Bridge Deal of the Week (December 13 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South
    1♠ 2
3 3 3♠ 4
4♠ all pass    


East started with 1♠, South overcalled 2. West bid 3. North answered with 3. East repeated spades – 3♠. South called 4 and West declared 4♠.

We invite you to the South seat – how many tricks can you take?

Vulnerable: both

Contract: 4♠ E


Hearts are the obvious choice as the opening lead; you lead the K – which wins the first trick (trick 1) – and lead the Q next. The declarer ruffs and leads a small club to dummy`s ♣ A (tricks 2, 3)

East leads the Q from dummy`s hand and discards the J (trick 4). Next the declarer leads a spade from dummy and plays the ♠10 from hand. What should you play? If you win this trick and lead hearts again then the declarer gets a ruff and discard as dummy is void of hearts too. You play a small spade and let East win this trick (trick 5).

The declarer leads a small club to dummy`s ♣Q now (trick 6) and leads the ♠8 from dummy. North discards a heart, East plays the ♠2 from hand. You win this trick with the ♠Q (trick 7) and lead a heart again, forcing East to ruff (trick 8).

Obviously East started with six spades, so now both of you have two spades left. The declarer leads the ♠J – you win the trick with the ♠A (trick 9) and lead hearts. Now East is forced to spend his last trump, the ♠K to win this trick (trick 10).

East leads the ♣J, you ruff with your last spade (trick 11) and lead your last heart, which is a winner as the declarer has no trumps (trick 12). Your last card is a diamond, so dummy`s Ace wins the trick (trick 13).

 86 Deal  KJ10932
 53  2
 AQ10987  KJ
AQ3  KJ107





By holding up the first time trumps were led, South was able to take the contract down by two – East was forced to lead trumps again and after the second round of trumps dummy`s trumps were depleted.

From then on every time South led hearts, the declarer`s was forced to use the long trump from his hand to ruff hearts, which finally enabled South to deplete East`s 6-card suit of spades and to score a second trick in hearts. If South had won the first trump trick and led hearts, East would have had a possibility to ruff hearts once from dummy.

Of course the declarer made a mistake by leading a trump third time – this enabled South to take the contract down -2.

If instead East would have led the ♣J, South would have ruffed (trick 9, third trick for defense) and led hearts. The declarer could have ruffed and led the K to dummy`s Ace (tricks 10, 11). East could have led diamonds from dummy again. South could have ruffed with the ♠A (trick 12, fourth trick for the defense), but the last trick would have belonged to East with the ♠K. Contract down -1.

East and West would have been better off playing a contract in diamonds.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 3♠ by East /West.

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