Bridge Deal of the Week (February 21 2018)

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The Auction:

West North East South
    1 Dbl
3♣ 3 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass  

East started the auction with 1. South, feeling brave with 11 HCP and two 4-card majors, doubled for takeout. West called 3♣. North overcalled – 3, South declared 4.

Although North and South found a fit and have a 10-card suit of hearts, there seem to be four losers – one in spades, two in clubs and one in diamonds.  How can North win 10 tricks?

East leads the ♠K.

Dealer: East

Vul: none

Contract: 4by North


The declarer won the first trick with the ♠A (trick 1). With ten trumps there was nothing to lose by drawing the trumps, so North led a small heart to dummy`s K and a heart to the A next (tricks 2, 3). West discarded the ♣9. But North knew already by listening to the auction that West had a long suit of clubs.

The declarer led a small club next. East played a small club, West won the trick with the ♣10 (trick 4), took the next one with the ♠J (trick 5) and led the ♠10 next. North ruffed (trick 6).

Now the declarer could afford to lose only one more trick. The opponents had six clubs, seven diamonds and one spade. North decided to lead a trump to squeeze a bit and see, what cards the defenders decide to  discard. North led the 10 (trick 7). East discarded the ♣J, West a small diamond.

North led another heart to dummy`s J next (trick 8). This time East discarded the 9 and West a club. Now defense held five diamonds, four clubs and a spade. The declarer knew that West had held at least six clubs initially. So if West had three clubs at that moment, that placed the majority of diamonds in East`s hands. East had discarded the ♣J and then a diamond – that could mean that East might still hold the ♣A.

North led dummy`s last spade and ruffed with the last remaining trump (trick 9). West discarded one more club, East`s ♠Q fell.

Next the declarer led the 8. East played the 10, the declarer won that trick with the dummy´s A (trick 10). Now North led a small club from dummy`s hand, West`s ♣Q fell as East won that trick with the ♣A (trick 11).

East led the 2. North knew that West had to have one more club (the king), also East had discarded the 9 – probably a signal of a high card.

Based on that knowledge the declarer played a small diamond from dummy´s hand, West also played a small diamond, so North won the trick with the J in hand (trick 12).

Now North led a diamond to dummy`s K (trick 13).

  ♠ A7  
  ♣ 42  
♠ J104 Deal ♠ KQ95
 2 Q3
763 ♦ Q1092
♣ KQ10965 ♣ AJ8
  ♠ 8632  
  ♣ 73  

By bold bidding North and South reached the contract of 4. The contract was not plain sailing, but took a bit of card reading on declarer´s part. There was no point in trying to finesse the Q as the declarer missed the 109.

But North managed to squeeze the opponents by leading hearts repeatedly. North also knew that West had a long suit of clubs and by watching closely the cards discarded by the opponents, deducted that by leading a club, the lead could be forced on East who probably had nothing else left than the ♣A and diamonds at that moment.

So the declarer managed to endplay East by throwing him the lead. With nothing left but diamonds, East was forced to lead a diamond and had to concede a diamond trick.


Par Contract Analysis

The par contract on this deal is 4♣ doubled by East -1.

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