Bridge Deal of the Week (December 20 2017)

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The Auction:

West North East South/th>
  Pass 1 1
1♠ 2 2 3
3♠ 4 all pass  


East started with 1. South thought for a minute and overcalled – 1. West bid 1♠. North responded 2 and East 2♠. South bid 3, West 3♠ and North declared 4.

West led the ♠3, East played the ♠A. What should South do to win 10 tricks?

Vulnerable: none

Contract: 4 S


Should South ruff the first trick and lead clubs – if defense raises with the ♣A, then the declarer can finesse the K and go for four tricks in clubs and four tricks in diamonds, discarding dummies spades on diamonds?

But if defense takes the second trick with the ♣A and leads back a spade, then South has to decide, whether to ruff again – and be left with only two hearts or discard and concede another trick. If the declarer discards, defense will beyond doubt lead a spade again and South has to face the same dilemma.

So South should not ruff, but discard – a low diamond for instance. If diamonds are split 4-3, then one of the opponents might hold ruutu Jxxx and there is no chance for a fourth trick with diamonds anyway.

East won the first trick with the ♠A and led a spade back (trick 1). This time South discarded the ♣2 – no point in discarding two diamonds – and West won this trick with the ♠10 (trick 2).

West led a spade again and this time South ruffed with the 6 (trick 3). The declarer led a diamond to dummy`s A next (trick 4) and led a heart from dummy. East played a small heart and the declarer finessed – successfully as West played a small heart too (trick 5).

Now South led the K and then the Q – discarding the last spade from dummy (tricks 6, 7).

Then the declarer led the ♣J. West won the trick with the ♣A and led a club back (trick 8). Dummy`s ♣K won this trick and South led a heart from dummy (trick 9). East played a small heart again and thus South´s Q won the trick (trick 10). Now South led the A and East`s K fell (trick 11). The declarer claimed the last two tricks with clubs (trick 12, 13).

KJ1083 Deal  AQ62
 1043  K85
 652 J983
A4  93





South`s choice of overcalling with 1 after East opened the auction with 1 was not the best choice with only four hearts. 2♣ would have been more adequate and the contract of 6♣ in reach.

But South still managed to find the best defense against the most dangerous lead – North and South had a good chance to go for 12 tricks even with hearts as the trump, losing only one trick to the ♣A – if only West had led anything else but spades. For the declarer´s weakest spot was hearts, all in all North and South had only 7 hearts and by leading spades again and again defense might have depleted South`s trumps. But South found an elegant solution conceding first two tricks, ruffing the third and discarding the last of dummy`s spades on a diamond.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 6♣ by South.

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