Bridge Deal of the Week (February 21 2018)Click here for Archives / Discussion Boards
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.
Contract: 4♥ by 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).
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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