Bridge Deal of the Week (November 22 2017)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
South started with 1♦. West passed. North responded with 1♥, East overcalled 1♠. South jumped to 3NT, this became the final contract. West led the ♥7.
We invite you to take the South seat – how many tricks can you take?
A small heart from dummy, the ♥J drops from East and you win the first trick with the ♥A (trick 1). This probably means that West holds all the rest of hearts and East had a singleton. There`s no hope in establishing hearts anyway, but your diamonds shine dazzlingly.
You start by taking a trick with the ♦K, then lead the ♦10 to dummy`s ♦A (tricks 2, 3). West`s ♦Q drops, so East should have the ♦J.
As East opened the bidding, East should have around 12 HCP. You and your partner have 23 HCP both hands combined, this leaves West with about 5 HCP. West has already dropped the ♦Q and in all probability holds the ♥Q.
This means that East might have all the missing honors, or at least most of them – the ♠AQ and the ♣KQ. If East indeed holds the ♦J (and West didn`t play the ♦Q from the sequence of the ♦QJ), you can easily force the lead on East.
It is time to test your theory. You lead a small diamond from dummy – East wins the trick with the ♦J (trick 4). East leads the ♣K, you win the trick with the ♣A (trick 5) and lead a club back.
East takes the trick with the ♣Q (trick 6) and leads the ♠7. You play a small spade and so dummy`s ♠10 wins this trick (trick 7). Next you lead dummy`s last spade, East`s ♠A wins the trick (trick 8). Obviously East does not want to lead a spade to your ♠KJ, so East leads the ♣2 to dummy`s ♣J (trick 9).
You cash in dummy`s ♦9, East discards a spade (trick 10), lead a heart from dummy to your Ace – East discards the last club (trick 11) and take the ninth trick with the ♠K (trick 12). The last trick belongs to East with the ♠Q (trick 13).
South had a strong hand, but 3NT was a bit stretched. The declarer could count on 2 tricks in hearts (the ♥AK), 3 tricks with diamonds (if the split was a favorable one – 3-2) and had to find a way to win two tricks with spades and two tricks with clubs.
West with a doubleton in spades guessed that if spades were led, the declarer would get a free finesse – after all South declared 3NT after East`s overcall of 1♠ – and chose hearts as the opening lead. But South read the cards right and forced East on lead repeatedly, thus East sacrificed the ♣K and was confined to only two tricks in spades allowing the declarer to take nine tricks.
Par Contract Analysis
The par contract on this deal is 3NT by South/North.
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