Bridge Deal of the Week (April 11 2018)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
South started with 1♥. North responded with 2♣. South repeated hearts – 2♥, and North repeated clubs – 3♣.
South declared 3NT.
West led the ♠4 (fourth-best lead).
The declarer can count on 8 top tricks – the ♠AK, the ♥KQJ3 (if hearts are split evenly) and the ♣AK. The ♦QJ will become winners too before the sun sets, but no doubt defense will use every chance they gain lead to lead spades. The 9-card suit of clubs offers most hope.
South played a small spade from dummy`s hand, East sacrificed the ♠Q, thus South won the first trick with the ♠A (trick 1) and led the ♥K.
West took this trick with the ♥A (trick 2) and led the ♠3 to dummy`s king (trick 3). The declarer led a small club. East played the ♣J and South won this trick with the ♣K (trick 4).
If the dropped ♣J means East had a singleton and clubs are split 3-1, then the ♣Q is onside and South can finesse. The declarer cashed in four tricks with hearts first leading the ♥Q, then the ♥J, ♥10 and the ♥3 (tricks 5, 6, 7, 8).
South believed he had guessed the distribution of clubs right and had the courage to discard all the diamonds from dummy`s hand on hearts. West got the idea and discarded a club.
So, when the declarer led a club next, West`s ♣Q dropped, South won the trick with dummy´s ♣A (trick 9) and won four more tricks with dummy`s clubs (tricks 10, 11, 12, 13).
The success of 3NT depended on getting the clubs right and the declarer was successful. It really depended on the first trick – if South had won the first trick with dummy`s ♠K, then led a heart and lost the trick to West´s ♥A and West led spades again, then South`s ♠A would have won the third trick.
And if South had then played a small club to dummy`s Ace, then West would have taken four more tricks – with the ♦A, ♣Q and three tricks with spades. The contract would have gone down -1.
So 3NT was tricky. But North and South could have successfully played the contract of 4♣ or 4♥, if either had been stubborn enough to stick to his suit and bid on.
Par Contract Analysis
The par contract on this deal is 5♣ by North/South.
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