this potential, uneven distribution is needed. North had a singleton in clubs and South had a doubleton in diamonds.

East chose the only opening lead that could produce one trick for the defense – with any other lead North could have taken all 13 tricks.

Par Contract Analysis

The par deal on this hand is 6♠ by North (South).

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