Bridge Deal of the Week (November 14 2018)

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West North East South
  1♠ Pass 2
Pass ?    

North has 15 HCP, five spades, four diamonds and a singleton heart and starts with the 1♠.  South, who has 11 HCP – a two suited hand holding a 6-card suit of hearts and five clubs, has a void in spades – responds with 2.

Can you guess what contract was reached?

Dealer: North

Vul: Both

Contract: ?


So North started with 1♠. East passed. South responded with 2. West passed. North bid 2NT. East passed. South advanced to 3♣. West passed. North called 3NT.

And here in most cases, the auction ended with North playing the contract of 3NT. But if South continued with 4♣ – describing his two-suited hand and encouraging to go on, then North might have realized a fit in clubs has been found.

Of course North could just declare 5♣, but if North bid 4, South rebid hearts – 4, and North enquired about aces with 4NT, a contract of 6♣ could have been reached.

Playing 6♣, West leads the 9 and after the declarer plays a small diamond from dummy, East`s J is smothered by South’s Q (trick 1).

The declarer misses the ♣K, and if the king is offside, that is the only trick South can afford to lose. This means South needs all the rest of tricks. The A and♠ A will provide 2 tricks, the AK10 stand for another 3 tricks. As the declarer is void of spades and dummy has a singleton heart, South can crossruff.

With a 7-car suit of hearts, South can hope that after winning the A and then ruffing hearts for some times, the rest of the hearts will be promoted into winners, if the split is 3-3 – dummy has only three clubs.

So the declarer needs to lead a diamond to dummy`s A and then lead the ♠A from dummy`s hand discarding a heart (tricks 2, 3). Then South can lead a spade from dummy and ruff (trick 4), cash in the A (trick 5), lead a heart and ruff into dummy (trick 6).

So far everything had gone smoothly, but the declarer needs to keep trumps in focus. Crossruffing cannot go on endlessly as the opponents have 5 clubs and the declarer doesn’t want to end up holding a shorter trump than defense. Still South needs to lead hearts one more time.

South led theK from dummy`s hand, East ruffed with the ♣4, South overruffed (trick 7) and led the J. West covered with the K, the declarer ruffed into dummy, East`s Q dropped (trick 8).

Now South`s hearts were good, and everything hinged on the trump split. South led the ♣Q from dummy, East played the ♣6, the declarer ducked and thus West`s ♣K won the trick (trick 9). West led the ♠J, South ruffed and led the ♣A pulling the last trumps (tricks 10, 11).

The declarer won the last two tricks with hearts (tricks 12, 13).

  ♠ AQ754  
  ♣ Q83  
♠ J83 Deal ♠ K10962
K52 Q43
98764 J2
♣ K5 ♣ J64
  ♠ -  
  ♣ A10972  

If North played the contract of 3NT, three tricks would have been lost – West would have gotten two tricks with the ♣K and K and East one with the ♠K.

6♣ was a bit risky – if East had uppercut with the ♣J (after South led the K from dummy´ s hand) South would have had to cover with the ♣A and the contract would have gone down -1.

Par Contract Analysis

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

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