Bridge Deal of the Week (January 17 2018)

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Problem

West North East South
    Pass 1
2♠ Dbl Pass 3♣
Pass 4NT Pass 5
Pass 6 Pass Pass
Pass      

 

East passed. South bid 1. West overcalled with 2♠. North doubled (4+ hearts).  East passed. South responded with 3♣. West passed.  North asked for aces – 4NT. South answered 5 (standard Blackwood, 1 ace). North declared 6.

How can South win 12 tricks?

West led the ♠K.

Vulnerable: Both

Contract: 6by South

Solution

South won the first trick with the ♠A (trick 1). Now the question was, how to get rid of the spade loser –  as the declarer missed the trump ace, he couldn`t  pull the trump, then cash in the clubs and discard a spade on a club as immediately after gaining the lead with the A, defense would have cashed in the second trick with spades.

But clubs offered the only road out of the misery anyway. South led a small club to dummy`s ace (trick 2), then a small club from dummy to king (trick 3). Now the declarer led the ♣Q. West ruffed with the3, the declarer overruffed (trick 4).  So the declarer couldn`t discard the spade from dummy. But he could try again – defense had only two trumps left.

South led theA from dummy, discarding a spade from hand (trick 5), then led the Q and as East played a small heart, ruffed (trick 6).

The declarer led the ♣J, West discarded a spade. So clubs were split 4-2 and West didn’t have any diamonds left. South discarded dummy´s last spade (trick 7) and led a spade from hand, ruffing into dummy (trick 8).

The declarer led the 9 from dummy and ruffed (trick 9), and led a diamond next, East`s ace won that trick (trick 10). East led a heart, the declarer ruffed (trick 11) and claimed the last two tricks with the KQ (tricks 12,13).

  32  
  AQ98  
  KQ654  
  A3  
KQJ964 Deal 107
KJ62 107543
3 A2
65 9742
  A85  
  -  
  J10987  
  KQJ108  

The declarer managed to avoid losing another trick in spades by cleverly using the longest side suit – clubs. Both hands combined North/South held seven clubs. If clubs would have been split evenly (3-3),  as the declarer obviously hoped – South could have discarded the remaining spade from dummy´s hand in the third trick of clubs as dummy held only two clubs.

But clubs were split unevenly and here the declarer had to gamble that West didn`t hold the A – if West had ruffed with the trump ace and then led spades, the contract would have been down -1.

Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 6 by North/South.

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